I’m an avid people watcher. So working with the public is always an interesting study in human nature.
What I’ve noticed is that many people don’t wait well. They are exasperated at the slightest delay, whether it’s waiting at a stoplight or standing in a checkout lane. Several years ago, when I worked in a big box store, people often came to the customer service desk and asked to be checked out because the lines are too long at the check lanes. Did they really think their time was more important than anyone else’s? Did they really think I didn’t have other responsibilities at the customer service desk besides checking out people who didn’t want to wait in line? Apparently so.
In his book, Plan B, Pete Wilson says,
We’ve started to believe faster is always better. We’ve become seduced by such words as instant and easy. We’ve become quickaholics – dependent on getting what we want when we want it. (Plan B, Pete Wilson, p. 182)
The truth is that I don’t wait well either. So during seasons of waiting, God has helped me see how his redemption is at work even in the waiting.
Here are three lessons I learned during a time of unemployment several years ago…
- Time with God has been an important part of my life for years. But honestly, my consistency was lacking. God has redeemed this time by drawing me into a deeper daily walk with him. As I have come into his presence on a consistent daily basis, I’ve found comfort and peace that is only possible by making time to spend time with him. For me, that time was truly found in the waiting.
- After years of being the grateful recipient of God’s provision while I was a single parent, recent years had been much easier as my children grew up and moved out on their own, and my job situations changed. And honestly, I think I began to take some of that for granted. God has redeemed this time by consistently providing opportunities for my needs to be met. Through perfectly timed part-time work and the generosity of family and friends, I have not missed a payment in the entire time I’ve been unemployed. For me, the reminder of his provision was truly seen in the waiting.
- As a Type-A personality, I often feel firmly in control of my life and my surroundings. Obviously, that’s a slight delusion on my part. But while I’m being honest, sometimes I still operate like I’m in control. God has redeemed this time by reminding me that he is in fact in control of everything…and probably doesn’t need my help, thank you very much. In looking for a job, the interview process is agonizingly slow. And since you are the applicant, there’s not a thing in the world you can do to speed the process along. No breaking in line. No customer service desk to go to. You just have to wait. For me, the delusion of control was truly revealed in the waiting.
When we wait, it’s comforting to know that everybody waits on something. We may be waiting for different things, but we all have to wait at some point in our lives. Look at scripture. Noah waited. Abraham and Sarah waited. Hannah waited. Hosea waited. Mary and Joseph waited. Jesus waited.
The real question for all of us is what will we do with the wait. There have been times I stomped my feet with impatience. There have been times I tried to take control. There have been times I tried to skip lessons I needed to learn. But really, the only thing that has helped is to wait on the Lord.
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
The testimony is that God still wants me to trust Him in the wait. So I will put my hope in His word. I will remember the provision He has blessed me with. And I will trust what He is doing in my life.
And keep on waiting…
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