Inside: 8 Lessons God is teaching me in the wait: Messages of encouragement from my personal time of waiting
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Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.Psalms 27:14 (NLT)
Just playing the waiting game…
That phrase is often heard in the surgical area. I worked in the operating room for ten years and now I’m in an outpatient surgery area. But the phrase continues throughout all the phases of surgery. (And there are surprisingly many phases)
We skitter like mice to get things ready, only to be…
- Waiting on the surgeons or other staff to be ready (Sometimes youre the one everyone is waiting on)
- Waiting on instruments to be ready for surgery
- And on the discharge end, waiting for patiens to wake up from surgery and anesthesia
Often times we rush to no end just to end up waiting and waiting.
Tis the nature of surgery. And in our ordinary lives, we’re often playing the waiting game as well.
My family is stalled in a season of waiting.
My husband lost his job last April and while shaken we felt confident and somewhat secure in our finances and confident that this would all be temporary.
And yet, nearing a year, still we wait.
While I want to ask God to hurry up and answer our prayers ( I know how arrogant that sounds), I’m reminded to ponder and think about what God is teaching me in the wait. And looking at the big picture, a year in the grand scheme of life is but mere seconds.
When I read the Bible I see many examples of people waiting years for answers to prayers and sometimes not even getting to see the answered prayer.
- The Jews wandering in the desert for 40 years.
- Abraham and Sarah waiting for a child of their own
- Joseph waiting in prison and then even more waiting to see his father again
Many times in our lives we wait.
We wait in doctors’ offices, amusement parks, and restaurants. I wait on my daughter and son, moving like little turtles, to be ready to go anywhere.
While it’s tempting to fill those wait times with our phones or our to-do list, what if we stopped to see what God is teaching or showing us in the wait?
Perhaps a smile at a stranger in the office, seeing a mom or elderly person who needs help with their groceries or seeing the smiles and laughter of our kids after the rollercoaster ride?
Even something simple like the breeze blowing your hair or the silent flight of a butterfly.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what God has been teaching me in our season of waiting.
And while I have so many more things to learn, below are 8 areas in my life God is molding me into a better vessel.
1. Letting Go of Control
I admit I’m a control freak. (Confession is the first step, right?) I’m used to being the parent in charge of the never-ending tasks of home life. But I’ve been working more hours to contribute to our family’s needs and so necessity demands I let go. And God says:
I am counting on the Lord; yes, I am counting on him. I have put my hope in his word.Psalms 130:5 (NLT)
2. We have more than we need.
I consider myself very frugal. We are not penny pinchers by any means, but we are very cautious with how we choose to spend our money. I overbudget for everything. All that to say, I still have no idea what it means to be in want.
When you’re pantry is stocked, your couch filled with clothes, and the lights are on, then I know I am more than cared for. And God says:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?Matthew 6: 26-27 (NIV)
While similar to letting go, perhaps this is the next step. Or the first step. Which came first? The chicken or the egg?
But I can’t let go if I don’t trust and I cant trust if I don’t let go. On some level, they need each other. Surrendering of control and trust.
Trust in my husband. And ultimately trust in our Heavenly Father. And God says:
Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock.Isaiah 26:4 (NLT)
4. Compassion and empathy
I could speak to many areas on this topic, but I’ll just mention the one I struggle with the most. While I’m tempted to constantly harass my poor husband on his plan:
- What jobs has he looked for?
- What’s his next plan?
- What have you done all day?
However, none of those responses are helpful or encouraging and show an embarrassing lack of understanding and compassion.
During these times the lessons my mother tried to pound into my head come to mind:
Consider the other side.
What if the roles were reversed? How would you feel?
Only when we begin to attempt to see things from the other side can we even begin to show compassion or empathy.
And don’t we all want to be on the side of receiving a gift of compassion?
And God says:
We love each other because he loved us first.1 John 4:19 (NLT)
A definition I like the most states unmerited favor or love.
Does this mean you never talk about issues or problems?
Of course not,
But it does mean giving love and favor when your husband forgets the trash, when the kids are not in bed before ten, or when your son spills his food/drink for the 5th time in one day.
Grace says I love you all the time.
And God says:
For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of Gods glorious standard. Yet God, in his grace, freely makes us right in hs sight. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.Romans 3: 23-24 (NLT)
6.Beauty in the struggle
While my husband’s unemployment is not our plan, I do see beauty in the ugly facts of life.
- I see the beauty of more time to spend with my husband.
- I see the beauty of the blessing of being able to work extra hours,
- And I see the beauty of an old house that provides shelter and warmth.
There is beauty and joy to be found everywhere if we only have the eyes to look.
And God says:
But as for me, I will sing about your power. Each morning I will sing with joy about your unfailing love. For you have been my refuge, a place of safety when I am in distress.Psalms 59:16 (NLT)
Communication is the downfall of many relationships. (Or lack of communication) It’s not that any of us will ever attain perfect communication, but never giving up is what matters. The art of saying, this isn’t working, even if it’s the 5th or 50th time you’ve said it.
We as women tend to assume people know what we want them to do, and as much as we want it to be true, it’s just not, most of the time.
But are we missing the most important communication?
Time with God.
Simply saying Good morning, God, or Thank you, God or God, I need you. (I’m reminded of the old church hymn, I need you every hour.)
Any hard season can either bring us closer or further away from God and our relationships. But the thing is you can choose every morning.
And God says:
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (NIV)
We all want it, some of us more than others. We all think our way is the right way.
With the loss of my husband’s job came the loss of our insurance. Long story short, we ultimately, through a series of steps and misunderstandings, had to put our kids on Medicaid.
Before all this, I must admit I judged those on Medicaid. And while there are certainly people who do take advantage of the system, it’s not the case for us (we didn’t want Medicaid, we were left with no choice at the moment) and surely it’s not the case for many others. But it’s also not my place to judge.
(In addition, I begin to understand why there seems to be such a gap in healthcare. I say begin because my brief stint does not make me an expert.)
But God says:
May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus.Romans 15:5 (NLT)
So I don’t know where you are in your waiting game of life, but I know God is there.
Finally, I will end with a passage from the book, Sacred Rest:
Abiding is also defined as having to wait or to accept without obligation. It means learning to wait without becoming restless, and its the ability to accept the process of rest without obligation. Abiding rest brings you face-to face with your limitations and Gods all things are possible. It challenges you to see waiting as an invitation to rest and trust. It is a self-reinforcing lesson in rest. Can you rest in the waiting? …
We are branches growing from the abiding rest of God. Each branch is capable of more than we could ever imagine. When He sees us bearing good fruit He prunes us, so that we man bear more fruit (see John 15:2). Every place it seems like God is taking something away will ultimately become a plae of growth. Yes, there will be fruit even after whatever thought of loss just entered your mind. God’s purpose is loving, but the trimming still hurts in the moment. Abiding rest reminds us to trust in His goodness even when goodness is not what we are experiencing at the time.Sacred Rest
I pray you will trust God in your wait. And I ask for your continued prayers in our wait that we may remain steadfast in our love and faith in God.
As always, thank you for reading. If you enjoyed this post or know someone who needs encouragement, I would appreciate your shares on social media.
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