What To Do In ‘The Waiting’
“Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.”
| Philippians 1:27 |
Life has a way of surprising us. Sometimes the surprises are good—and sometimes they are more of a frustrating stall. I call this waiting in life, ‘the meantime’. The meantime is that place in between a problem and a solution— a prayer and its answer. Being in the meantime is a part of life, and I have decided I want to quit despising the waiting times and learn to live well in them.
The Bible is filled with accounts of people waiting on God. One of my favorites is the Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Philippi—written from prison, yet filled with hope. When Paul wrote to the Philippians, circumstances were not good, yet he still lived in a good place. There is much to learn from Paul.
Like Paul, some of us are in hard situations.
And, though some things are out of our control, there are a few things we do have control over—our attitude, the direction we take, and where we place our hope.
Truth is, problems are inevitable, but living overwhelmed is optional. Here are some things to consider in the times of waiting:
- When bad things happen, God is still in control.
- God holds us together, even when things are falling apart.
- God is always at work, He is in the details.
- Suffering is part of life, God sees our tears.
- Difficult circumstances can change us and times of waiting shape us.
- There is a plan, even when it looks like there isn’t, God is writing our story.
- We can learn to resist fear by relying on God, trusting in His mighty grip.
Paul taught the early church that whatever happened to them, they were to live glorifying God. He actually gave a clear cut instruction on how we do that. Philippians 4: 4-9 teaches us how to wait, living well in ‘the meantime’.
Rejoice—give thanks in all things
Remember—the Lord is near
Resist—fear and anxiety and turn the cares into prayers
Recall—the times God was faithful in the past and thank him for who He is
Refocus—turn from the negative and look for anything good and dwell on that
Return—to the teachings of scripture, walking out faith the way those before us did.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, whatever is true… whatever is pure, whatever is lovely… if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me, put it into practice.” Philippians 4:4-9
Paul turns from prison to praise, from frustration to faith. That is what I want to learn, to put into practice each time I find myself waiting on God.
Lord, help us to turn to you in our times of waiting. When life seems unfair and the days are hard, may we press into you. Remind us of your love so that we can resist fears and refocus. Draw us near as we recall your faithfulness in the past and return to you with fresh hope.
Thoughtfully written by Debbie Alsdorf.
Author & Bible Teacher Debbie Alsdorf – @debbie.alsdorf | debbiealsdorf.com
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