“Wait” is my one-word for 2022. I confess, for most of this year I have not been waiting well. I’ve wanted to wait better. Really. But an examination of why I haven’t been waiting well yielded the realization that my focus was on the wrong word. In a previous post, How Do You Wait?, I paired waiting with a variety of qualifiers: impatiently, patiently, reluctantly, expectantly, enviously, and contentedly. But I’ve come to understand that one key description was missing.
Words I never would have thought to combine: waiting joyfully. And yet . . .
The past four years have been a season of extreme change in my life. Changes requiring adjustments, the surrender of plans, and, yes, waiting. As I prepared for even more changes in the next year or two, I said I trusted God and His timing. I rationalized all my plans and preparations as being wise during this time of waiting.
Plans and preparations are good. Proverbs 24:27 cautions us to prepare before we build. Luke 14:28 reminds us to count the cost before we take action. So I prepared and planned and prepared some more.
But I didn’t do it joyfully. In fact, I sensed growing resentment when waiting on God did not fit my timetable. My timetable had become my idol. I worked so hard to bring my plans to fruition that I forgot that my plans weren’t necessarily God’s plans for me.
So this past summer, I purposed to not just wait, but to wait joyfully. To wait with the same joyful anticipation that I have while waiting for the curtain to open on a Broadway stage. To view delays and obstacles as God’s welcome guidance in keeping me on His timetable. The result has been greater peace and intimacy as I trust Him.
Waiting joyfully is not easy. It requires constantly reminding myself that trusting God is not limited to merely verbal professions. Rather, trusting God is true in my life when words translate into attitudes and actions. I can be joyful about obstacles and delays, knowing that my heavenly Father is always at work for my ultimate good and His eternal glory.
Does God have you in His waiting room today? What might be preventing you from waiting joyfully?