Waiting is so hard, but you don't have to be idle while doing it

Waiting is so hard, but the good news is that it gets a bit easier as you get older.  You get more patience.  You also realize that a lot of things have a strange way of working themselves out.

You may be in a time of waiting right now.  Many singles who visit this site want to get married and are waiting for that.  Some, on the other hand, are perfectly happy in the single state but are waiting for something like a promotion at work or the chance for a better place to live.

Christians like me have found waiting for God can be extremely hard. As much as we know we shouldn't, we all try to manipulate God into doing what we want.  Not only that, but we want it on our time schedule too, not his.

God probably finds that funny.  He may even get a good laugh when goofs like me don't learn our lesson that waiting is so hard and we're still trying to tell him what to do when we're into our 60s.

Waiting is so hard for important things

Somehow we get the attitude that everything we wait for is a life-or-death situation.  Well, in some cases it is, of course, but that's not often.  Twice I had to wait for results of biopsies on tumors, and that seemed to take forever.  Both times I got bad news, but hey, I'm still here, so what felt like life and death really wasn't.

When you're young, in your 20s or 30s, and you're waiting for something important, you may feel as if it's your last chance for happiness.  The truth is that's rarely the case.

Marriage doesn't happen, you don't get a job you wanted.  Surprise! It's not the end of the world.  I should know because those things have happened to me.

We serve a God of second chances.  The good thing to remember is he's in control, he knows what's best for you, and he steers you away from bad situations if you listen to him.  Waiting is so hard if you forget who God is.

At the time some of those "tragedies" happened to me , I didn't feel that way.  I felt God had let me down.  Now, as I'm older and can look back in perspective, I see some of those "tragedies" I suffered were times I turned the corner in my life and avoided a trainload of heartache.

Take it from me.  In most cases you can pick up the pieces and start over.  The one person you thought was perfect for you really wasn't as perfect as you thought at the time.  Neither was that perfect job.

Should we sit and do nothing?

In many Christian circles, you hear a lot about "waiting on God." You're warned, in the scariest terms, that if you step out ahead of him you'll mess things up and get out of his will.

Ministers who say that must not have much faith that a gigantic, all-powerful God can mend our tiny little lives.

No wonder waiting is so hard.  So what is the right mix of you and God?  Should you sit like a lump while he does everything?  

Frankly, I'm a little suspicious of preachers who say "God told me this" or "God told me that."  Really?  He doesn't talk that way to me.  He does speak to me through the Bible and through his Commandments. But he doesn't whisper in my ear like those little cartoon angels that used to sit on Bugs Bunny's shoulder.

Pray.  Tell God what your situation is, even though he already knows and knows how it's going to turn out.  Ask him, humbly, for what you want.  And here's the hard part:  Tell him you will accept his will in this, no matter what it is.

Yeah.  I know.  I don't do very well with that part either.  You and I want what we want and we want it right now.  Sooner if possible.

But part of being a Christian is surrendering to God and letting him run your show.  It took me half a lifetime to learn that I can mess it up, but he can't.  I had to learn the hard way that he's smarter than me.  He knows the future and I don't.  He's a better judge of character than I am.  Oh, and did I mention he knows the future?

Throwing out fleeces and acting sensibly

You may recall the Bible story of Gideon, who wanted a sign from God before he'd go ahead. Gideon put a fleece, a wooly sheepskin, out and wanted it to be wet with dew while the ground around it was dry.  That happened, but it didn't convince him, so Gideon asked God to make the fleece dry while the ground around it was wet.

While God put up with Gideon's lack of faith, demanding signs from him is not a good idea.  Besides, God has already given you a sign of his love and concern for you.

It's the Cross.

Waiting is so hard because we don't know what to do while we're waiting.  We're afraid of making a mistake and we're afraid if we do nothing our opportunity will pass by.

Myself, I generally read my Bible, ask God to speak to me through my reading, and ask Jesus to guide me through the Holy Spirit.  I think carefully about consequences, act prudently, then do what I can.

God will do his part.  Sometimes it seems as if he doesn't.  Sometimes what you want doesn't happen.  Understand God did his part to NOT make it happen, sparing you unforeseen heartache.

Here's the takeaway:  God always does his part, but our interpretation may be that he didn't do anything.  When we don't get what we want, God prevented it for a good reason only he may know.

It's hard to accept that, but it's what we have to do.  It's called trusting God.

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