There are times when life twists and turns, and we find ourselves in a state of limbo. Do I go right or left? Do I hold still or go back? Do I move forward or lateral?
Rather than finding frustration in these moments, I’ve learned to do several things while I’m waiting to hear from God:
Pray. I do more than just offer a toss-up-in-the-air prayer, hoping God hears as I run out the door and go about my day. I cry out to Him. I spend time alone with Him. These are the moments when I look at my own heart and examine my motivation for seeking Him in this specific situation. Prayer moves me closer to the Lord, and farther away from my own selfish nature.
Pause. Do I trust God’s timing or not? During the pause, I continue on, reading the Bible, going to church, worshiping in song and in spirit. I purpose in my heart to remain in Him and reject the notion that God’s ways are anything less than perfect. In the pause is where I often find His peace, for I’ve ceased struggling within myself and started resting in Him.
Listen. I remain alert, like a doe in the woods, for even the slightest sound. If the Lord speaks, I want to hear and I can’t hear if my mind is filled with the cares of this world. While I can’t put my life on hold, I can purposely keep Him in the center. He may speak through the pastor, the Bible, a song, a friend, or even a child, but He still speaks if I will position myself to listen.
Once I’ve prayed, paused, and listened, then I must be prepared to obey. When God does speak and give me the answers I seek, it is time to follow Him. He will never direct me to a place where He does not go with me.
I’ve also learned one of the most important lessons of all. These times of waiting are not the destination, they are merely the passage to where God is leading me. I can choose to run around in circles, opening and closing doors all day long, or I can linger in His presence and wait for the peace that lets me know it is time to move.
When I think of these moments as a passage rather than a trap, I am less inclined to feel pressured, frustrated or move the wrong direction and far more inclined to walk in the Spirit.
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)
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