Are you waiting for anything? More specifically, are you waiting for God to do anything? Maybe you’ve had a prayer request hanging out there for a few weeks/months/decades. Or maybe you’re waiting for a promise to be fulfilled.
I’m waiting for three things right now. The first thing involves my writing career–I’m waiting to hear news about a manuscript, good or bad. The second thing is none of your business. The third thing involves the sale of some property, because maintaining two properties is going to be the death of us.
Yes, I own two washing machines and two refrigerators, three living rooms and six assorted bedrooms. I’m living the American Dream.
Except it comes with two tax bills, two mortgages, and many hours of strain. I am currently covered in paint from painting trim on windows in a house where I haven’t lived in more than two years. So, yes. The American Dream.
It’s time to sell one of these houses, and also I’d dearly love to hear whether the manuscript my agent submitted is gaining any traction, and also I still can’t tell you about that other thing.
I’m sorry. I just can’t. It’s barely my business, let alone yours.
I started out waiting admirably. I was patient. I was prayerful. A halo followed me around while I waited.
This lasted about two days.
Then I was done with the waiting, except the waiting wasn’t done with me. It’s dragging on, and on, and oooooonnnnnnnnnn. I’m not sure what’s going on with God’s timing. I know for a fact he could POOF and KABOOM and all these things would be cleared up within minutes. He could fix this, but he isn’t. Or, perhaps more accurately, he isn’t fixing things on the schedule I think most efficient.
The thought occurs to me that maybe God isn’t as obsessed with efficiency as I am. Huh.
I can’t be alone in this waiting. I’m sure you’re waiting for something, too. So what should we do while we wait? I have a few ideas:
- Pray. I have been talking God’s ears off the last two months. Seriously. He’s probably gone deaf in the left ear since the middle of February. I vacillate between two positions– on one hand I believe he knows all my needs before I even ask him (Matthew 6:8) so I shouldn’t keep babbling like a pagan (Matthew’s phrasing, not mine– sorry, pagans). On the other hand, Luke 18 tells the story of the persistent widow who harassed a judge until he was so tired of her he gave her what she wanted so because she was driving him crazy. Jesus said this: “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off?” (Luke 18:7) I’ve decided to try both ways willy nilly– some days I pray with fervor and passion and other days I’m more like, “Hey, God. I know you know this, but I’ve got these things…” once in the morning and then I leave Him alone. I’ll let you know how they work out.
- Find something else to do. Just because we’re waiting for big things to develop it doesn’t mean we don’t still have things in play. Right now I can parent my kids well and take good care of my husband because that’s a huge part of my calling. I could clean the bathtub because hygiene is still important. I could go for a walk to get my butt some exercise. I don’t have to sit around doing nothing while God’s plan takes some time.
- Find something else to think about. Even while I’m doing all those other things, my brain keeps playing through possible anxious scenarios on an endless repeat. It’s exhausting! Sometimes I have to actively choose to give my mind something else to play with. “Here. Here’s a nice meaty novel, two stupid movies, and an Italian dictionary. Go play somewhere else.”
What about you? What do you do while you wait for God? If you’re bored you can come over and help me paint the trim on my other house. I have the upper floors to do still. Should be a wild time!