Earlier this year 2021, I had high hopes for a writing project I was working on. I poured my whole heart into it; most of 2020 was my preparation for a big moment in the first and second quarters of this year. I believed this writing project was everything God had asked me to work on and I positioned myself for that big next step - publish, launch, WIN! Instead of that big win, what I received was a rejection and the dreaded four letter word - wait. ”What? You mean I have to wait” I thought to myself amidst tears of frustration and disappointment. I couldn’t wait anymore. I was ready to go to my thing. But while I was processing the myriad of emotions that flooded my being, there was one constant voice so soothing, reassuring and impressing on my heart to “be still” and believe that the waiting is meant to propel me at the right time. I must use this waiting responsibly as my readiness. Waiting is being patient, patience means wait. The best ways in which I have learned to patiently wait is to live with certain spiritual best practices. These best practices when consistently practiced, become life giving habits that build up your patience - that one Fruit of the Spirit (read Galatians 5:22-23) which is one of the most difficult to cultivate. I say 'difficult' because it takes someone bigger greater mightier than yourself to be 'happy' while you wait.
Release control: Yes, release all control. The first thing I have learned to do in waiting seasons is to release all control of the situation over to God. Don't create expectations, don't create timelines or strategize about your next steps. Leave room in your heart and mind and allow the wait to be a time of listening. Listen to hear that gentle whisper from God through the Holy Spirit. It is a very peaceful practice to release that control and just say "OK, Lord, whatever is next I believe it will be perfect and possible."
Pray whenever, wherever: When I make up my mind that this is a season of waiting (I choose to obey that voice) then I must let prayer become my potion. In a season of waiting, prayer becomes your starting point and ongoing source of constant communication with God. Pray while driving, pray while in line at the grocery store, pray while in a meeting, pray while watching TV, pray while taking out the trash. Turn your thinking time into praying time and do watch what happens over time with your heart, your mind, your life.
Open the Book of Life: The Bible is where its all at - if you are praying you must be reading too. I say prayer is the communication line, reading the bible and digesting what's in it is the food that gives us energy to communicate with God. Without the 'food' in us, we aren't tapping into the fullness of God's power in us. Reading may sound cliche but don't just read, grab your journal and note what your spirit senses and as you go about your day, let one or two phrases, words be constant on your mind.
Worship and praise at all times: I am one of those 'disco dancing' ladies in the car next to you while sitting in traffic. I never let a moment that could stress me take me out. I turn that 'messy mind' time when I could be stressing, contemplating into a time of 'party with the Holy Spirit'. Sometimes if I could get out of the car and dance in the street I would. Is my problem solved? Is my waiting over? Is my prayer answered? No! No! No! But I don't let that stop my heart from being postured in a state of anticipation - hopefulness. So find that favorite worship and or praise music and let your heart roar! Worship and praise encourages me to go to God's Word and search the scriptures to learn from witnesses who have gone before me.
Listen and do the next best and/or right thing: In the spiritual practices, I may be prompted by the Holy Spirit to know the next best thing and the next right thing. Whatever that prompting is, never dismiss it. There is growth there. That prompting may be comfortable but experience has taught me that often times it is uncomfortable. Do it anyway. That is where your spiritual growth hormones are built.
I can attest that when your spirit is filled, your capacity to endure in the waiting is pleasantly peaceful. You are at peace more and there is an overflow of joy. Waiting is an obedient posture which you must cultivate as saints. It builds your character, shapes your thinking and produces good fruits. Take one of the spiritual practices above and commit to being consistent with it, and watch how your heart feels over time.
I hope this has blessed you.
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