What to Do and What Not to Do While Waiting

I felt the nudge of the Spirit to continue the theme of ‘in the waiting’ this week. If you haven’t yet read the first instalment, you are welcome to read it here.

We all find ourselves waiting, probably more times than we can count. We stand in a queue at coffee shops, banks, and fast food outlets. We sit while waiting for a plane, train, bus, and at the doctor’s office. We wait in traffic snarls. How we wait makes a remarkable difference! We can choose to make the best of a difficult situation or grumble and complain. We won’t necessarily speed up the waiting time with a positive outlook, but we will keep our sanity and please the Lord in the process. We might even learn a thing or two.

Several years ago, I polled friends, asking them to look back at their waiting seasons. What did they do during those seasons that was helpful? What did they do that wasn’t helpful at all? Their responses, as well as my own, are intermingled below.  I found scripture references that back up their insights! Hopefully, you will find insight, inspiration, and encouragement as you read on. I know I did!

Are you in a season of waiting for a breakthrough? There are ways to keep your sanity and actually grow in your faith in that season.

From H.E. “When I knew for sure that The Lord had led me to that place, [a waiting season], I began to try to explain what The Lord was doing to everyone. That didn’t work. They didn’t have a grid for it, and neither did I! I learned not to try to explain the lesson/process to others while in it. A lot of what I was trying to share was actually very precious, even though it was seen as “half-baked” by others.

The work was not yet finished; there were “twists and turns” which were yet ahead in the narrative I was still in the midst of it. It can be hard not to share! Naturally, we want validation from others while going thru such seasons. Sometimes, the Lord will bring someone alongside to help. They may not understand what you are walking through or why things are so delayed. But, they are anointed by the Lord to be there at key moments”

Katherine’s thoughts. As I read H’s comments, I thought of Mary’s response to the adulation given to baby Jesus. Mary already knew how to ponder things in her heart before she spoke them. Some things are much too precious to share with people who won’t see their significance. God sent two wise prophets to Mary in the temple, who confirmed that she and Joseph were on the right track. The promises of God would be fulfilled through their son. (Luke 2:19)

All eyes on Jesus, whether you are in a waiting season or not!

From J.R. “I find it helpful to reflect on things from the previous season that I wanted to let go of. What was I leaving behind me? What lessons did I learn in that season? What perspective do I currently have about something that needs to shift?”

From P.L. “When I entertained conversations with folks who felt the need to “share what God was saying”, it was often so far off from what He already said to me. It tripped me up in the past. I had already received wise counsel from trusted sources. But yet, there were times I knew I should stop the conversation, but I didn’t do so.  I listened to them longer than I should have because I was concerned for their feelings, “I’ll just let them say their piece.”

Some of those conversations opened me up to fear, worry, and anxiety. They led to impulsive decisions and/or the wrong direction. In waiting times, the best thing I can do is stay still and quiet before the Lord. I have learned to shut down all the mind chatter. Praying for those who judge my situation through the filter of their past experience helps. Often, they see my circumstance through a struggle with fear in their own life. The waiting season can be hard because it draws a lot of unsolicited advice. So often, people think that an extended difficult season means you somehow got off track from God’s goals for your life.  But in reality, the battle often exists because you are so fully aligned!”

From A.H., “In waiting, I rest and trust.” (Isaiah 40:31)

From K.M. “I spend many hours in worship and listening to good teaching material. I limit news watching and mindless distractions. I try to spend more time reading the Bible.”

From D.M. “Worship. Worship is warfare that decompresses the pressure thoughts put on your brain. Complaining is like a stain, it’s hard to get the marks out that it leaves on your faith.”

The battle often exists because you are so fully aligned!

From A.B. “It’s helpful to focus on who God is and listen to who He says I am, especially during those waiting times. I worship.  I do what I know to do. It’s not helpful to whine, complain, and ask God, “Why me!” Getting angry and impatient only slows the process”

From T.M. ” Helpful: meditating on scriptures that remind me to wait on God and trust in Him. Praying for God to give me peace in the waiting and for the faith to wait and not rush ahead. Not Helpful: taking things into my own hands! Listening to friends who don’t know how to wait on God.”

From D.N. “I acknowledge to myself and to maybe a few people I am comfortable with that I am in a time of waiting.  As I do so, I recognise  God has placed me in this place as an opportunity to grow. I start making some changes in my life based on what I see in myself. I relax and go with the flow.  God is taking me there, all I need to do is to listen and obey.”

From S.L. “All eyes on Jesus, whether you are in a waiting season or not. This works in every season! A season of waiting requires patience – a trait most of us could probably have some more of. The enemy tries to keep us in an endless loop of trying different methods we applied in the past to get the breakthrough we’re now waiting for. “Maybe I did this wrong, maybe I need to try that. It’s so easy to do all kinds of spiritual acrobatics! Sooner or later, you realize you’re so busy striving you wouldn’t see/hear the answer even if it stood right in front of you. The solution: Lock your eyes on His. This never fails.”

My victory is found in who He is. His truth tells me who I am and not my circumstances.

From S.D. ” In the waiting, I seek His presence. I keep my eyes on Jesus and not on my circumstances. When I focus on my circumstances, I lose sight of where I am going because I have turned away from the light that was guiding my way. When I lose focus, I make poor choices. I make better choices when I focus on Him in the waiting. I am not as discouraged, nor do I feel hopelessness or despair. When I choose to focus on His eyes and remain in His presence, I find peace and joy.

As I meditate on who I am in Christ, I realise my identity is not dependent on what I do or don’t do.  My victory is found in who He is. His truth tells me who I am and not my circumstances. It is with Him and in His presence that I find the strength to remain in the waiting! Battles are easier won in the place of not trying to make things happen in my own strength. Here, I find the courage to be all that I can be in Him, in the waiting.”

A goal is never found behind me; therefore, I keep my eyes fixed on the goal that is set before me!

Katherine’s final thoughts: all the above was so insightful! I will add a couple of things that have helped me. Writing down the promises God gave me in the past helps! Digging out the encouraging words others gave me and pondering them also helps. When I am in a season of letting go of what is good enough or comfortably normal, I remind myself of the consequences the Children of Israel faced when they complained to Moses and pined for the good old days. (Numbers 11). Reminiscing about the good old days is never a good idea during a waiting time. The rose-coloured lens of nostalgia clouds our vision for the future. A goal is never found behind me; therefore, I keep my eyes fixed on the goal that is set before me! (Philippians 3:14)

Until Next Week

©2022 Katherine Walden

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