Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The truth about waiting well

Today is the last day of my 31 days of waiting well. I didn't quite make all 31, but I'll continue to fill in those missing days from time to time.

I had hoped that through the course of these 31 days that my family might shut the door on our time of waiting.

Crazy, I know. But a girl can hope, right?

It’s been a long, hard month. Waiting well has not come easily. Waiting well has been a battle. A spiritual battle is raging and we’re in the midst of it.

So let me set the record straight: waiting well is not easy.

Waiting well is hard to do. This month we lost our car. We broke our coffee pot. My laptop computer died. The heat on our other car went out. We had fights over jobs and money and miscommunication. I cried myself to sleep. I was jealous. I was selfish. I emailed others and asked for prayer. I was hopeful. And then I was disappointed. Waiting well is not for the faint of heart. It takes everything we’ve got…and it requires us to give it all to Jesus. Waiting well means that we look at our waiting through the lens of grace and believe that God is painting a canvas that has yet to be revealed.

Waiting well is a choice. Every day we choose. We choose to control our situation or to let go and trust our Creator to be in control. We choose to release our bitterness and resentment and jealousy because the only person it will hurt is us. We choose to look up instead of around at what others are receiving. We choose to believe that when we wait on God our wait is never, ever, wasted. We choose to believe that God acts on behalf of those who wait for Him. We make intentional, deliberate choices. Sometimes we fail and make fleshly choices. And that's OK. God's mercies are new every day and so we receive each day as an opportunity to choose all over again.

Waiting well cannot be done alone. We need God. We need each other and to choose wisely in who we share our heart with. We need wise words of those who have walked before us. I have been pouring over books and Scriptures and sermons on waiting. I need others to speak truth into my life when I find it hard to remember truth. And I need others to pray when I find it hard to pray. God created us to live in community and that is even more true during our times of waiting. Waiting well calls us to open our hearts to others...and trust He will hold us gently and tenderly as we wait.

Waiting well requires gratitude. Gratitude turns what we have into enough. Giving thanks takes the bitterness and replaces it with peace. Gratitude covers the jealousy. It soothes the pain. It changes every day life into a life filled to overflowing with blessings and gifts and endless opportunities to give thanks. When you see others rejoice in their answered prayers and you are still waiting – give thanks. When resentment looms big – give thanks. When the wait wears heavy – give thanks. Make a gratitude clipboard. Fill a gratitude journal. Make gratitude the prayer you whisper with every breath. In all things give thanks. For He is good and His love endures forever. "Giving thanks to the Lord is what keeps my eyes on the Lord."~Ann Voskamp

Waiting well means that we wait on Him and our hope is in Him. It means that we cling to God's promises to those who wait and trust that our time of waiting is for our good and His glory.

Wait for the Lord friends;

be strong and

take heart

and wait for the Lord.

~Psalm 27:14

Pastor John Fuller says: The way that we wait reveals the extent to which we trust the One we are ultimately waiting for. So wait well my friends, and one day you will be able to say, “Look what God did. Look what God did. Look what God did with my wait.”

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