Developing Leaders – Tom Yeakley

Taking the Mystery out of Leadership

When God Says Wait!

I was twenty-nine years old and married with two (soon it would be three) children when I left a career in veterinary medicine to pursue a calling to world missions.  I was anxious to get on with the plan for our lives, for God had directed us to accept an opportunity to serve in Indonesia with The Navigators.  We moved from Purdue University to Chicago to be involved with several churches while we waited for the visa to move to the country of our destiny.  We anticipated a six-month wait, so we busied ourselves with fundraising and preparation for departure.

Three years later we were still waiting!  People would meet us and ask questions like, “Are your still here?  Are you sure God is leading you to Indonesia?  Maybe this closed-door is His means of directing you to stay in America.  Have you considered that possibility?”  Of course we considered that possibility and many others, but each time we prayed there came a deep assurance from the Lord that He would answer in His perfect timing.  After three years the visa was granted and we moved to Indonesia, staying for the next eleven years until once again the visa was denied and we came home.

During those years of waiting, there were many days of anxiety, questions, and wondering if we would ever get overseas.  As I grew older I wondered about our ability to learn a new language and adjust to a new culture.  But during this time of waiting, God was at work in my life, building into me some life lessons that He knew I needed in order to serve Him well in Indonesia and later in life.  I chafed under the delay in proceeding with this plan we had laid out, but God was gracious to keep us in Chicago rather than rushing us off to the far side of the Pacific.  I came to learn the lesson that what He does in us is often more important than what He does through us.  God’s purposes will be accomplished with us or without us.  [1]

Waiting on God is a quality needed for leaders to experience the touch of God in them and on their leadership.  Are you straining at the end of the leash that the Lord has you on?  Do you want to run ahead and He has told you to sit and wait?  Can you trust Him to do good and give you His best?  He knows the time and when the time is right He will unclip the leash and shout, “Run!”  Until then, wait and watch for Him to do what only He can do.


[1]   Yeakley, Tom  Growing Kingdom Character  NavPress  Colorado Springs, CO  2011  pp. 128-129

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3 thoughts on “When God Says Wait!

  1. Thanks for sharing your story and encouraging to wait on God, Tom. At times I feel I would rather run, but I feel God has His perfect timing for us and work to do whether in me or to prepare our way, http://ref.ly/Is45.2-3

  2. Michael Visentine on said:

    Tom, thanks for sharing your story. Again good advice and practical application of waiting. I know all is in God’s timing, but it sure can be frustrating. I know that seeking the Lord during this time is exactly what is needed.

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