We keep telling ourselves it’s a “season of life”—waiting on God for so many things and feeling as though we are stuck and making no progress toward anything.
There is a new baby coming, but we are waiting. We face another move and major life upheaval in a little over a year, but have no idea where or what we will be doing—and so we wait. We would like to be more involved in ministry outside our home, but our own little ones need our love and teaching right in our home…more waiting. And even when we are no longer waiting for these things, I am sure God will have us waiting on him for more.
When we know God is sovereign over all things and even trust that his plan is for our good, why is it still so hard to wait?
I think it’s because waiting feels unproductive. I like to be doing things; checking things off my mental list. I have lots of ideas and plans, when those may be the very things God wants to free me from so that I can pursue him.
What God showed me this week (and I will probably have to continue learning for the rest of my life) is that waiting is not unproductive. Tripp (in Broken-Down House) says that we tend to think of waiting like sitting in a doctor’s office, stuck and bored, until we are forced to flip through the old magazines to pass the time. But we should not understand waiting on the Lord in this way.
“The sort of waiting which we are called to as Christians is not inactivity. It is very positive, purposeful, and spiritual. To be called to wait is to be called to the activity of remembering: remembering who I am and who God is.” (Paul David Tripp)
Seeking God during the wait gives us purpose and activity until God is ready to move forward.
My restless energy and desire to be more productive are not wrong; they just need to be redirected toward seeking the Lord and remembering my identity as one saved by Christ.
Admittedly, this proves to be much more difficult during pregnancy (and probably other times of trial as well). At other times, I have enjoyed waking early to spend time reading and praying before many small children need my attention. But my pregnant body violently protests early rising when it is trying to grow a baby.
Various pregnancy and medical websites assure me it’s normal to feel like I have lost several IQ points, but not being able to think as clearly or make connections as quickly also affects my spiritual growth. I crave something of substance to read, but my brain just won’t keep up right now.
So how do I actively pursue the Lord with no energy and somewhat limited brain power?
First, I need to obey what I already know. For example, Romans 12:12 says “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Those are all things I can do without physical energy and without concentrated study. There is still effort on my part, but the strength to follow through comes from the Holy Spirit.
Second, I need to serve in the capacity that I am able. Serving others takes the focus off of me. I haven’t left the house much during this pregnancy and I am not able to serve others outside this home, but I have 5 little people around me all day that need to know who God is and what he has done for them. I may be stuck sitting on the couch, but I can still teach and encourage my children to love Jesus more.
Third, I need to gain what I can from small things. I may not be able to read some of the theology books I am craving or memorize scripture easily right now, but I do hear or read truth from scripture daily. It may be a simple as the children’s devotional book or verse I see written on my journal cover, but God can still use those thoughts to encourage me. Sometimes meditating on a short phrase of scripture throughout the day can really allow it to sink in more deeply.
Finally, I need use my creativity in different ways. While I don’t have much intellectual or physical energy, my creative energy is still alive and well. When I wanted to be writing what God was teaching me but the words wouldn’t flow, I started drawing. I found some inspiration for scripture art journaling and began writing out verses in different lettering. Making scripture into art helped my brain to soak it in and remember it in a way that I haven’t been able to.
I don’t have to feel stuck in the waiting. There are active things I can do to use my time wisely while the Lord is continuing to carry out his plan in my life. I am praying that God will use it to encourage you in your wait as well.
Praying that we all find ways to actively remember who we are and who God is while we wait for his plan to unfold in our lives.
Linking with Lydia’s “Mindful Mothering Mondays.”