I'm incredibly impatient. I hate waiting at red lights, getting stuck behind slow-pokes in the left lane, waiting for the bread to rise or the clothes in the dryer to finish their cycle. I want the class to end, the food to cook and the leaves to change. I never seem to be satisfied, always wanting to get to the next part, what I perceive to be 'the better part'. I always want to be in the next season.
But God is in no hurry, at least not in my life. We have choices to make in the midst of the time from when our prayer goes up to the fulfillment of receiving the answer. And sometimes the wait is long. But it's in the waiting that the test comes and the test is how we handle the wait.
When our children are babies we're eager to see them walk. The next milestone? Please Lord, help them potty-train! Then it's that first day of school, learning to read, taking their driver's test and on and on. We want to skip past the waiting and get to the next thing.
But that's not how it works. Because God wants to teach us this:
Waiting trains us.
- In patience
- In appreciation
- In thankfulness
Our house is on the market here in Georgia and our dream is to move to Nashville to be close to our daughter, her husband and our two grand children. I can almost taste it I want to move so badly! But so far, nothing, no bites, no movement, hardly any showings, just a whole lot of waiting. I dream about what life will be like when we move....the house we'll buy, the friends we'll make, the church we'll attend.
In fact, I get so focused on the future I'm thoroughly frustrated by the present. I find it hard to be thankful and easy to get annoyed because my house isn't selling quickly enough.
But if things aren't changing or moving fast enough there's a reason.
I'm learning to press in to where I am and not worry so much about where I'm going. There's a good chance I'll never have a back porch quite as perfect and secluded as I do now. I'll never be so unencumbered with obligations and commitments, family needs and social events as I am right now. Because once we move life will change. My job? Enjoy what's in my hand now. Find satisfaction in today.
Do you find it hard to wait...to be still...to do nothing? Waiting forces us to be in the moment because there's nothing we can do to make our situation change more quickly.
We experience a vast array of seasons over a lifetime. Seasons of fullness or loss, of purpose or emptiness, silent or noisy ones, seasons of mourning or dancing. They come and they go but I've learned it's fruitless to fight the season I'm in. I can no more change it than I can make an icy winter melt into spring.
Seasons signal their end as we sense hints of the next one's arrival like a bright crocus peeking it's head through the snow or a scarlet leaf falling at our feet in the heat of summer. We know it's coming we just aren't fully in it yet.
I've battled the seasons in my life and I'm sure you have too. Here's what I've learned as I've pressed through and let the season have it's way.
- Enjoy the now. By their very nature, seasons are fleeting, they come and then they're gone. Enjoy what you can in the current one.
- You are learning lessons, no matter what it looks like, even if it's a waiting season. Especially if it's a waiting season. God's trying to teach you something in the delay. Press in and He will speak. Maybe He's wanting you to want Him more than the thing you're waiting for. Maybe.
- Be thankful for the season you're in. Even the hard ones. Hard ones come and we don't always understand but God has a purpose in your pain. Those are the hardest as we learn that sometimes God allows in His wisdom what He could prevent with His power.
- The waiting is a test. We can press in and learn or push against it and be frustrated.
- God isn't in a hurry. The more you push against the current season the longer it will likely last.
- The training is in the waiting. Sometimes, like it says in Psalm 23, God makes us lie down.
- Don't rush past the now moments. As much as you want your baby to reach the next milestone, there's much to appreciate in this season. Those baby snuggles will disappear when she's five so enjoy the snuggles now (I know, there's dirty diapers too but that's part of the training) before they're gone.
- Find the blessing in today. Whatever He's teaching you, you'll take it into the next season. It all has a point because ultimately He's making you more like Him.
- Learn to wait quietly. To be still and know...Take time away from the computer/cell phone/social media and connect with those around you. Real life, face to face. Take time in prayer too.
- Let the season you're in season you. And share what you're learning. You'd be surprised to learn how many of your friends are going through the same challenges.
Change can be unsettling and not all seasons are fun or easy or guaranteed to bring happiness. But difficult seasons have taught me this truth: God isn't after our happiness but our highest good.
One thing I guarantee about seasons, by their very nature they WILL change. So, hang in there!
How can I pray for you as you navigate your current season?