“Patience is not about the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting” – Joyce Meyer
We’ve all been there. Waiting for something but have no idea when it might happen. As we try to be patient, a discontentment like no other can swoop in and steal our peace. We anticipate it’s arrival and try to keep our heads up only to find ourselves disappointed with every additional day that the wait is prolonged. We might sulk in it and begin to lose hope. We might try to comfort ourselves with scriptures or quotes that instill hope such as “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” Psalm 37:4. We do whatever we can to just get to the next day, hoping that our waiting will finally cease and we’ll have that thing we desire. Whether it’s that car, job, person, house, or anything else, I know it can be frustrating to wait for the pieces to fall into place.
I’m currently in a season of waiting and to be completely honest, it is hard. I’m not that great at it yet. I’ve been in seasons of waiting before, but this time is different. This time, I’ve been convicted to wait differently. This time, I need to learn to wait patiently and for me, that includes being still. I have a habit of trying to make things happen, but this time, I have to learn to just BE in the situation. No manipulating and maneuvering. Simply accept it and wait. “Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act…” Psalm 37:7
This post is long over-due because for the past two weeks I’ve allowed this period of waiting get the best of me. I’ve been a pout pout fish as the kids call it, and have been more focused on what I want to happen in my life than I have on the reality of the situation. It’s hard to get up and be productive when you’re down. Laying around may be easier, but it doesn’t feel good after a while. Fortunately, one thing that is for certain is that even when we can’t change our circumstances, we can still change how we respond to them. Rather than moping about, being a cry baby, I’m deciding I’m ready to get out of my feelings and focus on my now. I have no idea what God’s plan is, but I do know that “while I’m waiting, God is working”!
Okay, so if God is doing His part behind the scenes, then there is no sense in spending a great deal of time and energy trying to figure out what He’s doing, how He’s doing it, and when He’ll reveal to me His plans. Either we trust Him or we don’t. Either we’ll sit around worrying and wondering, or we’ll keep the faith and use our time and energy on something more purposeful. Often times, God will make us wait as a part of our growth. I know that is what He’s doing with me now, and even though I feel like I’m ready for what I’m waiting on, I know there is a lesson in this process. I believe I’ll have at least a smidgen more wisdom on the other side of this particular season. I could try and guess why He has me in this place (which I have been doing), but that further adds to my frustration. Perhaps before I go looking for answers, I need to accept the situation. Instead of whining “why”, it would be beneficial to develop a spirit of gratitude for the place He has me in and thank Him for all that He’s going to do while He has me here.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” James 1:2-4
If we want to endure this wait patiently, we have to shift our focus from the object of our waiting to other productive activities. Be careful not to create a new unhealthy distraction for yourself, but try to find something meaningful that contributes to your self-development. There are a multitude of things you could indulge in. For example, I enjoy exercising but have never been consistent. I decided I’m finally going to learn to run and signed up to run my first 5k in a few months. I currently cannot run a mile, so this is something that will require quite a bit of mental and physical involvement. During my training, my focus is on becoming stronger rather than that other thing I’m waiting on. Additionally, when I’m not training, I now enjoy reading runners blogs to educate myself of the subject. I even bought some new running gear to add to my excitement. The best part is that even once I receive the object of my waiting, I’m sure I’ll continue to run. My newfound desire to run is not dependent on what I’m waiting for.
I also believe that sometimes God makes us wait because He wants us to focus more on Him or trust Him more. The beautiful thing about any extended period of waiting is that once we finally have that thing, hopefully God gets all of the glory. If we snapped our fingers and received everything we want in that moment, we risk living a God-less life. Delayed gratification however, allows us time to reflect and humble ourselves. We do need Him, and not just when we want something from Him. We should be seeking Him during the ups and downs. In the same way that I have committed myself to learning to run during this season and desire to remain committed even once the season passes, God wants that same commitment. He wants to know that we’re committed to staying close to Him even once He blesses us. Our relationship with Him should not be dependent on whatever it is we’re waiting for.
Strengthening your relationship with God and exercising are not at all the only things you could do. Maybe it’s time for you to start that business or join that organization. Perhaps you’re waiting to start a family but can’t cook. This could be a great time to learn some new recipes. Maybe you want that house but have bad credit. Embrace your process and start learning how to get out of debt. There are so many things you can do with this waiting period. Please don’t use whatever it is you’re waiting for as a crutch for why you won’t do anything else. Stop making excuses and maximize your time. We don’t know when we’ll receive the thing we’re waiting for, so watching for it to happen will make the process more difficult. We can’t sit around waiting for that call while our lives pass us by. Don’t let this process get the best of you. You make the most of it! In the comments below, let me know some of the things you’ve been doing in your period of waiting!
We have the choice to either wait and complain the entire time or wait patiently. I’m choosing to be patient and grow as much as I possibly can in this current season of waiting. ♥