What to Do and What Not to Do in the Waiting

We won't necessarily speed up the waiting time with a positive outlook, but we will keep our sanity, and we please the Lord in the process. We might even learn a thing or two.

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 installment, 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 we can grumble and complain. We won’t necessarily speed up the waiting time with a positive outlook, but we will keep our sanity, and we please the Lord in the process. We might even learn a thing or two.

I polled friends on Facebook by asking them to look back at times of waiting in their lives. What did they do during those seasons that was helpful? What did they do that was not helpful? Their responses are intermingled below with some of my own thoughts thrown in for good measure. I also found scripture references that back up their insights! Hopefully, those of you who are ‘in the waiting’ will find insight, inspiration, and encouragement as you read on. I know I did!

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 to everyone around me what The Lord was doing. That didn’t work. They didn’t have a grid for it and neither did I! I learned to not 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 “half-baked.”

When I am in a season of waiting, I find it helpful to write down the promises God has given me and the encouraging words others have given me and to read them often

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 to not share! We want validation from others while going thru. On the other hand, the Lord will bring someone alongside to help. They may not understand what you are walking through or why things are so delayed or seemingly so contrary to what you are believing/waiting/hoping/standing for, but they are anointed by The Lord to “be there” through some key battles. Having said all that, I would wait on the Lord and ask Him to bring his chosen “help” alongside you.” – Katherine’s thoughts. I thought of Mary’s response to the adulation given her child as I read H’s comment. Some things are much too precious to share with others. (Luke 2:19)

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 C.W. “Dreaming.”

From P.L. “Entertaining conversations with folks who feel the need to “share what God is saying” and it’s so far off from what He’s already said to me, to others, etc. has tripped me up in the past. There were times I knew I should stop the conversation but I didn’t do so because I was concerned for their feelings, “I’ll just let them say their piece.”

Somehow those conversations opened me up to fear, worry, and anxiety which led to impulsive decisions and/or a wrong direction taken. Sometimes in the waiting I think the best thing I can do is stay still and quiet before the Lord, shut down all the mind chatter and praying over those who are judging me/my situation by what they see through their own faith filters to ensure I stay in a place of forgiveness. The waiting season can be hard because that’s when a lot of unsolicited advice comes. So often folks think that difficulty automatically means you are not aligned with God, when in reality the battle exists because we 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 my television watching. 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.”

From A.B. “Helpful: focusing on Who God is and who He wants to be to me in the waiting. Worship. Doing what I know to do. Not helpful: whining, complaining, asking “why me,” getting angry and impatient.”

From T.M. ” Helpful: scriptures reminding me to wait on God and trust in Him – living with “Take Courage” on repeat! Praying for God to give me peace in the waiting and for the faith to wait and not rush ahead. Havilah Cunnington’s Study on pursuing God Dreams – “Eat, Pray, Hustle.” 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. I realize that God has me in a place to grow. I look at areas I need to grow in. I start making some changes in my life based on what I see in myself. I relax and go with the flow of how God is taking me there. I listen and obey.”

From S.L. “All eyes on Jesus, whether you are waiting 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 trick the enemy often uses is to have us endlessly try different methods we applied in the past to get the breakthrough we’re waiting for. “Maybe I did this wrong.. I need to try that..” It’s so easy to end up doing all kinds of spiritual (i.e. religious) 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. This cycle is a trap the enemy sets before me, readily available at least to me. The solution: Lock your eyes on His. This never fails.”

From S.D. ” In the waiting, I seek to be in His presence. I am learning to make this the way I live my life. 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, but when I keep my eyes on Him in the waiting, I make better choices. I am not as discouraged. I don’t feel hopeless or despair. When I choose to focus on His eyes and remain in or pursue His presence I find peace, joy, and being. I find who I am not and I don’t feel like a failure. I feel like a victor because of who He is and His truth that I believe tells me who I am.

It is with Him and in His presence that I chose to be in the waiting! Battles are easier won in this place rather than the place of losing focus and striving in my own strength. It is here I find the courage to be all that I can be in Him, in the waiting.”

I find all the above to be very insightful. I also find it helpful to write down the promises God has given me and the encouraging words others have given me and to read them often. When I am in a season of letting go of what was ‘good’ or ‘comfortably normal’ even as I wait for where God will lead me next, 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 times is never a good idea in a time of waiting, as we see the past through rose coloured lens at that point. I keep my eyes fixed on the goal that is set before me! (Philippians 3:14)

All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are taken from the English Standard Version (ESV).

Until Next Week

©2016 Katherine Walden

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