I have yet to meet someone who truly enjoys waiting. Whether it be waiting in a grocery line, waiting in traffic, waiting at your favorite restaurant . . . waiting means we aren't getting what we want - whether it be OUT of the grocery store, home after a long day at work, or enjoying a great meal. Waiting can be difficult. Typically waiting can be stressful. When I look at the areas I just spoke of, they seem trivial compared to other waiting I have done in my lifetime; waiting for a biopsy result, waiting for a call from the oncologist, waiting to hear from my mother's heart surgeon. That waiting took on an entirely different approach, and was a completely different level of stress.
Waiting, whether for a short or long time, whether insignificant or life-changing, can steal peace from our lives. I am sure each of us has endured a situation where we wanted a different outcome, and life did not respond as quickly as we would want it to.
As I progress through this life, I begin to realize the importance of beginning my "waits" in prayer. By opening my wait in prayer to God, I know that the prayer will be answered. Yes, He has three wonderful responses, "Yes, No, and Wait". That last one has frustrated me on many levels many times. I can even handle the "No" better than I can handle the "Wait". Over time, though, I have realized that God's timing is SO much better than mine. When I have forced situations, forced relationships, forced decisions and did not wait for God's answer, my path has not turned out as fruitful.
Waiting can be stressful - until we utterly and joyfully place our situation in God's hands. It is at that moment of truth, that moment of full disclosure, that things seem to release from us. On more occasions than I care to admit, when I am at some of my darkest moments and want to hold on to situations so that "I" can make the decisions that can't seem to move forward, it is at those times when I share them with God and the peace, "the peace that passes all understanding", floods over me.
No, the seas don't part and the bushes don't burn in front of me (wouldn't that be wonderful), and I continue to wait. But the waiting is now done with joy - knowing that the Dear Lord has a greater plan for me. In "Stressed Less Living", Tracie shares how God could change our circumstances at any time, but chooses to change us THROUGH our circumstances. I loved reading that. Once again, a sense of peace.
The stress created by waiting can stop us in our tracks - physically, emotionally, spiritually. Yet, when we rely on God, the waiting - as long as it may be - becomes bearable, maybe even fruitful. Whether the wait is in a grocery line or is life changing, we need to take it to the Lord. Let's go to Him in prayer, together. We will be changed, we will grow, our faith will become grounded. I remember many years ago my husband struggling from being laid off. He was frustrated by the lack of response from resume after resume being sent out. It was a difficult time. The waiting seemed more than he could bear. On a sunny afternoon, I shared with him, "Honey, it is in God's time, not ours, that you will be blessed. God has a plan." God did have a plan. Soon after, he found a good job. And let me tell you - my husband often reminds me of those words I shared with him that sunny day - and I am VERY glad that he does. Simple and Fruitful Faith.
"With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God."
(NIV) Mark 10:27