Are you the type of driver who waits in the traffic jam until you are through? Or are you the type that finds an alternate route, even if it takes 15 minutes longer?
I’m the second type. Hands down. Waiting on anything is brutal for me. I get restless in the standstill. It feels like inaction, and I hate being inactive.
The definition of waiting according to Google is:
“The action of staying where one is or delaying action until a particular time or until something else happens.”
The action of staying where one is. That’s not exactly in-action, but rather a conscious choice to remain still. An active decision to stay put. Sound familiar?
When I chose to write on this topic a few months ago, I never imagined I would be physically waiting inside my house until it was safe to return to the world outside. I never considered that I would have to wait for my Amazon prime orders more than two days or wait in line outside the grocery store on a Tuesday morning.
This is not the first time I’ve been down this road. In fact, waiting is a huge part of my faith journey. My husband and I waited for two years to get pregnant with our first child. That was brutal. When we were pregnant with the second one, we got some unsettling news that our son might have a chromosomal abnormality. It was the longest week of my life waiting to get the all-clear. But in those times, I learned how beautiful it is to be desperate for Him. I gained a new understanding of His timing, and what God can do within my demanding heart during those seasons.
Waiting always has a purpose. Much more than I would like to admit. Each time God gives us a pause, He is asking us to trust in Him. Choosing to remain still takes as much courage as moving forward. When God asks His people to be patient and wait, He’s really telling us to watch Him work.
I can’t help but think of the Israelites and how their whole life was about the wait. God allowed them to be slaves in Egypt for 400 years. When they were finally liberated, they wandered in the desert. Not 40 days, not 40 weeks, but 40 years before going into the Promised Land. Think of the faith cultivated in that time, and we’ve only been in this proverbial desert for a couple of months!
We are part of a generation where instant gratification is the norm. Things are available at the snap of a finger or push of a button. Until recently, the only thing you stood still for was a ride at Disneyland, and even then, for a bit more money you could buy the fast pass and breeze on through. It can be so easy to put our faith in the same category. God becomes our genie in a bottle or Mr. Fix-it Fast.
What do we lose when we demand quick results? Better question: what do we gain when we have the courage to wait?
Isaiah 40:31 says ”Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will walk and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.” Three different versions of the verse exchange the word “wait” for “trust,” and “hope.”
Hope is not in the economy re-opening. It’s not in the virus being eradicated or a vaccine being available. Our Hope comes from the Lord. He meets us right in the middle of the desert, and in the place that takes tremendous courage, in the wait. This is where He longs to show you the fresh streams, the manna, the oasis in the desert. You need only to be still.
To learn more about courageous living grab a copy of Chickening IN- from FEAR to Courageous Faith today!
Bio: JL McCarthy is an author, blogger, poet, wife, mother, and above all else, devoted follower of Jesus. She loves encouraging others to see God in new, imaginative ways through creative writing and story-telling. Her blog, Centered Seconds, focuses on combining poetry and short devotionals that allow readers to pause during the day and center on God. You can find more about her on her website www.jlmccarthy.me.
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