Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thankful in the Waiting

Recently I gave myself a prayer challenge.  That challenge is that for a week or so I will only pray with a total attitude of gratitude.  Too often, I’ve found myself praying more along the lines of “God, I want…” and “God, I need…”.  I know that God does want us to ask in prayer for what we need.  God also wants to us to turn to Him with the struggles and issues we face in this life.  He knows it can get tough at times.  But He also wants us to notice how He is at work in the world around us.  

Prayers of gratitude and thanksgiving are a way of praising and worshiping God.  The last couple of years have been tough ones and I’ve leaned heavily on God the Comforter to get me through some very dark and difficult days.  I want God to know that I deeply appreciate His presence and His strength.  I’m very thankful for all that He has done.  So I’m taking some time to just thank Him daily and to ask for nothing.  It has been going well.

Until – I found myself waiting for a phone call.  I also found myself wanting to ask God to make that phone call happen.  

I remembered my challenge – Just Be Thankful.

But how am I supposed to be thankful when something I want to happen isn’t happening? 
What is there to be thankful for in that?

As I pondered over this question, it suddenly came to me.  

Be Thankful For The Waiting.

Be Thankful, for the waiting means that some things have already been accomplished and done.  Life is a journey, always moving forward.  As we move from one season of life to another, there will be times of waiting.  Waiting is a sign that growth and change has already happened. 

Be Thankful, for the waiting is filled with anticipation for the new things ahead.  I have a friend getting married in a couple of weeks.  She is deep in the waiting phase and is counting down the days to the wedding.  Her waiting is filled with a growing sense of excitement as to what the future will hold.

I’ve face days of waiting on lab results after some major surgery.  The waiting was a time of hoping for the best and preparing for the possibility of the worst.  The waiting strengthened my faith as I knew whatever happened, God would provide the means to face it. 

Be Thankful, for the waiting is a reminder of God’s timing.  I want it now and God says not yet.  God knows when the time is right.  I don’t wait alone – God waits with me.

So often waiting is taken as a sign that God is teaching us patience.  But it may be that the waiting is the very thing God wants us to experience.

To be still and know…
To know that He has brought us this far.
To know that He is good.
To know that there are so many things to be grateful for now … in the waiting.

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