How to wait

We all know what it’s like to wait – and sometimes it can be frustrating.

In many cases, there’s not much we can do about it.  If the doctor is late, we have to trust that he will eventually get around to seeing us.

Trust is vital, too, in waiting for God.  But I am learning that there are good ways – and poor ways – of waiting for the Lord.

If I’m waiting for the doctor to see me, I can read a book or solve a problem I have been wrestling with or – even better – pray.

I can make good use of my time, too, if I’m waiting for God to deal with an issue in my life.

As I have just mentioned, I must begin by trusting that God knows what he is doing and is working on my problem.  I must believe that he wants the best for me – that’s what the Bible says.

A good beginning is Psalm 46:10 where God says: “Be still, and know that I am God.”

I must begin by quieting my spirit and drinking in the fact that I am in the presence of God.  Sometimes, I simply stop and focus on the fact that God is with me right now.  I don’t ask anything of him or even ask him to tell me anything.

That can be very calming.  I don’t know what lies ahead, but, whatever it is, it cannot be bigger than God.

The great faith chapter – Hebrews 11 – speaks of men and women who looked forward to the Messiah and died – some horribly – before the highly-anticipated coming of Jesus.  They went to their deaths believing that some day the Messiah would come.

Once I put myself into God’s hands, I can heed the apostle Paul’s wonderful words in Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious about anything, but, in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

That’s excellent advice – particularly good advice for me.  I was born worrying.

For me, the words that stand out in that verse are “with thanksgiving”.  Paul is saying that I must be thankful even in the midst of troubling times.

When I obey those words,  I do find a measure of peace.

I’m human.  I find I need to constantly relearn these lessons when problems – even trivial problems – crop up.

But these lessons from scripture actually work – because they come from the heart of God.

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