After several missteps in my own life, I have learned the importance of waiting. Sometimes, the decision that seems to be obvious isn’t always the right course of action; other times, taking a few days to reflect on the situation – without needing to rush into anything – is the right thing to do, just to confirm that you’re on the correct track.
I’ve found that in my own walk, the answer from the Lord is not always “no”; more often than not, it’s “not yet.” Put another way, the Lord is indicating that I need to wait.
I’ve talked here before about how the Lord has us to wait on Him sometimes, as we are anticipating the fulfillment of a particular dream or hope in our hearts. In other instances, however, I believe that God is waiting on us – to be still and quiet enough so that we can rightly discern the way forward.
I have been told in the past that I seem to be unhurried. On the whole, this is true (although I can get a little testy in the car, or when a meeting runs long or seems to be disorganized). I’ve learned to distrust my immediate emotional reactions to a situation, and give myself some additional time to process the new information and figure out the next step that I should take.
Sometimes, though, this can take really long time. In an ideal world, the answers would come right away; however, from my personal experience, this is rarely the case. More often than not, I simply have to wait for the clarity to come.
In other instances, the clarity does not come and I am required to make a step of faith, trusting that God will meet me wherever I land. This can be tricky, as the controlling part of me wants to know exactly where I’m leaping, and precisely when (and how) God plans to catch me as I land. It’s an ongoing struggle, but the Lord is clearly winning. 🙂
Anyway, this image struck a note with me. As a friend once told me, God is in no particular hurry! Sometimes, He makes us wait on His timing, while in other instances, He’s waiting to see what we’re going to do. Either way, there is some delay involved.
Think about it: imagine how some of the most famous stories in the Bible might’ve played out differently, had a little bit of strategic waiting been employed? Consider:
- Adam very likely would not have eaten the piece of fruit from Eve. He would’ve taken a moment to remember what God had told him, and would’ve told the serpent where to go!
- Perhaps David would’ve re-assessed the situation with Bathsheba; if he had taken a moment to fully consider the consequences of his actions, a whole lot of pain and suffering could’ve been avoided.
- Had Judas taken a few minutes to think through the ramifications of his actions, perhaps his story might’ve ended differently. Even though he betrayed Jesus, he didn’t need to take his own life! Such a step was a drastic, emotional response to a very unwise decision that he had made.
I could go on and on, but you get the drift. There is always wisdom in waiting, but our society says the opposite! Everything we hear talks about being in a hurry and needing to make a decision right away. And yes, there definitely is a time and place for the spur-of -the-moment decision, but I personally don’t feel that this approach works well as a long-term strategy.
I firmly believe that if more people took the time to stop and think about what they were going to say or do (before they actually said and did it), then the world in which we live would be a very different place today.
Think about it. 🙂
Dear Lord, thank You for giving me the wisdom to slow down my processing and simply wait. Often, with more time comes an uptick in both knowledge and discernment, and my belief is that this is a better approach to decision-making on the whole.
Also, thank You for the reminder that there is indeed a time and a place for the spur-of-the -moment decision making as well. I ask for Your continued guidance and wisdom about when I should be quick to make decisions, and when I should be more deliberate about this process.
You also know my penchant for overanalyzing things, so please help me to thoughtfully assess the options in front of me, without needing to obsess over the details (which I love doing, and this can readily turn into a fault when left unchecked).. In Your name I pray, Amen.