I can’t believe it’s already April. I’m so busy that the spring just sprung itself on me. What am I busy doing? Well, let’s see…
As a novice container gardener I am waiting for the last frost so I can move my veggies outside. I’m waiting for my younger son to make his college choice. #nopressure While Amazon is now exclusively selling my book, Toyi Elizabeth, I am waiting for the global launch date which is later this month. I’m waiting to go to the movies again. I’m waiting to travel back to Cape Town. I’m busy waiting. That’s what I’m doing.
It may sound like I’m not doing much at all. At the moment, I’m not writing a book, speaking at conferences, gardening outdoors, or going to the movies. “Write,””speak,””garden,” and “go” are all action verbs. But, so is “wait”. Wait is an action. It’s the action God asks us to take in Isaiah 40:31. Those who wait on the Lord will be renewed in their strength. They’ll run and not be weary. They will walk and not faint. Waiting has some benefits.
My grandmother used to say, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” That means we need to stay busy and active for God. “Wait” is actively doing something, while “idle” is quite literally doing nothing. I admit that “wait” looks a lot like “idle” on the surface. However, when we wait there is purposeful, intentional stillness that expects something. It’s an action we take when our hope is in God. If you see me on my front steps, I might just be chilling or I might be waiting for someone to arrive. You won’t know by simply looking at me.
Waiting makes us strong enough for the journey. If you’ve ever had a big undertaking…let’s stay…launching a book in the middle of a global pandemic, then you’ll need all the strength you can get. Wait on God to give you the signal so you won’t faint out there on the mission. If we don’t wait on God’s timing, if we don’t wait for God to show us what to do and how to do it, then doing life can be exhausting and we might faint.
We never make good decisions when we’re tired. We especially don’t make good decisions when we’re sick and tired and ready for change. Those are the moments when we need to do something. Those are the moments when we need to wait. Don’t rush into a new job that might make you more weary than the one you have. Don’t rush to end a relationship that may leave you to faint out there all alone. Making a decision when we are tired is like going to the grocery store when we’re hungry. We make bad choices.
God tells us in Isaiah 40:31 that if we wait on Him, he’ll renew our strength. How many mistakes in our lives could have been avoided if we had just waited on God to give us the signal. I know right!
How Long Do We Wait?
What’s the signal? How do we know when the wait is over? Well, I suppose when your strength has been renewed. If you are still sick and tired, then you may not have the strength to move on yet. When you no longer need to call ninety-nine friends to support your choice, I suppose you’re strong enough for the journey. When you no longer need to bash your current boss, current spouse, or current situation to justify your decision, I suppose you’re ready to run without being weary. The wait is over when you feel God’s strength in your decision. The wait is over when you are so clear about what God wants you to do that the outcomes are of no concern to you. You do what God asks of you and leave the results to God.
You’ll know it’s time to act when you realize it’s time to act regardless of the consequences. In the words of my girl Esther in Chapter 4, “…if I perish, I perish.” The wait is over when your heart can accept whatever fate God brings. You’re done waiting when you are okay not getting what you want because you trust God to give you everything you need. Until then, you might want to wait on the Lord so you don’t faint out there.
If God told you to do something and you know it, then get to steppin! If you are not sure what to do, but you know you need to do something…remember that “wait” is an action verb.