It occurred to me this weekend that I’m not the only one experiencing a really hard chapter of Waiting. It’s not that I didn’t know that people other than me are waiting for their own “thing” – but I must have forgotten because on Saturday morning it hit me like one of those light bulb moments – we’re ALL waiting on something and sometimes that season of waiting can bring some incredibly painful times. Whether it’s waiting for a new job, or a life partner, a medical prognosis, a baby, a new place to live, the end of an election, an answer, a new beginning or for something to end – we all have “our thing” we’re waiting for. We call waiting “anticipation” when we know the outcome and when it is due to come along, but the waiting can often times be downright excruciating when things aren’t clear to us… when we don’t know what the outcome will be and we don’t know when it will happen. It’s a pretty typical thing to consume our minds with the what-ifs and the worries we fear when things aren’t clear to us, even if we know it’s not healthy for us to do so. Because sometimes, in a time where we feel helpless and like we have nothing left to do but sit there and pray and hope for the best, worrying about it feels like it’s the easiest and only thing we can do. But I was reminded this weekend that that’s actually a lie. That while worrying about it all might actually be easy, it is in fact not the only thing we can do. And it’s not what God wishes us to do. And I know we all probably know all of this, but I’m spelling it out here today as a reminder…
for anyone experiencing an excruciating kind of wait – you’re not alone.
I woke up yesterday morning and really was not in the mood to go to church and be with a ton of people. My heart felt heavy and as much as I craved His word and truth to be spoken to my heart during an uncertain time – a time where all the cards are up in the air and I’m just waiting for them to drop, to see where they might fall, I just couldn’t bear the thought of crying out to Him with a bunch of strangers. I would have stayed home had it not been for my already scheduled time with the Kindergartners at Sunday School (I teach and play with them 2-3 times a month) so I forced myself out of bed and went to church. And of course what I’d assumed to happen happened: I had the best time with those kids, like I always do, and each one of them brought a smile to my face at some point in the morning, just like they always do. But what’s more is that while I was in the Kindergarten class, two of my friends who were sitting in the big room to hear the sermon texted me and said “YOU HAVE TO HEAR THE MESSAGE TODAY.” Any guesses as to what the message was about?
“The Waiting Is The Hardest Part”
Oh yes, I’m quite serious. So yesterday evening, in the comfort of my own home (I love that you can watch/listen to the message at any time online!), I cried through the whole thing as I felt God personally whisper His truths and reminders of comfort straight to my heart. I took pages of notes – most of which I will keep for personal use – but there were a few things our pastor touched on that I felt led to share on EG today. And while some of them might read “random” – because they’re not in any particular order on here, I’m trusting that – just maybe – God is going to speak truth and comfort to your heart with one (or more) of these reminders.
- Just because your gift is delayed, doesn’t mean it’s been denied. You can’t believe fully in Him but not in His calendar or His process.
- Most of us want His promises but we don’t want His process. We start doubting God’s plan when it gets hard; we worry we’re not where we’re supposed to be.
- The will of God is the right place, but it’s not the safest. Following Him is the right thing but that doesn’t mean it’s always the easiest. Things might go ‘wrong’ but that doesn’t mean you’re not where He wants you to be.
Our pastor also shared 3 Steps to Actively Waiting, which I love – actively waiting. Often times we feel helpless while we wait on God to act or move, but we can be active while we wait:
- Remember His faithfulness. (While you wait, remember all the times in your life He showed up and rescued you when you couldn’t see a way out. That will help you until the brook no longer runs dry in this season of your life.)
- Respond with gratitude. (Colossians 1:11-12: We also pray that you will be strengthened with all of his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.)
- Remain surrendered. (So that He can transform you! When the brook goes dry, He gets our full attention. Focus less on the brook or the gift, and more on the Giver.)
Jesus never said it would be easy, this thing we call life. And He also never said He wouldn’t give us more than we can handle. (Because if that were true, when would we ever call out to need Him?) But He did say that we will never have to go through this life alone…we will never have to wait alone…we are never alone. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5).
—Ember Grey, 8 August 2016