She sat in the doctor’s office, thinking of the many things she could be up and doing. Instead, she was just sitting, waiting. She flicked through some magazines. She looked at her watch. She checked some emails. She checked the time again. Each time the door opened, Dora looked up, hoping it was her turn. As she felt her anxiety level rise and her energy sink she asked herself, “What can you do while you wait?” Then it hit her. Instead of focusing on when her turn would come and how long the wait was, she could find something meaningful to do. She started working on an assignment that was due the next day. Before she knew it, they called her name. It was her turn.
Waiting can cause anxiety and a loss of energy. You can experience this after you’ve prayed and you’re waiting on God for the answer, seeking to be faithful while you wait. Here are three things that you can do to decrease anxiety and the loss of energy.
#1 Forget that You’re Waiting
There’s a funny thing about waiting. The more that you think about the fact that you’re waiting, the more you wonder how long the wait will be and the longer it feels. The longer the waiting period feels, the more anxiety and fatigue it produces. It reminds me of the saying that “a watched pot never boils.”
Here’s the thing. Your thinking about and focusing on the waiting period is not going to change it’s duration. All it’s going to do is make you feel depleted. However, you can reverse this while you wait. Find a new focus.
#2 Focus on What God Wants You to Do Now
Okay. You’ve prayed about or for something. You’re open to what God will do. If it is something God has promised to do and you’re still waiting, what do you do while you wait?
The truth is that God has given you something to do right now. Do it faithfully.
In addition, you know that right now God wants you to love God with everything that you have and to love others like yourself. Do that right now. Live out the beatitudes (Matthew 5–7). There’s never any shortage of doing what God wants because there are always opportunities before you to shine God’s light as you meet people in physical and online spaces. There are always opportunities for good works in the name of Jesus Christ.
#3 Listen with Trust While You Wait
While you wait on God for the answer to your prayer, remain open to hearing God. This is a work of grace. It’s nothing to rush. When God speaks you will know. It may be directly in your heart. It may be through something that someone says or a sermon or a verse that you read in the Bible. Or, it may be a combination of those. Whichever it is God will quicken your spirit and you will know that God is speaking.
Think of Samuel. When God called Samuel, Samuel was clueless but humbly obedient even though he did not know God in that way. So, he went to Eli, the person that he thought was calling him. Initially, Eli didn’t get it but after the third time Eli realized that God was speaking to Samuel.
Here’s the thing. God got through to Samuel. God will get through to you. Listen with humble obedience. Consult with a spiritual mentor or guide if you need to. But, above all, trust while you wait on God.
Trust that God knows how to get through to you and that because of your openness you will know when it is God. You will know what to do in the God’s time which is the right time. In addition, when you listen with trust, even if the answer is not the one you wanted, you will be at peace.
After you pray, while you wait on God you can feel anxious and tired. However, focus on and do what God has already laid out before you rather than focusing on the wait. Then listen with trust. God will do what needs to be done in the right time.
O give me Samuel’s heart,
A lowly heart, that waits
Where in Thy house Thou art,
Or watches at Thy gates;
By day and night, a heart that still
Moves at the breathing of Thy will.
Get closer to God and gain a deeper understanding of who God is.
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