Are you in a place right now where you have a dream? A hope? A stirring? Or maybe you know beyond the shadow of a doubt to what you have been called, but it’s not happening according to the timeline you have planned?
It’s that place of limbo.
And it stinks!
Waiting for the Job, Spouse, Child, Ministry, Home, Paycheck, Healing, Reconciliation, etc.
We’ve all been there. I remember waiting during our adoption process and the continued waiting for the healing of our child. Now I wait right here in this blog space. In this passion for writing about Him and to encourage others. But, I am in a season of life where my working hours are very limited and inconsistent. Life feels a bit chaotic and sometimes I allow the thought of giving up on this dream to cross my mind.
So, what do we do when life isn’t happening according to our timeliness? Do we give up? Get miserable? Get stuck? Do we try to hurry God?
No, friends, that’s not what we should do!
I’m reminded of a time when the disciples had only five loaves of bread and two fish to feed five thousand people. Jesus showed them that if they give what they have, be it little or great, He will do the rest.
As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns. Jesus saw the huge crowd as he stepped from the boat, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.
That evening the disciples came to him and said, “This is a remote place, and it’s already getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go to the villages and buy food for themselves.”
But Jesus said, “That isn’t necessary—you feed them.”
“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish!” they answered.
“Bring them here,” he said. Then he told the people to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he gave the bread to the disciples, who distributed it to the people. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers. About 5,000 men were fed that day, in addition to all the women and children! –Matthew 14:13-21 NLT
I don’t have food for the 5000 right now. All I have is five loaves of bread and two fish.
Sometimes I get anxious about what I have to give. I fret. I get emotional. Ultimately, I find myself extremely frustrated.
But the truth of the matter is that I need Jesus to make my offering “enough”. It’s not about me running back out to the water to catch more fish, or me staying up all hours of the night making sure there is just enough there. It’s not about working myself into the ground. Jesus said, “Bring them here.”
Bring what you have to offer to Me and I will fulfill the need.
Yes. He has placed a call on each of our lives. He has given us hopes, dreams, and responsibilities. But we cannot confuse our roles. We need Jesus. We need to listen and to obey while giving the best of what we have to give. Then we trust Him to do the rest. In His way and in His time.
For me, that may mean I don’t have the answers for the healing right now. And it may mean the book I’m writing will come later rather than sooner.
But that’s okay, because if I say I trust God then I say I trust His timing as well. Surrendering that control is tough. Living in a way to not hurry God is tough. But if we make purposeful choices each day to surrender our best to Him, we can learn to wait well.
Below are 7 strategies I intentionally use to help myself not hurry God. I hope they help you, too!
Seven Ways to Not Hurry God
- Pray. Thank God for the work He is doing in You and will continue to do. Praise Him for the writing of perfect stories. For His perfect timing. Share with Him the burdens on your heart. Cry out for what aches. Ask Him to be your strength, your wisdom, your guidance, your joy. Be bold. Ask Him for all that you need, but surrender to Him accepting that it be His will that is done.
- Keep encouraging scripture at the forefront of your mind. Here is a list of great verses while you wait.
- Remember that all we have belongs to God. Including our bodies and our minds. It is on loan to us from a dear Friend. How will we treat it? Abuse it? Wear it out? No. How we use what He gives us matters!
- Trust Him with what He gives us and what He takes away.
- Choose joy. God provides us moments to treasure along the journey. Some are incredibly small and some are great big. Be looking for each one. Acknowledge them and embrace them.
- Live each moment fully. Living doesn’t have to wait until the goal is accomplished. Don’t find yourself saying, “I’ll be happy when _______.” Be happy now. In spite of your circumstances.
- Focus on God instead of circumstances. If we focus on the moves He is making rather than the condition of our circumstances, we will see progress and we will see Him. Focusing on our circumstances keeps us stuck in negativity. It is a mind shift that makes all the difference while we wait.
We live in a time where, if our minds do not stay fixed on Christ and the good that is Him, we can watch our hope quickly fade away. We all need reminders and we all need encouragement to keep us focused on Him. And, in turn, keep our hope alive.