By nature I am not a patient person. I am a multi-tasker, over achiever, who gets the job done. I am not particularly artistic because good art takes time to create. I don’t play a musical instrument because I didn’t want to practice…I wanted to play. Slow computers can drive me crazy and I hope no one secretly video tapes me behind someone going under the speed limit. So you can see that waiting has never really been my thing.
‘They’ say that God’s timing is perfect, but (seriously) I think He likes cliffhangers. I like order and planning and everything to go smoothly. He loves to come through at the last second when everyone is in a panic. I like intent, design, control and the feeling of being successful. He likes it when we have no other option but needing to be rescued.
Through lesson after lesson after lesson, the Lord has taught me that He has something for me in the waiting. He doesn’t actually like to see me panicked. He has a gift to give me that I could not receive if we simply arrived. So I’ve learned (or perhaps am still learning) to turn my focus while I am waiting to see what the gift is that He has for me.
When we were financially struggling because of debt, I kept wondering why God didn’t just poof it away. I mean, I could have won the lottery or something. But during those years, I learned the valuable lesson of enjoying a life of living in simplicity. I learned how to be thankful for small things and how to enjoy this moment, this very moment, that doesn’t have the desired thing. These are things that can’t be taken from me now that I own them, regardless of our financial situation.
Change comes hard for me. I can want change, and want to change, I can even make plans to change, but the actually changing takes a great amount of time and effort. What I want is to make a plan and have it done. But it has been the journey of change that has deepened my walk with God, I have seen my dependency on self, and built relationship with others. These things would not have developed if things changed according to my plan.
But waiting in the unknown is probably the worst for me; waiting for medical answers, work answers, family responses. Ug! I want answers. They feel like pieces of a puzzle and once I have an answer I can put the puzzle together and ‘figure it out’. In other words, I can live in self-reliance instead of rest. But waiting for answers has probably been the best training ground for learning to live in rest. God knows the answer and my stewing about it doesn’t bring the answer any sooner. I have learned to receive His peace, that peace which surpasses understanding, only through waiting.
When I keep my eyes looking for the gift God has for me in the waiting, instead of on the desire itself, I see a whole world of gifts available to me; gifts that I would miss if I didn’t choose to receive them while I’m waiting.
Today, I’m waiting for the weather to warm up so I can plan a trip to complete a project so that I can plan an event. I can’t answer people’s questions about when the event will be until the project is completed. But I’m choosing to enjoy the beautiful 10-degree day with ice clinging to every nook and cranny, with a focus of what I can do today. Today I will live in rest and receive the gift of His presence with me. And I expect it will be a glorious and enjoyable day.
What are you waiting for? What gift can you receive while you are waiting? May God give you a gift today as you wait on Him.