Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Courage to Wait

“It requires much more courage to stand and wait and still not lose heart or lose hope, to submit to the will of God, to give up opportunities for work and leave honors to others, and to be quiet, confident, and rejoicing while the busy multitude goes happily along their way.” J.R. Miller from Streams in the Desert

It was nap time. A time I never did look forward to when it came to family gatherings at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Difficult as it was to settle myself down long enough to rest the sounds of laughter coming from the living room made it even more complicated. Being an epileptic I required daily naps in order to prevent more seizures than I already was having. As difficult as it was I had no choice but to do what I needed to do.

Lying on the bed staring up at the ceiling it felt like life was passing me by and the noise from the living room confirmed it. To me, the appearance of the situation looked like I was graciously pulling aside in life to allow others to pass me by while I was held back to deal with seizures that came and went as they pleased.

It seemed like the only one that was required to stand and wait was me. At the age of twenty I wanted to go places myself. Inexperienced at knowing how to stand and wait and not lose heart or hope I fought it. The attitude I carried in my heart outside of the why me cries was, what kind of courage could it possibly take to lay on that bed smiling and waving at the world as it was passing me by?

Little did I know at the time that it took a great deal more courage to stand and wait than I realized. Although my brain was telling me otherwise, I wasn’t standing and waiting for the world to run me over. What I stood and waited for was God’s leading, His timing, His strength, courage and directions for my life. What I thought I wanted for my life was separate from what God had in store.

In order to help me to patiently wait instead of frantically fuss over everyone else going places I held on to the words Moses said to the Israelites at the shore of the sea. With the massive body of water in front of them and their enemy in hot pursuit behind them Moses got up and said, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” Ex 14:14

Although that probably didn’t go over too well with the crowd it was the truth. They needed to be still and let God do the leading and so do we. If that means letting opportunities pass us by and waiting for God’s timing in our lives then so be it. Before we know it, it will be our turn to move forward as it was for me twelve years after the fact.

At the right time we too will hear as the Israelites heard from God that day after Moses spoke when He said, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on.” Just that quick they went from being still to the need to move on.

Whether it happens that rapidly for us doesn’t matter. What’s important is that we are ready to move forward when the cloud of God’s presence over our lives moves forward too. It may take us several tries but eventually we need to get around to the attitude that if we are going to be an understudy to others we need to be the best we possibly could be. There’s glory in itself being in the shadow of someone else but even shadows move. We need to find the balance between staying too long and moving too quickly and being content to stay and never move forward.

To takes a great deal of courage to stand and even more courage to wait. It’s all in our attitude, its all in our trust that God knows best. His leading beats my bleeding a situation to death anytime.

Our host today is Tami on her blog, The Next Step you really need to get over there and join in this beautiful July day, well its beautiful in Oregon anyway. Oh, there’s lightning going on outside, maybe its not so beautiful but its all in how you look at it I guess. That’s what our quote was about today, its all in how you look at it.


Tami Boesiger said...

I'm enjoying the unique takes we each have on this quote and learning about your experience in waiting. God asks each of us to do different things and each requires us to have the courage to trust Him. Thanks for joining us today with your perspective, Karen!

Debbie said...

Karen, I love the example you used of Moses and the Israelites. They had the cloud cover and we have the Holy Spirit. But I guess, the most important thing is to listen and then obey when told to move.

Blessings and love,

MiPa said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

Missie said...

I feel like I am standing and waiting