Learning to live life in the ‘in between’

outloud title bar[notice]A monthly column by Vivienne Solomons who is a legal consultant who passionately believes that God wants His people to make a difference right where they are and to stand up for what is true and just. She is also passionate about encouraging young women to walk victoriously with God and she is engaged in a challenging faith journey as a parent of a child with special needs.[/notice]
When we were young, my two brothers and I would eagerly look forward to Christmas morning, anticipating our gifts all wrapped and ready to be opened. But each of us dealt with the waiting differently.

The older of my two brothers would impatiently creep downstairs in the middle of the night when he thought no one was awake, to sneak a peek; that is, until our parents grew wise to his schemes and bolted the top of the door that led to the living room where our treasures lay.

The youngest of us chose to go to bed early, confident that he would receive everything on his wish list. While I would try to stay awake for as long as possible, not wanting to miss a thing, only to eventually pass out from sheer exhaustion.

We spend a great deal of our lives waiting for something. Waiting in a queue. Waiting for a call. Waiting for the right moment to start a difficult conversation. Waiting for test results. Waiting for the right man or woman to come into our lives. Waiting for a child … and the list goes on.

Waiting is never easy, no matter how young or how old we are. It can be a time laden with so much promise and yet so much uncertainty as well. Waiting can certainly feel like hard work. It often cuts to the very heart of our faith as we become impatient, start to worry and even wonder if God really cares. Yet over and over again in Scripture we are told to “wait on the Lord”.

Lately, I have found myself in what seems like a persistent state of waiting. Waiting on people and waiting on God. And not just for change in my immediate world.

Like us all, I have unrealised dreams not only for my own life but also for our country as well, and sometimes I grow weary in the waiting. So what can we as believers do when we find ourselves in the Waiting Room of our lives? We can:

Choose to wait patiently and expectantly rather than passively:
A person who waits passively hopes for a positive outcome but doesn’t necessarily do anything to contribute to such an outcome and usually gives up after a time; while someone who waits expectantly is confident of a good outcome and is willing to patiently do and/or give what is required until it has been realised.

Seek advice from people we trust and not listen to naysayers:
When we are confused about the next step, it is often the wisdom of others who care for us and are interested in our well being that leads us to the answer God has for us.

Pay attention to the detail and not be distracted by the bigger picture:
Sometimes, we are so intent on looking for signposts in the sky that we miss out on the everyday details that God uses to speak to us.

Resist the temptation to put the rest of our lives on hold:
This is not an easy one for me. I find it very difficult to not bring my whole life to a complete halt when I am waiting on God in just one area. Unfortunately, we sell ourselves short  when we choose to live our lives ‘on standby’. As the saying goes: “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans” (John Lennon).

Push through the fear and take hold of courage:
Sometimes, we confuse fear with waiting on God in that we choose to allow fear to hold us back from taking action. There is a time to wait and a time to step out with courage.

Be grateful for where we are right now:
No matter the circumstances, there is always something in our lives to be grateful for. Too often, we want to rush ahead to the next new thing without taking the time to pause and appreciate where we are and what we have right now.

Waiting can be difficult but it is in the waiting that we become acquainted with who we are and what we want our lives to look like. And God is faithful to meet us there.

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