What To Do In The Waiting
Waiting is the worst. It goes against the nature of our busy culture, especially if you are a highly motivated and inspired person. Yet this is where many of us sit.
Waiting. It's especially hard when you feel there's a calling on your life, yet doors don't seem to be flying open for you. Or maybe they are, but you don't have peace about taking the opportunities. Even though when you logically think about it they appear to be the way to get to your goal. Maybe you are feeling that you might need to take a step back from what seems like a fantastic opportunity and it doesn't make any sense. Waiting is frustrating and can feel like torture. My hope is to help shift your perspective by the end of this blog because waiting is actually an opportunity to prepare for something even greater. Let's look at King David as an example before I tell you how I've seen this at work in my life.
Even Kings Wait
Sometime between age 10-13 David was anointed, King. K I N G. I never had anything that weird or cool happen to me at that age, but if I did you bet I would have probably been like "where's my crown?!" Maybe part of it is the culture of that time, or maybe David is just way better than me even as a preteen (and that's why he was chosen). But that kid went right back to the fields as a lowly shepherd and appears to have been content waiting for the right time. Although King Saul stays in contact, it is years later when David appears again to defeat Goliath. We read it just two chapters apart, but it wasn't like the next day or week. As we read the Bible, it's important to research the timelines because just like we compare ourselves to others via social media, I think it's easy to misunderstand Biblical hero timelines and compare a summary to our entirety. It's touching the highlights, and we don't truly know what David had to wrestle through to be prepared. What we can see is the evidence.
“Your servant used to keep sheep for his father. And when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb from the flock, I went after him and struck him and delivered it out of his mouth. And if he arose against me, I caught him by his beard and struck him and killed him. Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The Lord who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:34-38
Working in the Waiting Gives Us Confidence
He's not walking into this situation with Goliath under the authority of an anointing given by a prophet. He is walking in the power of having experienced the goodness of God to protect and defend him all those years in the fields. He's working out of his own revelation, not someone else's. You can see the unwavering faith and confidence he has. Guess what, that faith was not cultivated overnight. It was over the course of experiencing God for a few years. I am not saying that your goals and calling won't come to fruition for a few years. The take away is to get into a relationship with God and pursue encounters with him. That's how you prepare and become ready to carry the weight of your purpose.
Training While You Wait
If you walk into the gym with the goal of squatting 200lbs you actually might die trying. It takes time, practice, and dedication to become strong enough to do something like that. It can be done, but never overnight and it can only happen as quickly as you are willing to put the work in. You can't throw the process out of getting to the destination. It was 25 years before David finally became King, but are you more inspired by the things that came from getting there or by it finally happening for him? Romans 5:4-5 tells us why the process is so important to prepare you.
"We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."
What it Looks Like to Wait Now
Here's how I've seen this at work in my own life. Waiting has been where I've set up camp for a while now. I was at the peak of a public speaking career and my goals of being a full-time speaker seemed closer than ever. Then, God called me to a season of rest and to not take an engagement for a year. It was such a difficult decision and my life looks completely different now. I have a full-time job and haven't been asked to speak in what feels like forever.
At first, the pain of dying to myself was so hard. I felt like I was going to have to shelf my dreams and hope I would see them again and soon. The funny thing is, God never had me shelf them. We talk about them all the time. He has helped me refine and grow them. The season I was dreading is now a season I absolutely love because I know that when it's time for me, it will be under His timing and not dependent on my hustle. I am healthier than ever and stronger in Spirit than ever. I have never been so inspired by the Bible and I frequently write sermons in anticipation for the future.
During this season I have especially learned the power of praise and worship. On my hard day's that's what I do. I worship and celebrate the future because it shifts my feelings to the truth. My bad attitude to faith. The middle isn't the most fun, but it's where the meat of our stories come from. May you learn to wait well and make the most out of it.
Lexie Smith is a graduate and guest trainer of Elevate. She received a BA in Psychology from Lee University and currently resides in Nashville, TN as an active member of The Belonging Co. Church and Marketing Coordinator at Dave Ramsey Solutions.