Do you ever feel like you spend your whole life just waiting for your life to begin?
It feels like I’m in seasons of waiting far longer than I’m ever in a season of fulfillment. I’m always anxiously awaiting for tomorrow’s dreams to come to pass.
I can’t wait to finish grad school and “really start my life.”
I can’t wait to develop my giftings and skills to see what God will do with them.
But, really, I can wait. Most of our lives is spent in a season of waiting.
I think about Abraham and he waited 25 years before God’s promise was fulfilled. That is a really long time. What about all of that time in between?
As I ponder the amount of time I spend waiting, I realize that I need to do it better. Really, what I need to do is adjust the way I view these moments. Because they’re not wasted moments. Or at least they don’t have to be.
Here are a few ways I am trying to wait well.
1. Be comfortable with waiting.
He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.
It’s only in Jesus that all things are held together, not the hopes of a new season.
The idea that Jesus is before all things, in all things, and the one holding all things together may seem disengaged from our everyday experiences. But it’s far more connected than we realize. It is Him who is in the midst of everything. He is the one orchestrating tomorrow, but also the waiting of today.
To experience comfort in the waiting in today is only possible when you see that Jesus is with you today. And He will be tomorrow.
That’s the only way to find contentment in the things that you have yet to see. He is in the daily routine of work, in the multiple diapers being changed a day, in the homework assignments being turned in only to file them away and never see them again.
I have a hard time waiting because it doesn’t seem very exciting. Oftentimes, I am itching to just move on with things already. But, if I’m being honest, it is in the period of waiting that we learn the most.
David was promised to be King at the age of fifteen and it didn’t happen until he was thirty. If you read through the story of David before he was king it is easy to see how that was preparing him for the promise of God to be fulfilled.
I have to learn how to be comfortable waiting, because that is right where God has me. There is nothing He does without intention or purpose.
2. Place your hope in Jesus, not in the next season.
When I was in middle school, we would drive by the high school I would later attend. And I would always daydream about how great life would be when I got there. Then I got to high school and dreamt about how freeing it would be to be in college. Now, I’m in grad school daydreaming about life after graduation. Then I become a little terrified because that most naturally leads to having children.
I don’t know if any of you are like me. But if you are, then you have big dreams for the next phase of life. And that phase always seems far more exciting than the current one. I did this when I was engaged. All I could think about was how amazing it would be to get married.
The older I get, the more I realize that I have a hard time living life for today. I get so caught up in the excitement of tomorrow that I just want today to be over with.
To have big dreams is healthy. It’s even something God wants us to have. But these dreams of tomorrow shouldn’t come at the expense of today.
What gets you up in the morning should not be longing for the glory of the day when your dreams are fulfilled, but the reality that Jesus is in your daily life. If we live the current day as a plan of God being fulfilled, then the value of the current day is far greater.
I do not have to view the day after graduation as the coming day of glory or as the day my life will begin. Instead, I can view my days in class and the years I have been working on my education as the unraveling of Jesus writing His story through me.
Having a different view of today will allow me to enjoy more than the life that lay ahead of me, but also the life I am currently living.
3. Pray Actively.
As simple and no brainer as it sounds–pray. When you are sitting at a job wondering how this will ever move you towards the glory you imagine for tomorrow, stop and pray. I’ve really tried to make this a habit in my life.
A few years ago, I left a job–a job where I was in a position of leadership and making decent money–because of ethical issues. And the only job I could find was part-time as a receptionist. It made no sense to me, but it became very clear that I was supposed to stay.
Fast forward three years and I am in a new position that allows me to develop my writing skills and other strengths I didn’t know I had.
It is easy to look back over the last three years and see how God orchestrated this large transition in my life. But, in the midst of my first year, I really struggled trying to figure out what God was doing. I work for a wonderful ministry, but I couldn’t see how God could move me from a position of leadership to being a part-time receptionist.
It was then that I decided whether it made sense or not didn’t matter. I would pray.
I wanted God’s will in my life more than I wanted things to be laid out on a linear timeline. There were many times in my first year when I wanted to apply for another job, but every time I prayed, I knew it wasn’t what I was supposed to do. I could have never imagined the way God would allow me to be used in the ministry I work at.
I am not good at waiting. And it’s not because I am impatient. I have a hard time waiting because the value I place on today is distorted.
Most of our lives are spent in the interim. And that’s usually a hard place to be. What we really need is for our eyes to be refocused.
We need to view our days the way Jesus sees them. With value. With intention. With purpose.