I’ve never been very good at waiting.
It’s like my heart has little hands that want to grab onto the situation’s throat and say, “Isn’t there something more productive I could be doing right now?”
When we decided to purchase our double-wide home in May, we had no idea what the process would look like. After five months of delayed court hearings, paperwork, and moving permits, it feels like the end of a pregnancy—sure to happen sometime, but with no idea when the contractions will come. . .
. . . When we will finally be able to settle into our own place and watch Isaiah run around in the dramatically increased square footage.
Much of my life so far has involved waiting for something. This time, Christopher’s dad has taken care of so many details to make this a reality, and yet there is a constant temptation to feel impatient, discontent, and despair that our dream will dissolve into a mirage.
Worrying about it feels like I’m accomplishing something. Forgetting about it feels irresponsible somehow.
Jesus asked his disciples, “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?” (Luke 12:25-26)
It’s like Jesus is saying to me, “I’ve got this, daughter. Resting in Me will be a lot more peaceful. I promise.”
I’ve wanted to pretend that I can be God just as well as He can. That if He would do what I want, we’d both end up feeling good about the situation. (Kind of like my 2 year old son trying to convince me that cereal would be a healthy choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner.)
My Thoughts, God’s Thoughts
My friend Jewel recently shared with me about a book by missionary Amy Carmichael called, His Thoughts Said. . . His Father Said. . .
Jewel said she’s taken the format of the book for her own prayer journaling. On the top half of the page, she writes out her thoughts, fears, and worries. On the bottom half, she writes the truths and verses God shows her as His Spirit works through the tangle of her emotions.
Though I haven’t had much time to journal in these toddler-filled days, I’ve tried to go through the same exercise verbally in my prayer time (or at random moments when my emotions decide I just need to have a good cry).
These prayers of admitting my weakness have helped immensely in freeing my worried thoughts and reminding me to thank God for the answers He brings.
Here are some verses God has brought to mind as I’ve struggled through worries about finances, parenting, relationships, and feelings of insignificance:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. . . He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:28, 32)
“For every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills. . . for the world is mine, and all that is in it.” (Psalm 50:10-12)
“For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.” (Ephesians 1:4-10)
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” (Ephesians 2:10)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” (1 John 5:14)
“Abba, Father,” [Jesus] said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” (Mark 14:36)
Another resource God has used to help me let go of my thoughts and embrace His has been a devotional by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling. Like Amy Carmichael, Sarah went through a similar process of surrendering her thoughts to God and listening to the truth He was saying back to her.
Drowning is Not An Option
My friend Elizabeth reminded me that following what God has for us is “very much like walking on water. . .
“Sometimes I gaze at God and I can feel the impossible turning firm beneath the soles of my feet, and sometimes I look at all I have to do and start freaking out and I can feel the salt water starting to go up my nose, but He never lets me go down. These are the only two options. And drowning is not an option. He won’t let me.”
Our loving Father delights in using our Spirit-shaped desires to bring Him glory and to bring us joy.
Maybe there’s a desire in you that feels like it will never be fulfilled.
Maybe He’s getting the details together to answer your request even better than you would have imagined.
Or maybe, He’s waiting for you to invite Him to fill it with Himself.
What worries do you need God’s truth to cover today? What is He saying back to you?
13 thoughts on “When You’d Rather Take Control Than Wait”
Thank you, Alicia, for these wonderful reminders from God’s Word that we can cling to when we feel overwhelmed and anxious. God IS love, and His intentions towards us are always good. Why is it so hard to rest in that truth when we feel the salt water start to tickle our noses? I’m slowly learning that going back to the gospel every day is the only solution. The Good News of Jesus’ willingness to embrace shame and dishonor at his birth and at his death to redeem us and show us the Father’s love is not just for the moment of salvation but for every single day. Hallelujah!
Amen! I read a quote by Catherine Marshall today that says, “Hope must be in the future tense. Faith, to be faith, must be in the present tense.” It’s a challenge to remember gospel truths each day, but brings the true life Jesus offers. Thanks for sharing.
This was a timely post! A few days ago Daniel and I decided that now is the time to pursue my long-time dream of getting my Master’s in TESOL. I might not get accepted, but at least I know that everything that happens is not a surprise to Him!
This is an exciting step….I will look forward to hearing how God graciously leads and will be praying for you in the process. Blessings, Lydia!
Alicia, I thoroughly enjoyed your choice of descriptive words in your introduction to this message. Also, the way you chose to print words in the bold format in the Scriptures you posted was impressive. It helped to communicate your message.
I am currently reading Walking with God through Suffering by Timothy Keller. It has been so helpful in my current journey.
Tomorrow, I go to the University of Virginia Health System for retinal surgery (Vitrectomy) for removal of the remnants of a blood clot following previous surgery. This to hopefully restore the vision in my right eye.
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