On becoming a good waiter
“What are you waiting for?” It’s a question we tend to ask of others in our moments of impatience.
You are in the car behind – the one waiting after the light has turned green.
There is a child trying to build up the courage to take her first jump off the high dive, and the question comes from the one behind – the experienced and eager one.
In a circle of Girlfriends recently, waiting was our Bible study topic. We approached it from many directions. “How did you learn to wait as a child?” “Are you naturally patient or impatient?” “Do we wait for God, or is He waiting for us?” What do you do when your patience grows thin?” Some just flat out stated: “I hate waiting! I’ve never been good at it.”
In preparation for the study about waiting, I spent some time pondering a familiar verse:
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.”
That’s when I felt the Holy Spirit’s nudge: “Clarice, what are you waiting for?” As in many things of a spiritual nature, it can be easier – and safer – to keep them at arm’s length, to consider them philosophically rather than practically.
But I fought the urge of passivity, and instead paused and thought about what I am currently waiting for. After writing down a few things that came to mind, I took another look at the Lord’s follow-up.
In those places of waiting, He asks me to “be brave and courageous.” That’s an interesting approach to waiting, don’t you think? It doesn’t necessarily require much courage to sit back, I thought to myself. But perhaps while I wait on God to do His part in my waiting situations, maybe He is asking me to do my part. Perhaps there is something I could DO in the forced pause. Thus, the holy nudge, “What are you waiting for?”
I don’t tend to be one who is impatient in traffic, but I have my own rough-edges of waiting moments. And considering what I could be doing in those long, quiet waits, is giving me new purpose and hope.
Adele Calhoun says, “God values what can happen in the long, slow hard of waiting.” I think she is on to something here. If part of the training ground for courage is WAITING, I can see why the Lord slows us down often. Perhaps you’ve discovered as I have that being brave is often – and usually unexpectedly – a part of life.
Pull Up a Chair: Sitting Still
What are you waiting for today? What can you be doing in the pause?