There are three strategies which help us wait on the Lord. 1. Stop suggesting to God, 2. Ask for strength/peace, 3. Accept God’s outcome. If we practice these three skills, we will have a much less stressful life!
“I wait for the Lord; my soul waits, and in His word I do hope.” Psalm 130:5
My husband likes to tease me about being God’s Consultant. He says my business card reads, Theresa Siller, God Advisor. Boy am I ever guilty of this foolish practice. Sometimes I think I am only in Kindergarten when it comes to patient waiting on the Lord. I want results now. I want my new career success now. I want answers now.
I tell God how to do things. I give Him a recipe! This is preposterous! Am I so arrogant to believe that, as a mere creature, I am wiser than the Almighty? Sadly, yep.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted on the Earth.” Psalm 46:10
I have a wonderful friend and mentor who firmly believes events happen in Divine Order. Whoa. You mean I don’t control all this stuff? Doesn’t God need my nudges?
Wouldn’t my increased trust in God’s omnipotent design decrease my anxiety? “Perfect love casts out all fear.” 1 John 4:18 We need to do the best footwork we can. The rest is up to Him. Wonder when I’ll graduate to more effective waiting on the Lord? What a quest.
Let Go and Let God. I must repeat this slogan to myself multiple times a day.
“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Putting our Creator’s Plan first is healthier, indeed.
Ask for Strength/Peace Instead
I’m trying to pray differently lately. Instead of “Please give me this or that”, I say, “Please give me Your strength and peace, to endure whatever comes my way.” What a pivot for me! I also do this for others who have asked me to pray for them. All of us have learned that God’s timing isn’t our own. It can be instant (yay)! –or might take months or years.
Deep breaths. I find it helpful to inhale through my nose and hold for ten seconds, then exhale through my mouth for ten seconds. This physiologically calms the nervous system, which enables us to think more clearly.
I have met only a few people who can achieve this mental state of total trust. I aspire to it.
“Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain…” 1 Corinthians 15:58
Accept God’s Outcome
Jesus asked God if “This chalice could pass from me”. But resigning Himself to His Father’s will, He said, “Not My will but Thy will be done.” Jesus would not avoid a bloody agony. He had to walk through it for the redemption of all us. He had to conquer sin and death. It was God’s choice, not Jesus’.
What an example of acceptance! I am also in awe of people who have experienced life-shattering accidents and lost limbs. They create lives which inspire others. They are the ones to emulate. I so respect and admire our veterans, too.
Gary Sinise, who played Lieutenant Dan in the movie, Forrest Gump, learned what it was like to be a wounded Veteran, when he acted out all the emotions from “losing both legs”. He played the part so well, he was contacted by wounded warriors to do speaking engagements. Thus His foundation was born. Today it helps thousands of Veterans and First Responders and their families. Gary plays concerts for our service men and women, and arranges fun events to boost morale.
God often does us one better than what we ask. When our family had our eye on a certain house back in 1999, and it fell through, we were severely disappointed. Come to find out twenty-four years later, that area flooded so badly it has taken more than a year to restore it. Phew. Dodged that bullet!
God knows the end from the beginning, as He is the alpha and the omega. Maybe He has to knock me over the head for me to believe that!
I will conclude with The Wesley Covenant Prayer, since it embodies all three strategies for waiting, in this article: Stop suggesting, ask for strength/peace, and accept the outcome.
“I am no longer my own, but thine. Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt. Put me to doing, put me to suffering. Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee. Let me be exalted for thee or brought low for thee. Let me be full, let me be empty. Let me have things, let me have nothing.
“I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal. And now, O glorious and blessed God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, thou art mine and I am thine. So be it.
“And the covenant which I have made on Earth, let it be ratified in Heaven. Amen.”
Now, practicing this prayer is the PhD of trust. Why not aim high?