Holding pattern. This has been my life recently. Several areas of my life were all placed in wait mode by God. I now realize that I do not function well in wait mode, as my typical response is to throw myself into another area to avoid thinking about what I am waiting on. It has been during this recent holding pattern that I learned that waiting is an active verb. I am supposed to consciously and actively wait. Which is why, I believe, God made me wait in several areas simultaneously- so that I could not throw myself into another area to avoid my wait, but instead seek Him as I intentionally wait on Him.
Paul Tripp wrote, “Usually our view of waiting is the doctor’s office. We see it as a meaningless waste of time, like a man stuck in the reception area until he has nothing left to do but scan recipes in a two-year-old copy of Ladies’ Home Journal…Our waiting on God must not be understood this way. The sort of waiting to which we are called is not inactivity. It is very positive, purposeful, and spiritual. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of remembering: remembering who I am and who God is. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of worship: worshiping God for his presence, wisdom, power, love, and grace. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of serving: looking for ways to lovingly assist and encourage others who are also being called to wait. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of praying: confessing the struggles of my heart and seeking the grace of the God who has called me to wait. We must rethink waiting and remind ourselves that waiting is itself a call to action.”
I also think during this time of waiting I was called to be learning. It may not be learning as I would picture, but nonetheless researching and reading God’s word and other resources He guided me to in an effort to prepare my heart for what He has in store for me. While two of the areas I have been waiting on God are the typical scenario of not knowing the outcome, uniquely one area was an area that I am not waiting on an answer from God, just waiting for His green light. I’m not sure which scenario is harder. Or maybe the scenarios only compete with one another because it involved waiting for God’s “go ahead” for a desire and interest that He gave me. One that I had given up being feasible at the present time but, alas, God can make anything possible. He can just effortlessly provide a secret door you didn’t know existed.
But there was another reason He made me pause. He wanted to teach me and show me something specific first. This interest, this desire that He placed in my heart, had become about me. Because I wanted it for my enjoyment, not what He intended for it. While I was perfectly content seeing only one step in front of me, and how I would enjoy that step, He wanted to show me that it is in fact a stepping stone in His plan, only the beginning of the journey He intends for me.
Paul Tripp also wrote of another thing we are to do while we wait, “Celebrate the fact that God will not forsake that process of grace in your life and ministry in order to deliver to you the momentary comfort, pleasure, and ease that you would rather have in your time of exhaustion, discouragement, and weakness. He simply loves you too much to exchange temporary gratification for eternal glory!”
God wanted to open my eyes to see how temporary my mindset was and how eternal He wanted it to be. That my view of this desire was short term and therefore skewed. That He wanted me to be intentional in my living for Him and never wasting time going through the motions of daily life. Not going to be easy at first, if ever.
Unfortunately I never learn these lessons easily and had to be jolted to truly see. It took a life and death situation, an eternal and literal one in fact, to give me this sense of urgency to act. Not only in this situation, but to complete this step, that I would like to just enjoy, to go on to the next step in His journey for me as soon as possible. This sense that I can’t sit idly by any longer, not because of boredom and my own impatience but because He gave me this sense of urgency and reminded me how short life truly is. Sit back in comfort enjoying the present or looking to the future and seeing that we can’t count on tomorrow being there. Saying ‘I will actively be on mission down the road when things slow down’ or ‘I will do whatever I can to be on mission wherever I am’. That I will take the time to act now in ways that I allowed fear to hold me back in the past. Do things that are out of my comfort zone because I know they are the right things to do.
To intentionally live for Christ with a heart of urgency to reach others and be a light for Him all the time. Not some of the time. Not when I think the time is right. All the time.