I was never very good at playing sports. Oh sure I liked to play volleyball in college, leaving a big crater in the sand where my body landed with a thud and hurling the ball to whack any unsuspecting spectators, but I was certainly no athlete. Before sand volleyball I tried out for softball and basketball (never made the teams) and later joined track because they needed people. There’s a confidence booster. But when I broke my toe trying to throw discus and then hobbled over to my next event, shotput, I realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time doing the wrong thing. My pride hurt about as much as my toe.
With my limited sports experience, I never had to wait on the bench for a turn. I was part of the volleyball team so I showed up and I played. I was part of the track team so I showed up and I…broke my toe. Ahem. Anyway, I never had to prepare and then sit down and wait, and wait, and wait.
But I’m waiting now. I’m waiting on God.
Okay, I’m going to be brutally honest which will probably be more embarrassing for me than the whole toe story but here it is: I don’t like waiting. I complain A LOT. I get aggravated and frustrated and even mad. I get upset with God and wonder what’s taking so long. I wonder if I’ve disappointed Him, upset Him, let Him down and start to reason that THAT is the reason for the delay. I’ve obviously screwed up somewhere so the aggravation and anger turn inward. Then the lying enemy has a field day with me, tap dancing on my thoughts and kicking me in the teeth.
I try to fix things, hurry things along. I let go of God’s hand and run ahead of Him like I do every time the waiting takes too long. I reason, “I’ll just do this and that while I’m waiting. Start a small business, work on another writing project, start something brand new that sounds like fun.” And then when things feel “off” I wonder why. Could it be because I was with God and I let go of Him?! Is not waiting really worth all of that?
What exactly am I waiting for? Well as some of you may know I’ve written a book and I’ve been waiting to hear back from the agent I submitted my proposal to. (I’ve prayed for God’s will in this situation.) In the meantime, I’ve felt like the waiting is going to kill me. Yes, I’ve actually said that. Sheesh, how ridiculous. I know.
But it’s not just the book I’m waiting to hear about but the next step. I love dreaming and planning and getting ready for the next big adventure with God. And you see, there are a few of those spinning in my head that I’ve been praying about. My problem is waiting to see which one God chooses for me.
I realize while I’m waiting on the book and waiting for God to pick the “new” He wants me to move forward with, I’m doing a lot of waiting. Mind you, I’m not sitting here staring at the house as the dust bunnies take over or as the laundry sprouts fingers and crawls out the door; I’m doing the things that need to be done. But my spirit aches for more of God and more of what He has for me to do.
So it seems I’m waiting on the sidelines after all. Yes, I can see myself sitting there on the bench with my legs dangling and kicking. I’ve got my arms crossed and I’m wearing my uniform and pigtails; fitting for my earlier behavior. I anticipate my Coach calling me into the game any moment now. He knows I’m here. He hasn’t forgotten me. It’s just a matter of time; His timing.
Meanwhile, I have a choice. I can give up, get all huffy, and storm off because I’m tired of waiting. Maybe I’ll go chase down a butterfly or take a picture of a flower. (Oh brother, I really DO those things.) OR I can wait here, study my playbook, and cheer on my fellow teammates as I trust and have faith in my Coach that He knows exactly when I’ll be ready.
I choose You, Lord, and Your timing.
And if that’s you sitting beside me on the bench and you’re waiting for God to call your name too, I want you to know I’m praying for you. Don’t give up. I know waiting is hard work, but God has so much more for you than flowers and butterflies. He’s going to call you at just the right time, and you’re going to be amazed at what He has for you. Remember, He’s the One who parted the Red Sea. He can do ANYTHING!
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NLT.)