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Hurry Up and Wait

I’m not good at waiting, frankly. I don’t like to wait. I’m a child of our microwave society – I want it hot, fast and now! I’m that person that gets impatient at the drive-through if I have to wait more than 30 seconds or so to get my food. And if I’m asked to pull aside so they can bring me my items because they’re not quite ready yet, watch out! I guarantee you I’m feeling pretty ugly about it.

Why do I do that? When I stop and think about it, which I inevitably do, I realize that if I was home cutting up those potatoes, making that hamburger patty, or worse yet processing chicken parts into shapes to be breaded and deep fried, I’d be waiting on me for a very long time! Those 2-3 minutes I had to wait would morph into 20-30 minutes easily. Geez, I would even have to clean up the kitchen afterwards! So I should be grateful, but instead I’m this angry, impatient creature who wants, wants, wants and all on my timing.

The thing is, when I just go it on my own I find my solutions are never as thorough, never as effective as God’s. It’s not that I’m ineffective at making good decisions. God gave me a brain to use and He expects me to use it! And I do. But there are times when I know God is asking me to lean into Him a bit deeper in a specific situation, where I don’t sense Him telling me to move forward, but I move forward anyway.

So how do I stop and slow down to connect with God? Maybe more importantly, why should I bother if I don’t see the benefits right away? Fair questions! Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him.” God will work through whatever I’m going through to help me grow, even the ugly things. But I’ve also learned God shows up in ways I don’t always understand, recognize or appreciate initially. It may not happen in my timing or in the way I think it should, but that doesn’t change the fact He’s actively working for my good. Sometimes the best think I can do is to step back and remember God really is in control even when I can’t see it.

In 2 Timothy 2:13 it says, “If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot disown Himself.” Even when I’m shut down, closed up, feeling exposed and feeling completely alone, God is by my side waiting for me to notice Him. He is already reaching out to help whether I sense it or not. Sometimes the best thing to do is simply stop the craziness, stop the frenetic pace, look up from the ashes and acknowledge the Lord is standing right there. Beside me. Beside you.

So I remind myself – slow down. Make time to connect. It doesn’t have to be this big, formal thing. It can be as I’m driving, while showering, over morning coffee, at the gym—literally anytime and anywhere! Simply putting it before God everyday and asking for him to guide and help is a great start. As He reminds me in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” (NIV)

For further thought: There is a quote I love that really helps me with this: “[God] may be approaching our consciousness from behind, coming forward through the regions of our darkness into our light, long before we begin to be aware that he is answering our request – has answered it and is visiting His child.” What do you think?

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