Sunday, January 4, 2009

Waiting and Wondering or Reacting and Regretting

Beginning a new year is a great time to look at life as it is and consider some possibilities of how it could be. It’s easy to put this off and wait until later…but sometimes it seems that much of our life is spent waiting. In a small sense we wait in line for a vanilla latte, we wait for our car to fill up with gas, we wait for the cable guy to show up (between 8 and 12…ha! usually it’s 12:10).

In a bigger sense we wait to meet the man of our dreams, we wait nine months for our baby to be born, we wait for a job promotion or a pay increase. Waiting is a fact of life on earth.

But are you looking at your own life and weighing how much time you’ve spent waiting? Have you waited (maybe too long?) to make a change, chart a new course or accept an unchangeable situation?

The opposite is true as well. Sometimes we jump in and take action without spending much time or thought on the process or likely results. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m hoping some of you will relate to trying to “fix” a situation instead of allowing God or others to take care of it. Acting too quickly can lead to comedic and sometimes tragic results.

In either case there is an antidote and a way to prevent a repeat. Check in with the God. A LOT! Talk to Him, read His word and get confirming wisdom from a spiritually mature friend. It would look something like this:

“Lord, I really hate my job but am grateful to have it. Thank you for provision. Please bring me clarity about when/if I should take any action to change my circumstance.”

•Then consider why God may have you there and the possibilities of making a change.
•Find a Believing buddy and ask for his/her prayers, insight and encouragement.
•Read in your Bible about people who’ve waited on the Lord and others who’ve taken obedient action. (Jesus has done both.)

When we wait on God’s timing, then take deliberate action, the outcome is likely to be refreshment and contentment. I hope your life is filled with intentional waiting while God strengthens you, then fruit-bearing action when the time is right. Your life story is legendary to its author!

Post a comment about changes you've been waiting to make and what's holding you back or about times you've rushed to change without considering the consequences.
Diane Markins


Anonymous said...

Charles Stanley answered your blog this morning in his message.

How to Stay Young and Fruitful All Your Life
Charles F. Stanley

Scripture: Psalm 92:12-15

I. Introduction: The Lord desires that we serve Him for as long as we live. Even in old age, believers have the privilege of obeying God and ministering to other people. So let's consider some attitudes and actions that keep Christians productive and young at heart.

II. What is a godly person like?

A. Psalm 92 compares a righteous person to two trees considered valuable in the Middle East.

The date palm grows about 90 feet tall and produces abundant fruit.
The cedar of Lebanon is resistant to weather and termite damage. This tree was used to build palaces and temples.
B. What else characterizes a godly person?

They "flourish in the courts of our God" (Ps. 92:12). In other words, he or she enjoys a close relationship with the Father.
The person "[yields] fruit in old age" (v. 14). Growing Christians serve the Lord all their days.
"They shall be full of sap and very green" (v. 14). Believers should actively and creatively serve the Lord.
II. How do we stay young and fruitful all our lives?

A. Keep learning. Acquiring new skills or knowledge stimulates our minds. Most importantly, we should continue learning more about God through studying His Word.

B. Keep loving. We are to love the Lord and other people, especially believers (Deut. 6:5: John 3:34). Individuals who are in caring relationships—whether with a spouse, friends, or family—are more likely to stay young at heart.

C. Keep laughing. Laughter relaxes your body and helps release tension. A healthy sense of humor gives us a sense of vitality (Prov. 19:22).

D. Keep leaving. Once you confess a sin or give a burden to the Lord, leave it with Him (1 Peter 5:7). Painful events from the past may come to mind, but don't dwell on them. Those who want to be youthful can't carry around the weight of emotional baggage.

E. Keep longing. Christians should want to reach their potential. So never stop dreaming about what the Lord may want to do through you. Allow yourself to use your imagination while prayerfully determining biblical goals for your life.

F. Keep looking. Watch to see how God is working in you and in the lives of those around you. Read His Word and expect Him to reveal spiritual truth. Pay attention to the voice of the Holy Spirit as He guides you moment by moment.

G. Keep laboring. The pattern God set for the Hebrews was six days of labor and one day of rest (Ex. 20:9). Our Maker designed us to be active. Exercising our bodies—through manual labor and other physical activity—keeps them healthy.

H. Keep leaning on your heavenly Father. Turn every burden and worry over to God. Learn to depend more and more on Him. The Christian life is impossible apart from the strength of the Holy Spirit working through us.

I. Keep your language positive. What your mouth speaks, your ear hears, your brain registers, and your body responds. People with a positive, godly attitude and a desire to obey the Lord tend to avoid much of the stress that burdens so many today.

J. Keep listening to the Lord. When you pray, don't do all the talking. Ask the Father to guide your life each day. He knows your hidden abilities and wants to help you reach your potential. Ignore ungodly counsel and choose to follow His wisdom instead.

IV. Conclusion: The Lord desires for us to be fun-loving, life-giving people that others enjoy knowing. We can choose to grow old early or remain youthful all our days. The secret is to listen to God's voice and obey Him in every situation.

Tracy Cavelli Trussell said...

Very good advice! I really enjoyed your thoughts! You are right it is best to wait upon the Lord. The Bible says that when we do this ... we will mount up with wings like eagles and we will run and not grow weary and we will walk and not faint! Bless you!

Diane Markins said...

That verse (Isaiah 40:31) is one of my absolute favorites. It reminds me to ask God to teach me to WAIT...I'm sorta action-oriented!
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