Living in faith is a four-step process:
1. Ask God what to do.
2. Listen for the answer.
3. Act in faith on His guidance.
4. Repeat until the goal is achieved.
Today, we are focusing on Step 3: Act in faith on His guidance and specifically, how to find peace when God asks us to wait…. and then… …. wait a little more and then ……….. wait until what feels like an eternity has passed us by (woof).
It is a fact: Not many enjoy waiting. It’s uncomfortable and immensely unsatisfying. Few find peace or enjoyment sitting in traffic, waiting in line at a retailer (especially, the return and exchange line) or anticipating important news that will impact our lives. If we allow it, it can feel draining and that exhaustion can cause us to change our course. We turn off of the highway, leave the store or change our plans altogether. We then zigzag to our destination, use additional time to return to the store or give up on what really wanted. And we aren’t doing ourselves any favors; we are making it harder than it has to be.
When it comes to our goals, unavoidably and throughout our lives, God will call us to wait. We can’t change His mind. It’s God’s plan, not ours. What God has for us is predetermined by Him and it is a “glorious something” that we could never imagine for ourselves. If we lose patience and ignore God’s plan (i.e. turn off of the highway, leave the store or give up what we want), we will derail His plan and the wait, the wait that we so despise, becomes even longer. We may be moving, but it will take several turns before we get there. If we want the meaningful life God has for us – full of joy, love and laughter – we must stick to His plan, even if that means waiting (Yes! I said it! Waiting!).
And that is the problem, right? Quite frankly, waiting can be hard if our minds are not focused. When we are in the mindset that God has something or someone BIG on the other side of our wait, it’s incredibly easy to lose sight of the good things about today, in our current situation. We stop being thankful for what we have and begin pining for our future; we lose our peace. Our focus becomes consumed with our inability to currently enjoy our desires rather than relishing in the blessings of the moment. Ultimately, waiting becomes a torment.
When we find ourselves feeling this impatience-induced agony, we can refocus ourselves and create peace in our lives by following a few simple steps.
Step 1: When you catch yourself longing for something else, revert your thoughts to the present.
Step 2: Focus on what’s good about today and stop comparing yourself and your life to those that have what you want.
And Step 3: Instead of asking, “When is it going to be my turn?” ask God “What do you want me to do today?”
Faith works, but not without work. God is always asking us to take one more step, to keep building and moving forward. Remaining stagnant and waiting for God to figure it out will not help us! We must remain in conversation with Him and ask what He wants of us each day. Our job is to trust Him and His plans will be revealed.
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