Waiting is not my forte. Can you relate?
Over the last few years I've been asking God to uproot a sense of hurry in my spirit and replace that with patience. Here's the thing: When you ask God something like that, He provides plenty of opportunities to strengthen your patience muscles—long lines in security, long lines at Starbucks, long lines in the grocery store and postponement of projects you're waiting to hear about. Worse yet is waiting for doctor reports from a friend who's coming out of surgery, or for the salvation or healing of a loved one. In those moments, when I feel the familiar angst of hurry rising in me, the Holy Spirit whispers, "Remember, Becky, you asked me to develop patience in you. I'm giving you the perfect opportunity to practice."
As I've been thinking about all this, I returned to one of my favorite waiting passages: Psalm 37. Tucked within David's profound words are tips to help you wait without going crazy. I'm guessing you need these tips as much as I do. I pray they bless and encourage your impatient heart as they have mine.
3 Tips to Help You Wait Without Going Crazy
Build up your trust bank.
"Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and practice faithfulness" (Ps. 37:3).
How do you do this? Make deposits in your faith account. One practical way to do this is to choose one Scripture to center your mind on while you're waiting. Shift your focus from waiting and the anxiety of not knowing to the words of the verse and the truth it teaches. Similarly, another way to build your trust account is to praise God for His character while you wait. The next time the drive-thru is backed up at Starbucks and you're in a hurry, shift your focus to praising God for His character traits. All of a sudden, you'll realize it's your turn. You've become so consumed with Jesus that you didn't even realized the line was moving.
Slow down by creating moments each day to simply delight in Jesus.
"Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart" (Ps. 37:4).
You might not be reading Scripture or singing a hymn, but maybe you look out the window and catch the beauty of a sunset, or you take a walk and drink in the beauty of the flowers or you simply sit in silence and tell God how much you love Him. As you slow down and practice pausing to breathe, you'll become more aware of God's presence. So often, it's our hurry that keeps us from enjoying the presence of Christ. At times, I pray something like this: Lord Jesus, I sense Your presence here with me; rather than speeding up this moment, I want time to stand still so I can enjoy this moment a little longer. Teach me to pause throughout this day to simply enjoy You!
Write out your prayers and let go of your worries (Ps. 37:5).
Commit your way to the Lord; trust also in Him, and He will bring it to pass (Ps. 37:5).
I don't know about you, but sometimes I have a million worries. My worries are amplified when I am waiting. In those moments, when I feel pummeled by worry, I stop. I write out my prayers and give over every worry to the Lord. By writing out my prayers, I have tangible evidence that I've given that worry or concern to Jesus. He is more than able to handle every concern in my heart. He will take the burden that's crushing me and begin to work in ways I can't even see as I commit it to Him. When the worry threatens again, I open my journal and see the prayer I've written; I remind myself that I've already given that concern to Jesus and He is already working on that situation. Then my heart finds rest.
Friend, the truth is that waiting is likely never to get easier, but I believe we can wait without going completely crazy.
Becky Harling, an author, certified speaker, leadership coach and trainer with the John Maxwell Team, is an energetic and motivational international speaker inspiring audiences to overcome their greatest life challenges and reach their full God-given potential. Her most recent book is How to Listen So People Will Talk. Her husband, Steve Harling, is the president of Reach Beyond, a nonprofit organization seeking to be the voice and hands of Jesus around the world. Connect with Becky at beckyharling.com, Facebook or Twitter.
This article originally appeared at beckyharling.com.
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