Nobody likes waiting. Long lines at the pharmacy. A long wait to be seated at a restaurant. Waiting at the doctor’s office. Waiting for news. Waiting on God to show you what to do. No fun. Kids seem to be especially bad at waiting, and they opened my eyes to how we can wait better during a couple parenting moments recently. I’ll share one example today.
One evening this week our kids were begging to go to the park after dinner. Since everyone finished in a timely fashion, we loaded up and headed to one of our favorite parks with a playground and hiking. After the kids played for a bit, Andrew suggested that we take a short hike to part of the park that the kids had not hiked before. He and I have walked it several times, but it was new for them. We climbed to the top of a very tall hill which extends along the length of one side of the park. When we reached the peak, the kids immediately wanted to run down the hill and back to the playground. We encouraged them to WAIT and to walk the length of the hill to its end. We knew that at the end of the hill trail, the playground was waiting at the bottom. But if they went down the hill early, they would be all the way at the back of the park, far away from the playground. The moaned and groaned about having to walk farther: “We just want to run down the hill! It looks so fun right here!” Yes, yes, we know. But just trust us and wait a little bit before you go down…
Sometimes when we are waiting on God, we are tempted to jump at the first opportunity that looks good. But when he asks us to wait, we can trust that he has a good reason. He can see the whole path, and he knows that first option isn’t going to put us where we need to be. While my kids were whining about walking that hill trail, they were missing out on some beautiful scenery, and they weren’t enjoying our family time. When they finally settled into the waiting, when they finally chose to trust that we knew where we were going, they were able to continue enjoying the walk. If we are waiting on the Lord, it’s best to settle in, choose trust, and enjoy the views he has for us along the way. Waiting doesn’t need to be full of stress. Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing.” Nothing. Not one thing. When we are in difficult seasons of waiting, we can choose trust and find peace and joy even in difficulty.
Case in point, Andrew’s hours were cut dramatically this summer as his boss tried to save the company (which he did!). We’ve both felt stressed about the pay cut, looking for new job opportunities, trying to bring in extra money somehow. Needless to say, we weren’t enjoying the path, just like my kids didn’t enjoy our hike along the top of the hill because they were too busy complaining. And God just resonated the truth in my heart – “I gave you long weekends for the whole summer! Why aren’t you enjoying them!?” Why were we stressed and frustrated? God knew the trail he had us on – he could see the whole thing. While we did eventually come to the place of trusting God and enjoying the journey, I wish we had gotten there (to peace) faster. When we choose to trust that God is leading us on the right path, we don’t need to stress. We can just trust and enjoy life.
What are you waiting through right now? Have you taken a moment to look around at the blessings that are in your life even in the midst of the challenges? I encourage you to choose trust today and to enjoy the scenery of the path God has you on!
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.” Psalm 130:5