“… You can be sure that God will take care of everything you need, his generosity exceeding even yours in the glory that pours from Jesus. Our God and Father abounds in glory that just pours out into eternity…” Philippians 4:19-20 (The Message)
A few weeks ago I was reflecting on the adventure God took our family on. While we have different challenges this year, last year was a year of truly pressing in and finding out which direction He wanted us to walk. During that period, my questions and prayers for wisdom and fasting seemed to lead to… silence. God uttered one word multiple times to my prayers, “Wait.” And I didn’t like it. I was used to doing something, taking action, moving in a direction, any direction, and God continued to tell me, “Wait.”
So I waited all of one month, but not really. Even during that “wait,” I looked for jobs, applied for jobs, worried about jobs, checked for jobs, applied for more jobs, prayed about jobs… instead of just waiting and listening for His next direction.
During my reflection about how I didn’t obey God’s command very well, I was reminded that one short year later, I finally trusted God completely. It only took approximately 8 months last year and approximately 8 years before that, when I first uttered the prayer, “Lord, I want to learn how to trust You, but please be gentle.” for me to be able to honestly say I trust God and that He has a good plan for my life.
Then God reminded me about another choice I had made approximately eight years prior. I was at the beginning of my trust journey with God. Life was chaotic for our family, to put it mildly. I’d had a miscarriage in December 2006, February 2007 brought the beginning of a chronic illness for my husband that we are still battling today (although we are seeing God’s healing power), and I was at a crossroads, again with my employment. I felt like I was hearing God tell me to stop the daycare that I’d run for three years and transition into medical transcription full time.
I wasn’t sure if I was hearing God correctly and I had families that I truly loved and didn’t want to inconvenience. So, I prayed for God’s wisdom and His will. I could see myself doing either/or but wanted to walk in His blessing. I prayed and then waited. Continued doing my job, didn’t look for more transcription work, just waited. Two weeks after my initial prayer, one of my families came to me and announced they were moving and at the end of the school year, a few short weeks from our conversation, they wouldn’t be coming back. While deeply disappointed in losing them, I remember my first words in reply to her were, “I guess that’s my answer.” Probably seemed like a strange way to respond, so I then explained what I meant and began the process of saying goodbye to two girls I had helped raise since birth.
That memory was significant for me. Why was I able to wait patiently eight years ago when last year I kept running ahead of God? Eight years ago I had the innocence of a child still. While our lives were beginning to change drastically and we were dealing with many upheavals, I still had a steady job and income. Last year I was without an income and that was scarier. However, through the past year, I’ve learned that life wasn’t an emergency in either situations – not when I have a steady income and am contemplating a change or when I have no income and need to make a change.
God isn’t a God of fear. If I hear the word, “wait” from God, then I’m to wait. That means I keep my eyes and ears open and listen for a change in His plans, but until then, He will meet my every need because He told me to wait. If God said walk and I choose instead to wait, well, then, He might not meet all my needs because I’m not obeying what He asked me to do.
I’m glad God reminded me of my journey – both the accelerated version of 2015 as well as the entire adventure starting eight years prior. While I seemingly obeyed more in 2007 because I prayed, sought God’s wisdom and then waited, I think I grew faster in 2015 because of the intensity of the trial. Do I wish I had viewed our circumstances last year through God’s eyes? Yes. Do I wish I would’ve waited when He told me too? Absolutely! I believe He wanted me to wait because He knew that when He gave me the command to walk, I would need to be rested and ready for the journey. I got tired quickly when the signal came because I’d ignored His wait.
When life starts to feel like an emergency and decisions need to be made “right now,” that’s usually a message from the enemy and not my Father. Sometimes God will tell us to hurry up and be quick, but most of the time His peace comes because there is time to seek His wisdom and sometimes to wait.
Very few things in life are true emergencies and I’m so glad God reminded me of that this week.
© Cheri Swalwell 2016