Is waiting agony for you? For most of my life it has been torture for me. Last Sunday, the sermon shed some light on why being left hanging has been so hard in the past: the way I was handling waiting was all wrong and I was sabotaging God’s solutions.
In the last few weeks God has been specifically teaching me about this area of waiting. The topic of the sermon was waiting and what Pastor Jason had to say lined up perfectly with what God had already been teaching me. I love it when God’s Spirit arranges for confirmation!
So what was it in this weeks sermon that was so helpful?
First of all, while waiting we need to embrace our vulnerability. In the past I have been ashamed to admit my areas of vulnerability; but I recently experienced the difference being humble and honest can make.
Last week we had a truck incident. The dash display died, the engine light came on and it would not shift into reverse or park. We took it in to find out what was wrong and what it would cost to fix it. I don’t know how you respond when your vehicle breaks down but this is not a situation where I normally shine. It’s frustrating to have an unexpected bill thrust upon me and I do not handle it well.
This particular bill was $1500 just for parts with labour on top of that. Yikes!
In the past I freaked out about car repairs because I was never prepared for them. I would whine to God about why He would allow our car to need repairs when He knew I would have to get the money out of the line of credit. I was managing my life unreasonably, hoping nothing would happen instead of planning for the chance that it might. I think my coping technique of denial was a rather poor choice. I was denying that it was my weakness of not planning ahead that had me in such a pickle.
God convicted me about half a year ago of this very fact. Since then we have been paying into a vehicle fix fund each month. So this time, when my display went kaput, I was not as stressed as I usually am because I had saved some money to have it fixed.
I had faced my weakness and allowed God to correct it.
However, I am sad to say that this time, at the mention of $1500 I still freaked out. That is a huge amount of money – way more than was in the vehicle-fix fund. It was then that I applied Point #2 from the sermon: Search for God.
In the past, when something bad happened, my habit was to whine to God. (I probably don’t have to tell you that whining is really ineffective when it comes to finding solutions to problems.) This time, I stopped the fit of questioning fear and evil foreboding. I gave the problem to God and then waited for Him to come through.
It is pure agony if we wait in a state of anxiety, imagining all kind of horrendous things that might happen. I had to admit that my own weakness of responding in this manner was not making waiting a good time for me. The problem has never been that God was taking too long to answer – the problem was me. I seem to be saying that a lot lately! So I admitted to God that I was having a problem with worry, fear and hopelessness when it comes to owing huge amounts of money to fix my truck. Admitting my vulnerability again.
Why did I respond automatically with fear and anxiety when faced with a problem? I was obviously having trouble trusting God or I would have been experiencing His peace.
It says in James that when we ask God for wisdom we should not doubt or we will not receive from God. Could my doubt not only be causing misery while waiting but also preventing me from receiving God’s answer? In the past, when it seemed like God didn’t come through, those were all times when I was doubting that He could or would help me.
God was not silent just for the heck of it. My doubt was preventing me from hearing His answer.
Again the problem was me!
This time I examined myself. Why do I feel like God will not answer me? Why do I fear the answer and feel like God has awful things in store for me? I am not expecting God to do good things just to do things that will “develop my character” and that I will barely make it through. (Wow, writing that down really shows how silly a thought that is.)
Search for God. I realized I had not been finding or trusting the true God. The God I was serving was not like the God described in the Bible. Where did I get such a negative view of God? Satan had whispered a load of lies into my ear and I had bought them – hook, line and sinker. If you think God is out to get you than waiting certainly is not a happy place to be. So again, the problem is me and my wrong view of God.
But the solution is easy – search for the real God and get reacquainted. Getting to know the real God blew my fear and anxiety out of the water and then, with faith, I was able to ask for wisdom – and God answered!
I gave God my truck and control of the whole situation. I renounced fear that I might be disappointed and decided to try faith for a change. I did not spend hordes of energy trying to figure it all out first so I could let God know how to fix it. In the past my bossiness would often lead to disappointment when God did not fix it the way I wanted Him to. I put the Creator of the universe in a box I created with my limited brain – not my most shining moment!
From now on I don’t want to limit Him at all, which is why I give Him total control of the truck situation. My job is to joyfully trust God to sort my life out and to do what He tells me. I don’t need to feel shame that I can’t fix it because my need just sends me to God who is the strong one anyway.
That way God gets the glory. Which is how it should be.
I searched for God and when I found the right, true One I trusted that He was working on the situation and that He would work His plans for good. Being free from anxiety and fear made waiting so much more fun! In fact, waiting was not even an issue because the outcome was not something to fear but something to look forward to.
So what was God’s answer? How did God help us with our truck? It is a good thing I did not try to figure it out because vehicles are really out of my realm. God gave the answer to my husband, who was able to order a used part on-line and put it in himself. We were able to cover it with the money we had saved so far in the vehicle repair fund. God is good! Trusting instead of worrying while waiting really is better for our stress levels! God meets our needs! No wonder Satan has been lying to me for so long. He is the thief who comes to steal and destroy. Jesus came that I might have life and have it to the full!!
Kristen Webb boards horses in the country with her husband and three daughters – one of whom has special needs. She has been part of the HMC congregation for almost eighteen years. You can find her over at her own blog, My Wild Ride Through The Door Of Faith.