I went to the walk-in clinic and could hear the doctor arguing with a patient. When a new patient went in, the doctor proceeded to complain about the previous one. It was so embarrassing. I felt completely awkward about overhearing their conversation through the walls. Should he really be discussing this? I didn’t want to hear about other patients during my visit. I quietly got up, retrieved my medical file before I was called, and went back downstairs to the front desk.
“I would like to see another doctor.”
I had no intention of complaining. I had just decided that this wasn’t going to work for me. One of the staff members whipped out a sheet for me to fill in. He wanted to make sure that would can improve the service for the next person. Meanwhile, as I’m sitting here, I find myself getting annoyed. If I had just gone with the original doctor, I would be home by now. Instead, I’m still here. In the waiting room. Still. Waiting.
I often find myself complaining, feeling depressed or frustrated while I wait. But none of those reactions help the situation. When I was stewing internally, the new doctor didn’t move any faster. In fact, I’m pretty sure he didn’t know I was annoyed.
God is sovereign and he is working everything together for our good. You may be waiting but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing happening. God is always working behind the scenes. My friend recently messaged me a quotation from John Piper: “God is always doing 10,000 things in your life, and you may be aware of three of them.”
It’s taken me a long time to realize that. When you grow impatient, all you do is make things worse for yourself and create more ‘mess’ that God has to work out… thereby lengthening the process. Trust me, I should know. Thankfully, it took a lot less time to snap out of my ‘mood’ than in the past.
Are you angry that you’re still waiting? Maybe you’re waiting on a man or woman. Maybe it’s a job or a move. Regardless, the waiting is the same.
Sometimes we have to wait longer for a better situation to arise. Here are a couple of things that came to mind during my wait:
1) Go easy on the double backs
When I first decide to make a change and to stop settling, I feel liberated. Sometimes I’m legitimately confident that I’ve followed the leading of the Holy Spirit. But then some time passes. And I start wanting to pass the time. All of a sudden, the not-so-great option that I just left starts to look a lot more appealing. That’s when we do it; we double back. Instead of waiting patiently for the Promised Land, we start to shrink back into the depths of the wilderness, longing for Egypt. So how can we avoid this? The next point can help with that.
2) Decide how you want to spend your time
Sometimes we become impatient with the wait because we don’t realize that it’s part of God’s plan. The minute I decided to stop complaining, I actually started doing something productive instead – writing.
Here are some other things that I’m [slowly] trying to tackle:
- Go on a vacation
- Take a second job
- Get out of debt
- Develop my hobbies
- Become more active
So next time we find ourselves in what seems like a permanent holding pattern, we’ll do well to remember that God has a plan for our wait.
P.S. Wouldn’t you know it? Just as I finished scribbling the first draft of this post, my name was called.