5 Things to Keep in Check While Waiting on the Lord
I have heard it said that the teacher is always silent during a test. This may be true at some times, but I think that we often allow our own impatience to overcome our availability to actually hear God’s voice.
This is exactly what happened to me when my husband first entered into the Navy. We had been given the news that we would soon be moving our family across the country to Chicago where my husband would finish his training. We were not able to talk much at all while he was away aside from an occasional phone call and hand written letters. The responsibility of picking out our new home and moving our belongings had been entirely left up to me. At the time our oldest was only eleven months old and I was currently pregnant with our second child. I was having difficulty finding a home in a place that I had never been to before and the overwhelming urge to nest was beginning to consume my brain day and night. I finally decided that it would be best for our family to live in an apartment nearby the base and not in military housing. The area I had chosen had good reviews and seemed to be in a safe environment. I had based my decision off the urgency to find a home and what I had thought to be wise.
The time had passed and we were finally able to make the journey across the country to be reunited as a family and move into our new home. Our new apartment was nice but what we didn’t realize was that the other expenses that came with our apartment would push us way over our housing allowance. Soon after that I became very sick with what I thought was the stomach flu and had to be rushed to the hospital twice. I was nearly 30 weeks pregnant during both of my visits to the hospital. The nurses were very concerned and placed me on a monitor because I had been having contractions that were closer together than most of the women who were in active labor. Thankfully, they were able to give me medicine that helped to control my upset stomach and all of my contractions. I was able to leave the hospital with my family but we weren’t able to go to our new apartment because there had been black mold discovered throughout our kitchen.
My decision to move our family into the apartment was hasty and I had not given the Lord an opportunity to confirm the decision to me. God is very gracious, and we were able to stay in a hotel for a month through our insurance and later move into a military home. Our son was born shortly after that and he was perfectly strong and healthy. Seasons of waiting can be so challenging and sometimes our hasty decisions can lead us into seasons of turmoil. I like to go by these five reminders whenever I find myself needing to hear God’s voice:
1. You will have peace.
Even if your situation is dire, God can still give you peace, because it’s not about your physical surroundings being at peace it’s about your heart. He wants you to have that same peace that He gave to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they chose to take on the flames of the fiery furnace in Daniel chapter 3. “You, Lord, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you” Isaiah 26:3. Although my situation with the apartment seemed to be very logical, I felt very restless about the endeavor. Walking in peace doesn’t mean that you are waiting to see or hear various signs and wonders from God, it simply means that when and while you are making a decision your heart will be confident and at peace.
2. Is your heart filled with gratitude?
Madame Blueberry is one of my most favorite Veggie Tales movies. If you’ve heard of Veggie Tales or maybe you’ve seen them when you were younger or with your kids now, you will know exactly what I am talking about. I love Veggie Tales because their shows are always filled with little nuggets of truth. “A happy heart is a thankful heart.” This statement couldn’t be more accurate. A happy heart truly is a thankful heart. Whenever I am waiting for something I always double check my heart posture. Discontentment makes it difficult to make decisions with patience. The best way to cultivate a heart of thankfulness is to think on things that are true. “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
3. Other believers will confirm what God wants to say to you.
The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14 “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety.” It is important to be in fellowship with other believers outside the average Sunday church service in order to obtain Godly counsel. The best way to get into fellowship with other believers is to join a weekly Bible study that encourages members to be open with one another and talk about real life problems. I love going to my weekly women’s study. Having the opportunity to be around other women from different generations and various backgrounds has really helped me to stay in alignment with God’s plan for my life.
4. God’s Word will confirm it to you.
“For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart” Hebrews 4:12. It’s so important to spend time in the Word and get quiet with the Lord. You won’t be able to hear what He wants to say unless you make time to listen. If you have little kids or a busy schedule this may seem challenging. Take some time to assess your day and maybe instead of listening to the radio in the car listen to the audio version of your Bible app or take a few minutes while your kids are napping to sit quietly before the Lord and just listen.
5. Are you willing to yield?
James 3:17 says, “But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.” This one always gets me. I often get tunnel vision whenever I set myself on a goal. My goal is the only thing I can think about all day all the time until I am able to achieve it. This is good, but it can also be not-so-good, because Isaiah 55:8 says that God’s ways go above and beyond what we could ever think or imagine. Sometimes God needs us to surrender our plans to Him in order to give us that future and a hope He talks about in Jeremiah 29:11. We should always be willing to yield ourselves to God’s way, because His way is the best way.
Written by Jo Rogers. Used with permission.