I was amazed at how prepping a house in order to sell it could feel like an intense, emotional workout. I mean, you have to pick up all kid and dog paraphernalia. Clean everything. Light the candles. Turn on every light. Turn the air conditioning down. Turn on the music. Get dog and family out- I’m getting tired just thinking about it again.
However, we had this spot around the corner where we could wait and pray. And how desperately I would pray for it to be the last showing. We were so ready to move on to the next house, ready for the next season.
That spot and I have many memories:
Books read. Music listened to. Phone calls made. Nearly running out of gas in the car. Overheating the car. Whiney kids. Whiney dog. Whiney mom. Sitting without a car in the rain. Hungry kids. Hungry mom. Too much fast food. Getting the cops called on me…seriously!
So THIS was God’s plan? The (often times torturous) waiting. It was reminiscent of other times of waiting… Waiting for a spouse. Waiting for a baby. Waiting for a paycheck. Waiting for healing, for restoration of friendships, for sin desires to dissipate, for forgiveness, for opportunities, for God to speak.
You know what I found? It’s easiest to doubt in these seasons. To wonder where God is. To doubt His goodness and His plan. If I’m completely honest, it’s easiest for me to hold God at an arm’s length during these seasons. I can verge on the edge of anger, discontentment, discouragement, despair and depression. And yet, while I’m waiting for my circumstances to change, I am waiting for more. Waiting for more in me. Waiting for me to become more like Jesus. And this isn’t a passive-I-can’t-do-anything-about-it waiting. It is an active waiting. As much as I would rather be doing, waiting is about being.
The being is the doing.
What is being? It’s learning to be still. To quiet my wrestling. To grow the parts of me that remain hidden in busyness. The waiting allows me to replace my to-do list with God’s. His to-do list is much different than mine.
God’s to-do list is the fruit of the Spirit: Unconditional love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindheartedness. Goodness. Faithfulness. Gentleness. Self Control. (Galatians 5:22-23)
It is during the waiting that we must slow down. It forces us to recognize those areas we may lack. When I am waiting in the carline at my children’s school…what is my reaction when someone cuts the line? Does it reflect Jesus? When I am waiting for the deposit to clear in my bank account…what is the condition of my heart? Am I joyful? As I waited for the doctor’s prognosis…did I have peace beyond all understanding? How about when I am waiting for an apology…am I displaying unconditional love? Patience? Or when I am waiting for my little guy to find his lost shoe for the gazillionth time in one week…am I showing gentleness and self-control?
God’s timing is perfect and every single detail is in His hand. So do I trust that He is at work when I am not seeing movement around me? It’s during these times that He desires movement within me.
No time is ever wasted with Him. He has a plan for every moment. The challenge is to surrender our moments to His and let Him do His work- whether in circumstances or in soul.