Lessons in the Wait 2

Welcome back! If you didn’t read the previous blog, I would suggest clicking HERE to catch up before proceeding.

So at the end of the previous blog, I shared a few things I learned while waiting during the planning and preparation of my mom’s funeral. It’s often during the worst times of life that God will catch our attention and if we slow down long enough, we’ll grab a lesson. I previously mentioned learning that:

  • The wait can keep us focused
  • The wait will create anxiety or a patient heart

I also learned that the ‘wait’ doesn’t have to be a WEIGHT. There are so many things in life that we have to have patience for; Some things easier to wait on than others. But what can you do in situations you can’t control? YOU KEEP LIVING. Regardless of your faith and beliefs, more often than not, we see everyday that life will continue to go on in the world around us, even when we have checked out and don’t want to keep moving. How do you do that?

  • A great start is remember the whys of your life. Prioritize things that need to be completed, started, etc.
    • What should have your immediate focus?
    • Is what you’re waiting on a necessary part of moving forward with a certain task? (Can you focus on something else while you wait?)
  • Remember that waiting is unavoidable. I was talking to someone much younger than me (20’s), who was expressing frustration about something that was yet to happen. I began to ask them about their process of waiting. I found out that they thought what they were waiting on would happen immediately, but were told to expect a certain lead time. The time allotted had not yet passed, so in my opinion, they caused their experience of waiting to be worse than it actually should have been.
  • Adopt the heart of a servant. Find a way to be helpful to someone else. When we take the focus off of our issues, there is a level of joy that comes with serving others. This may also bring awareness to other things that you should be doing while you wait.

Finally, make sure you’re not creating fear that you’ll never receive what you’re waiting for. IF promised by God, he may very well be preparing you for what you’ve prayed for. Also, stop comparing yourself and your situation to others. Your process is different from everyone else’s. In the end, Matthew 6:33 reminds us to refocus: ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.’

Waiting forces us to answer the question, “Where is our chief delight?” If your delight is only in whatever you see at the end of your wait, then this wilderness of life will begin to feel like a death trap. But if our delight is in God and what he has for us, then we will find that he knows how to make rivers flow in the desert. He will give us a grace in developing patience and we will learn how to wait well.

Blessings!

Lessons in the Wait

I hate waiting too long for anything. Who doesn’t? And I’m not one of these super humans who pray for patience and all that nonsense… Because trust me, God KNOWS how to test your patience. And that’s exactly what he did to me on July 16, 2020, when we were scheduled to go view my mom’s body at the funeral home. It was something I didn’t think would be happening for quite some time. 2020 literally knocked the wind out of us. The pain of her loss was nearly unbearable… Nearly, because I’m learning that when we give up, or stop wanting to move forward, God is carrying us along, recharging us, loving us and giving us peace. During the near hour wait, so many things came to mind. I asked God what he wanted me to see in this situation, Where was the lesson or message? (I know that may sound weird, but fellow over thinkers understand)

  • The first thing that came to mind was that sometimes the wait keeps us focused. Some of us are extreme over thinkers and we nearly ‘what if’ ourselves to death within minutes. In this instance, I was super focused on one thing: why did my mom have to die? That was the only thing I could think of. I was hyper focused on how I would respond to seeing her in her final slumber; how I regretted not coming home in May for Mother’s Day or her birthday; how life would now be without her. FOCUSED. While we are waiting, we are sometimes consumed with the thing we’re waiting for. This could be good or bad. We’re in a constant battle to ‘capture our thoughts’ as mentioned in 2 Corinthians 10:5. We’re in charge of what we think, so we need to make sure we accept toxic thoughts and that we need a renewing of our minds.
  • The wait will either create unnecessary anxiety or a patient heart. Experts agree that occasional anxiety is normal, a part of life. It becomes a disorder when the triggers began to interrupt your life. An over thinker could be in danger of an anxiety disorder as we tend to play out many scenarios in our heads, excessively worrying. Patience, on the other hand, is defined as the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. How to practice patience? First, know that Patience is a FRUIT of the Spirit. If you have received salvation, you have the fruit of the Spirit operating in you. The level in which they operate is based on your relationship with God and knowledge of and obedience to his word. Are you focused on the issues of life or the God of our salvation, who can manage anything that plagues us? Being rooted in HIM causes our level of patience to grow, because we know his track record.

Back to the story. As our immediate family and a few close cousins waited in the foyer, (masks on of course), the owner of the funeral home called my name and asked me to take the first look at mom. Even after almost an hour of waiting, I was NOT ready. I wanted to melt into the carpet, disappear, shrink back into the chair I was sitting in; ANYTHING but be the first to go in… BY MYSELF. Oh the joy of being the only girl. Immediately, my sister in love Marcia’s voice blanketed me.. “You will have peace during all of this”. I went in the parlor where mom was, expecting to fall out, completely melt down… But the peace of God that passes all understanding met me. I simply walked over, saw how great mom looked, inspecting every single thing, and motioned to the funeral home owner that all was well. And he brought everyone else in.

Pheww! I was relieved. I felt the anxiety and worry about this moment fade away. And guess what else I learned?

You’ll have to wait until next week.

I know, I’m wrong for that… But while you wait, think about some things that have caused you great anxiety. What are you doing to combat that? What is something you’ve been waiting on? Are you exercising patience?

“Wait on the LORD: Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: Wait, I say, on the LORD”

Psalm 27:14

When God?? Even Now…

Have you ever asked God when he was going to move in a situation that seems to be going on and on and on?

You know, I’ve been so focused on the fact that God has not moved in my life like I’ve prayed for him to; so aware of the dead situations in my life that I’ve forgotten to LIVE. I failed to be attentive to the things I should be doing in the midst of the process. I’ve procrastinated, been unfocused, been slothful; have given my time and attention to the wrong things… and people. I’ve allowed myself to be drained by unnecessary hindrances.

AND MOST OF ALL…. I sometimes forget that God is not slack concerning his promises. And you shouldn’t either. Even though some situations seem hopeless, I’m reminded of the death of Lazarus and reactions of his sisters Mary and Martha when Jesus finally reached Bethany. They were quick to let Jesus know if he had been there, Lazarus would be alive.

But Jesus reminded them that if they believed, they would see the glory of God. The miracle served the purpose of showing the timing of God. Lazarus was allowed to die so that Jesus’ power over death could be made known.

‘With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. ‘

Matthew 19:26

Bottom line, God is there, Even in the midst of whatever you’re dealing with. Even though the prayer hasn’t been answered; even though you’re tired of wondering when ‘it’ will happen. (Trust me, I’m reminding myself as well.) We have a promise that we should chase, more than looking at the situation… that he will never leave us, nor forsake us. If we shift our focus to HIM, sudden miracles will have room to manifest!

What are you believing God for? What has he told you to do that you have yet to complete? What are you waiting for? Get to it!