How to Wait Well
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NASB)
I was traveling to see my sick uncle. After learning his prognosis was not good, many family members made their way to see him and spend time with him.
My decision to make the trip was last-minute. I rushed to pack. I rushed to get to the airport. I rushed to make the flight. Once settled in my seat, I finally relaxed, grateful everything had worked out for me to see him — if only even for a short time.
When I arrived in his city, I caught an Uber. Grateful for the long ride, I took out my phone to pay some bills online. When I reached into my purse to grab my wallet, it didn’t take long for me to realize it wasn’t there.
Of course panic ensued. I made my best effort to dig deep in my purse, poking my fingers into every crack and crevice to make sure my wallet wasn’t hiding in some random corner. Nothing. Zilch. Nada.
So then the phone calls began. The call to Baggage Claim, Lost and Found in my arrival city, Lost and Found in my departure city, the store where I bought gum before getting on the plane … still, nothing showed up.
So I submitted the online form for lost items. Then I settled in to wait and pray.
I remember the pull I felt to keep searching for my wallet, go back and talk to personnel, or visit the Lost and Found in person. But I also remember the pull I felt to be present — to look my uncle in his eyes, to be fully aware and enjoy time with my extended family. I fought fretting about the legitimate concern of a lost wallet loaded with personally sensitive information, so I could focus on what was most important in the moment.
And I prayed. I‘d done everything I could humanly do to fix the problem of the lost wallet and didn’t want to lose the opportunity to fully engage in precious moments with people I love. There was nothing to do about the missing wallet but wait.
I had a choice. I could wait with worry or wait well … resting in the knowledge I’d done all I could do and trusting God with what remained.
What is worry? It’s allowing one's mind to dwell on potential or actual difficulty or troubles. While concern is legitimate, and though emotional anxiety can be, too, we have a choice whether or not we dwell on the matter.
As Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Not only does the Bible instruct us to be “anxious for nothing,” it also gives us something else we can do. Something that can keep our heads and hearts busy, even if we have to keep our hands still.
Bottom line? We can pray.
Waiting well always involves the discipline of being still or “standing firm” (Ephesians 6:13) and the discipline of taking our concerns to the Father. This means prayer “without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) — as often as necessary to change the work of worry into the holy work of rest.
Was it hard to rest while I waited? Yes, it was. But when I felt the angst rise as to whether or not my wallet would turn up, I prayed. I also reminded myself that everything in that wallet could be replaced. The time I wasted worrying could not.
Did my wallet turn up? Yes, it did. Thankfully, it was returned a few days later with nothing stolen or used inappropriately. But, more importantly, my choice to wait well in this circumstance helped to ensure other things were not lost, too — my peace of mind and precious time with my family.
When faced with the option, let’s choose to wait well. However God chooses to move in response to your prayers, He can always be trusted with the outcome.
Dear God, help me wait well. Help me know what to do and when to do it. Then, help me do the holy work of rest, even when I would rather work and worry. Give me peace, and teach me to trust You as I wait for You to answer my prayers. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Psalm 37:7a, “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act.” (NLT)
Matthew 6:31-34, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (NIV)
Are you struggling because you feel as if you’ve lost the girl in you? Check out Chrystal Evans Hurst’s newest book, She’s Still There!
Would you like a reminder to help you wait well while you trust God to answer your prayers? Click here to download a free printable Chrystal has made available for you.
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What have you lost that you pray God will help you find?
What does waiting well look like for you? Share what you’ve learned in the comments with someone else who’s struggling with worry and anxiety.
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