Waiting in Peace or Waging War on Worry

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Waiting for unknowns has never been one of my strong suits.  It’s a place in my life that I struggle to enact the trust that God has my life’s path handled. The Bible shares with me that I do not have a cause to worry, in fact it tells us that worrying is a sin, a lack of trust in the Father’s plan for us.  The last few years I have realized that each perceived calamity in my life has been made good in different ways that only God could maneuver, but my flesh just does.not.like.to.wait.

What am I waiting on you ask? There’s about a zillion things on the table right now, but most of what I am waiting on is knowing how the story turns out.  You know, MY story, the the life I’m living every day.   My story is changing. My heart is changed.  My life is forever changed by the time we spent together the last six weeks. I don’t like waiting to find out how all the new situations will be resolved. Personally I’d prefer the Cliff Notes edition of living through these weeks.

Meanwhile I wait this week on word about a decision Les and I made, and how it will be received.   I’m waiting for the dough to rise in the kitchen for breakfast rolls. I’m waiting and it seems I’m waiting to see what else I am waiting for.  Waiting is apparently something I’ll practice repetitively today, and you know with practice we all become stronger at skills we struggle with.

My mind, in the past, would wait anxiously if I could not solve a problem. Now I am learning, finally, that if a problem is not solving, then it’s not time to solve that problem. Often God is working out other arrangements, typically more peaceful, always better arrangements in the background. Think, waiting in line for a purchase, to get to the checkout and have an announcement “for the next 5 minutes and five minutes only, this item now on 95% off for those who waited”. At that point it kinda feels silly  to have been impatient.  I am reminded of the time a friend called screaming about a plane being cancelled, only to find out later that night that a loved one had died and if she had made the plane she would have missed the time with family. I am learning that whatever perceived “missed” experience I am facing if while I wait on it it doesn’t turn out the way I planned, well, God has a better plan and it would have just been easier to acknowledge and begin by not wasting my time on the frustrating myself with worrying while I wait.

Of course, my sweet soul friend in Arkansas suggested that if I caught myself worrying I should choose that time to clean a bit. What? Do something besides run around in circles driving myself mad with ridiculous rantings in my mind of “what if’s” ?  Boy does the thought of having to rant and clean cure me of worrying in a hot minute. I do not seek to clean to absolve myself of any frustration, I am learning to use the energy cleaning to relax, to enjoy a task with a known end. (of course I’ll get to do it every day for the rest of my life where cleaning the kitchen is concerned, sometimes four and five times a day if I am home with family…but the countertop has a defined “it’s all put away” moment at least a few times a day) I figure if I only chose chocolate as the salve while waiting I’d be size 444 by now.

Control is such a funny space, we tend to perceive that we have some. We clean our kitchens and think “well I took care of that”…but the big picture, the God picture, is that our trust has much to do with how we wait. I want to trust God to handle all parts of my life. Still working on that level of trust.  Too often I want to think  “God’s in charge, but so and so may not be obedient to…” silly isn’t it…for God is God and ultimately it doesn’t matter if Jimmy John isn’t obedient…God is still in charge and all things work according to His plan…not mine and so I learn that whatever comes, is a place or experience that He will be with me as I go through it.

Verses I go to when waiting and worrying is a struggle:

John 14:27

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

 

1 Peter 5:6-8

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
That humble yourself line gets me every time, for I want to believe I can change the outcomes.  I want to solve the issue. I want to set up the solution, but God has my life. He doesn’t need me to do a single thing he hasn’t given my instructions to do, and none of His instructions come with the tag that says “thou shalt worry about this” . Satan so has the guilt/shame/blame and pain game down to a fine art, so that is the first place I look to stop the sequence when my thinking goes downhill while waiting.  Is this fear?  Is this shame? Is this painful guilt? Is this worrying that I won’t get something? Is this  trusting that God has a plan? Ultimately waiting with angst is about not trusting.  That’s an area I am not willing to live, I do trust God, I will trust God and I am choosing to deal with that area of my life when waiting challenges my desire to!
Personally, I’m waiting today on a few more things and experiences than I’d prefer to be patient about this morning…but I’m determined not to worry about any of them. Pass the chocolates, the kitchen’s done. 🙂

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