I have been loving my little devotional book ‘Daily Power’ by Craig Groeschel. (He’s the one who made that YouVersion bible app in case you were wondering) This past week though… The devotions have been on waiting. If you have read my blog post ‘Waiting on God: The Ultimate excuse’ or had a couple deep conversations with me, you will know how much that phrase makes me cringe, since I’m usually a very proactive person. Needless to say, this week has been WEIRD. I wanted to just skip ahead but the devotional book is formatted with a specific devotion for everyday of the calendar year, and skipping ahead would make everything confusing. So…. I’ve been patiently waiting…. Talk about ironic.
The more I read, the more I saw points that kinda sort of made sense. Part of that is that in general the more you’re exposed to a concept, the more it is normalized and sounds acceptable. In some ways though, waiting on God makes sense, as I said in my other post on this topic, there is a 1 out of 10 people who say ‘I’m waiting on God’ who I actually understand. Below is a checklist of questions to consider, before you say you’re waiting on God.
1. Are you praying?
In life, whenever we blame something on someone else, I would hope that we’ve had some conversations with that person. God shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat for our problems. If you say you are waiting on God for something, make sure you have those conversations with Him. Be willing to accept that he has a different plan, he might say wait, but he also might say move. Having a quiet moment to talk about an issue in prayer may spark an idea you hadn’t thought about before. Let God speak to you in that way. If you are saying you’re waiting on God, make sure you’re letting Him be involved.
2. Have you done your part?
Often times, we use the ‘waiting on God’ time to well… Wait… but I don’t think that’s the way it should be. We should be looking for, and open to opportunities. Be on the constant lookout for things to act on. God shouldn’t have to do it all for you. I talk about this one in depth in my former post on waiting.
3. Is your heart is in the right place?
Maybe the thing you’re waiting for isn’t right for you. Maybe God isn’t going to do something you are waiting and praying that he’ll do. That’s hard to accept. When I was little I prayed for an elderly couple into my teenage years, almost every prayer I prayed included ‘…and please heal (so and so)….’ I wanted the couple to get better, but the facts were they had health problems, and well, they were old. Time went on and they very gradually got worse and worse with all there issues, and they both passed on without getting significantly better before that. I was young, and I was essentially praying for a miracle, I thought my heart was in the right place, but in hindsight, I was projecting this task onto God, expecting that if I prayed hard enough, long enough, he’d do it. That wasn’t the case, and it was their time to go. Sometimes, we just need to accept that God might have a different plan.
Or maybe you need to take more initiative than you are taking. For something like healing a loved one… obviously we can’t do that, but for other things we need to make sure we are open to get involved. Change (usually) doesn’t just happen overnight. Don’t expect God to get your life together for you. Sure, he’s there for you, but you have to be open to him, and put in the work where necessary.
4. When is it patience, and when is it complacence?
Make sure you are preparing for whatever it is you are waiting for, if you are waiting on a new job, make sure to up your resume, apply to jobs, follow up with potential employers, and prepare for your interviews. If you’re waiting for God’s direction as to what you should do next, whether to switch careers, go back to school, etc… Than you should also be seeking guidance, doing your own research and alike. If you feel like you are in a good spot to date or marry, but are waiting for the right one, make sure you are immersing yourself in the spots where you think your ideal match might be, initiate conversations however scary it might be, ask for his or her number, and never call a date a ‘hangout’. Surround yourself with people who can give you guidance and who can encourage you.
5. What does waiting mean to you?
Last but not least, sometimes the timing is just not right. For instance if you feel called to accomplish more than one thing, and it’s impossible to do them both at the same time. Or if you are very young, and still figuring life, maybe now isn’t a good time to date. Maybe you are ‘waiting on God’s timing’. Where the conditions are right sometimes it’s definitely better to wait vs jump into something. Often however, we place our identities in something that will be in the future, and get hung up on it, anxious to get a little older, finish your degree, maybe even waiting for your kids to move out of home. Whatever it is that feels like can’t be rushed, don’t let your time in the ‘in between’ stop you from doing other things that are important. You are almost always going to be in a place where you’re waiting for something. Because of that, we need to be conscious of the present, live our lives, work on our dreams, make that place of waiting count for more than just waiting.
Think about times in your past where you were restless, what helped you the most, and what hindered the change? Am I missing anything, how do you guys feel when you hear someone say ‘I’m waiting on God?’ drop me a line in the comments.
Also, quick note:
The devotional I have now is so amazing. I’ve only been doing it for 6 weeks-ish but I’ve actually started really looking forward to the couple minutes in the morning where I read a brief page and lesson for the day. That and a sweet cup of coffee – I’ve found is a great way to start my day. It really sets the tune, and calms me down as the coffee wakes me up. If you end up getting it, I’d love to compare notes!