If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done. Ecclesiastes 11:4 (New Living Translation)
I almost fell into that trap of wanting those perfect conditions mentioned in Ecclesiastes a couple of years ago after I met a man on the Internet. On a plane headed north in order to take care of my granddaughters, I fretted about what I thought was an untenable situation with this man – he lived in Tennessee, was a musician, but did have a Macintosh. Ready to make a hasty decision to end the relationship and avoid any grief, I felt God quietly leading me to just wait. I wrestled with Him for a few more minutes and then acquiesced to His gentle nudge.
On that plane trip God caught my attention and I chose to listen. Waiting is not a passive exercise. In fact, waiting is about the hardest thing we ever have to do. Just watching my nineteen-month-old granddaughter wiggle anywhere we go reminds me how hard it is to wait and at almost 59 I still struggle with it.
It is so easy to waste time while waiting. Imagine yourself standing in line at the bank, or Starbucks, or even sitting in the doctor’s office. I find that at those times my mind wanders down several different roads–from observation of those around me to thinking about my “to do” list.
Another easy yet unproductive habit is to turn the mind “off” and go into neutral. Neutral allows various thoughts and attitudes to enter our mind, some wanted, others unwanted. But if we are going to believe and trust that God is trying to tell us something in those moments of solitude, then we must follow His instructions on waiting.
As I sat on the plane, worrying about how “I would handle a potentially hurtful situation,” I had to decide who was going to be in control–my Heavenly Father, or me? One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
So often I get out in front of what God is trying to do in my life and mess it up. He challenges me to pay attention and stay close to Him. When I choose to trust the One who loves me unconditionally, He begins to unfold His perfect plan in His time.