Impatience seems to be the beginning of anxiety, right? Waiting for God’s guidance and timing is not easy, especially when we have all kinds of wild thoughts racing through our mind. What are the next steps God wants me to take? Should I wait or proceed? How can I be sure I am not missing God’s guidance?
This morning I stumbled upon this Dietrich Bonhoeffer quote: “Waiting is an art that our impatient age has forgotten. It wants to break open the ripe fruit when it has hardly finished planting the shoot. But all too often the greedy eyes are only deceived; the fruit that seemed so precious is still green on the inside, and disrespected hands ungratefully toss aside what has so disappointed them.”
Lord, am I so impatient that I don’t let the fruit ripen?
When I shared the essence of the quote with my husband and noted how awful it’d be to be so impatient that I’d spoil God’s plans, he told me that God can press juice from unripe apples. So true. Even if we do get impatient and go before God, he can create something good out of the situation. And even if we wait too long and don’t pick the fruit when it’s time to do so, God can compost the rotten fruit and use that for new growth.
But, Lord, I don’t want mess up your plans. I want your will, your plan, your way.
God’s will is not something utterly complicated (even if it sometimes feels that way). God’s will is for us to be saved and become Christ-like. God’s will for us is to live in a close relationship with him. If we do this, we can be certain God will also guide us in everything else.
There are few practices that can help us to discern God’s will along the way:
1) Practice surrender in slippers. Start your day with God. Lay out everything before God and rest assured God is with you every second of the day. Never leave home without having surrendered your whole life to Jesus!
2) When making decisions consider which choice will make your life more fruitful. God wants to make us more Christ-like and bear lots of fruit. The right choice will bring you peace upon peace. Fruit of the Spirit is a wonderful guidance counselor.
3) Do everything in your power to become more Christ-like. The more you read and savor the Word of God, the readier you are to jump into action when God calls you. The more you pray and learn to listen to God, the easier it is to discern God’s guidance. Saint Paul spend years in preparation after his conversion. Without that time in Arabia he would not have been such a mature leader. Waiting for God’s guidance and timing is hard but so worth it.
We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience. (Romans 8:24-25, PHILLIPS)
What should I do with all my questions and unsolved issues in my heart? I pray and I receive peace upon peace. Because God is bigger than my questions. God knows what he is doing. God knows the right time and the right way. In fact, Jesus is the way. And when we abide in him, we will bear much fruit. In God’s time, in God’s way.
I give all those questions to you.
I give you my restlessness,
I give you my fears and worries.
I give you my heart, my dreams, and desires.
I give you my abilities and my inabilities.
I give you my choices, different opportunities, my imagination.
And I ask you to use me as you please.
Close the wrong doors, open the right ones.
Do all the miracles that need to be done on my behalf.
Prepare me to do whatever you have planned for me to do.
Guide me with your peace.
Give me patience and joy to wait.
Enable me to recognize God’s best for me.
May only your will, your plan, your way happen in my life.
In Jesus’ name,
Q4U: How do you deal with waiting? How do you discern God’s guidance?
Be blessed, my fellow pilgrim, as you follow Christ no matter what it takes!