WAITING - TINY SHIFT No.6
Updated: Mar 1
Waiting is the hardest thing for me to do. I grew up with a mom that would get in one line at the grocery store, then send me and my sister to stand in the other line to see which one moved faster. That is how much we don't like to wait.
I joke about her, but I'm just as bad. So the concept of waiting on the Lord was hard for me. I've brought it up several times in the past Tiny Shift's posts. It revolves around every prayer I used to pray. The ability to pray once and forget about it, or not let it bother me, is personally impossible.
"God take this away" was a frequent cry. Then I would wait. And wait and wait. For years this was my way of life with God. I found myself always praying, and always waiting with fingers annoyingly tapping in my head, posing the question "When exactly will this be happening?" It is not a fun way to live.
Sometimes it wore me down and brought me to depression, other times it consumed my time and energy as I planned ways I could remedy the situation 'while I waited'. I was always on the look out to see how God was going to solve my problem, or posing solutions of my own to him (like I'd get extra credit if he picked my way).
Tiny Shift #6:
In one recent season of waiting it was brought to my attention:
Dreaming up possible solutions was a way to hold onto control.
God can't take away something we are holding on to subconsciously/consciously.
You can not experience God's peace if you are holding on to the issue you are waiting for him to answer.
As I mentioned above, I realized the time and energy I wasted constantly thinking over the issue I had asked God to take away. Whether it was rehashing the event that started the issue in my head, over and over again, or dreaming/planning ways I could resolve it. They were both ways for me to hold on to the issue and feel like I was in control.
I am also really good at convincing myself God has 'approved' my proposed solution by referencing Bible verses that back up my actions. I can even convince other believers that it is a good idea based on my references and passion for my answer to the issue.
But all this is work in vain because it is all my ideas. It stops becoming my idea when I give the issue over to God in prayer. Personally I like to keep my hands open during these prayers as a physical representation of me giving it to God. This act of giving solidifies my intention to let go and admits to God that I am powerless in the situation. I then give him back control of my life.
After I have given over to God what was always his to begin with, then I ask for his peace through the Holy Spirit within me. This is important to experience God's peace in the waiting. The peace he provides dwells deep within me.
It is not something that slows down everything going on around me, or speeds up God's timing. It will also not change your life's circumstances immediately. But now you will be experiencing 'waiting on the Lord', the way God intended - with his peace. He does not want us to only experience worry, sadness, anxiety or fear while we wait on him. He wants us to rest in the peace he provides through the Holy Spirit working within you. You just have to ask for it.
When I give up my issue to God, give him control and ask for his peace - the temptation to take back control, to start planning possible solutions, or overthink the whole thing always comes back. And sometimes I fall back into my old pattern. But when I do fall back into old patterns God's deep peace is lost. My heart starts racing or I start waking up at 3 AM again with it consuming my thoughts. That is my 'red flag' that I have taken back control and need to quickly turn back to God.
The first few times I turned back to God, it was hard. It seemed easier to go back to my 'norm'. Going back to my old behavior patterns was like being wrapped in a warm blanket - something that felt comfortable because I had been doing it this way for so long.
But if you stay under that blanket for too long after experiencing God's peace in your life, God will reveal the full weight of that 'warm and cozy' blanket. It becomes a burden more than a safe place. You can go back to your old ways, but it is harder to stay there now that you've experienced the freedom that comes through resting in God's peace, resting in the knowledge that he is in control - not you.
Now, after carrying God's peace throughout my day for over a year, it is worry/fear/anxiety that feels uncomfortable. I run back to God the second I realize I have turned away from him and taken back control. I miss his peace in my life when it is absent.
When you choose to start your journey, I pray this post and these 'take action' steps will give you a good place to start experiencing God's peace in your life every single day.
Pray for God to change your heart.
Give your issue, that prayer you are waiting on God to answer, over to God.
Give him back control of your life.
Ask for his peace while you wait on his timing.
Ask the Holy Spirit to continue working within you and through you.
Notice how you feel. Is there a quiet peace within you that wasn't there a few days ago?
When you take control again, pray God will reveal this to you quickly.
Then repeat 1-6. Don't feel bad that you keep going back to your old patterns, God knows our heart and you now have a heart for him. You want to change, that mixed with the Holy Spirit's work is all you need!