Shawn Jensen's Pastoral Perspective
There is a couple of phrases that I have never heard anybody say. I have never heard my wife say, “I have too many clothes and shoes.” I have never heard my kids say, “Shhh, Daddy is on the phone, let's wait to scream and fight until after he gets done.”
And I have never heard someone say, “You know what, I just love waiting!”
If it’s at the DMV, in traffic, or just plainly waiting for your toddler to finish their nightly routine as they prepare to get to bed, our culture isn’t very fond of waiting. However, waiting is a daily part of our lives. Yet, I believe we still don’t understand the purpose of waiting, as well as the benefits of it.
When it comes to walking with Jesus and having a relationship with God, I found out that there are many different seasons that come with that, one of them being waiting.
Honestly, I feel as though waiting is the season that reoccurs more frequently than the others. I’m not going to tell you that I now look forward to waiting seasons, and I have become a veteran during waiting seasons. But I have to consistently remind myself that all through scripture there are verses about us waiting on God, trusting in him and his timing and being still.
God has designed everything for a purpose, and waiting has a great purpose when we do it right. I want to share one of my favorite scriptures with you that has helped me with my seasons of waiting.
“... but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
(Isaiah 40:31 ESV)
The truth of the matter is that God isn’t as focused on us waiting as much as he is on how we wait. We are going to have to wait at the DMV, we are going to have to wait in some lines, but it’s our body language and our posture that reveals how we are waiting.
And if you are anything like me, I tend to complain and worry in my waiting season. I complain how long it’s taking, and why that person didn’t have to wait as long. I worry if God is still going to fulfill his promise or if I missed the mark. I worry if I am missing out on more because everything has slowed down and I am waiting.
The thing about worry is that it is exhausting. The enemy loves turning your waiting season into a worry season. And if we aren’t careful we diminish the work that the waiting season was to bring about in our lives, renewing our strength.
I’ve heard it said that worrying is like rocking back in forth in a rocking chair really fast and expecting to move forward. It takes a lot of energy and gets you nowhere.
Nothing is more exhausting than worrying in the middle of our waiting. This is why I share Isaiah 40:31 with you. Because when we truly learn to wait, we should be recharging our batteries, renewing our strength.
Waiting seasons prepare us for the next season God has for us, but if we spend all of our time working and worrying when we should be waiting, then we won’t have the strength we need to step into the next season. Those who WAIT for the Lord will renew their strength.
How we wait matters. I am in a waiting season right now, and I have found myself trying to do things in my own strength. I have been worried about the current season because I have no control over it. And what we have no control over is what we tend to worry about.
However, God wants you to trust him in this waiting season. Don’t let worry exhaust you when you should be renewing your strength.
If you find yourself in a waiting season right now, God wants it to be a refreshing season, but worry will turn it into an exhausting season. Worry keeps you working when God says be still.
We can stop worrying, because God is working. And as you wait, God will give you the strength you need to continue on the journey He has laid out for you, which is a great journey that leads to abundant life.