Are you waiting for something? A fulfillment of a dream or goal? A new relationship or financial opportunity? A solution to a difficult problem or help for challenging circumstances? Are you waiting for things to change to give you something you do not have in your life or free you from something you do not want in your life? What do you do while you are waiting?
Waiting is usually not a pleasant activity for people. We hate waiting in lines, in offices and airports, in traffic, for a needed package to arrive. We often get aggravated, impatient, sometimes worried or even depressed. While waiting we usually have less control, or at least it seems that way. When things are moving, we feel action taking us towards a goal, moving towards something we want or need or to the experience of something better than where we are or have been.
Our culture wants us to keep moving, take the next step, achieve the next goal. Waiting seems to be counterproductive and an obstacle to success and prosperity. I always feel better when things are moving. I have the perception of getting somewhere, anywhere. The times I have had to wait have been brutal. Having chronic illness for almost 3 decades kept me waiting in doctors’ offices a lot and waiting for the next alternative approach to diminish my symptoms, to give me relief from unbearable pain, fatigue and limiting immobility. While my health deteriorated I grew weary of waiting for some improvement or just not to get worse. During difficult times while alone I grew depressed waiting for a phone call or text from busy friends who had lot of things to keep moving towards. I found myself homebound alone for months waiting for something to change. It became almost unbearable.
I had practiced acceptance for many years to improve the experience of having chronic illness. I learned to focus on gratitude for the things I had instead of focusing on my pain and immobility. When total isolation set in, it moved to another level more difficult than anything I had known. Death seemed welcomed, even attractive, like the early days of my diagnoses that told me I had no hope for anything but deterioration of my condition and worsening intolerable symptoms.
Fortunately I was in a study of the books of the bible written by Moses about the struggling of the Israelites for 40 years in the desert waiting to get to the land promised for their nation which had been set free from the bondage of slavery in Egypt. They struggled along the way grumbling and complaining about what they wanted that they did not have. All their needs were met but not their wants. There were stories of death from rebellion and stories of mercy and healing, even abundance of food and fresh flowing water, with clothing and shoes that never wore out. They followed a cloud by day and a fire by night representing the presence of God leading them to start, move, stop and wait. Today we have the opportunity to have the presence of God through the Holy Spirit within us similarly leading us to start, move, stop and wait.
Over many years of waiting, I had learned how to listen to God while studying the bible. It works for innumerable people around the world since the times of ancient rabbis practicing meditating on the Word of God. Meditation is reflection, reading, praying for inspiration and listening in the mind, heart and spirit. There was a part of my study where God revealed the Israelites were being prepared to learn to follow and have faith in God to prepare them to conquer the Canaanites and take possession of the land they were promised. They could not do it on their own. They needed to listen and follow God’s wisdom, direction, timing and power. Otherwise they would have been destroyed in their first battle.
I heard God speaking to me from that passage. I had always been self or other directed, but not directed by God. I believed in God, loved God and wanted to obey God in morals but not in leading me day by day through my life. For many reasons I did not think it God’s job to lead me or that I could follow if He did, or that I did not want to go wherever God might be leading me. I only surrendered when I was in crisis with no other options like I was at the time I was all alone with my condition worsening. I turned it over completely without complaining or any expectations of what the result might be and God lifted me out with a miracle as had happened several times before in my life, enough to make me believe more than ever that God could and would lead me to good things.
Through this revelation from my bible study, I found acceptance of circumstances I judged unfair, oppressive, beyond my tolerance. Since that time, I have been learning to follow God more closely like the Israelites had to do every day, accepting all things that I cannot change and praying for wisdom through prayer, quiet time with God and meditation and study of the Bible, letting the Holy Spirit guide me like the cloud by day and the fire by night. My life has slowly improved, picking up speed as my faith grows and my ability to keep following and trusting in God’s love and goodness towards me when I am waiting.
My life took a big turn the last few months as I moved ahead more rapidly with health improvement, mobility and healing. I loved the pace I was moving at. I started this blog and website to share everything I have learned along the long journey I have traveled to a life of much peace, joy and fulfillment, even if things are not going the way I would want or circumstances get painful or challenging.
The last few days I was hit with some unexpected painful experiences. I wanted to bounce back right away and keep moving. But God had me waiting and I had nothing to write on my blog. I am still learning to wait when I need to and do the things that I think are not as rewarding or as important in my mind as writing this blog. But along the way I see I am still in ‘training’ to be victorious in whatever battles I might face and to help others to face their own challenges and battles while following and trusting God to lead when and how to move.
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