(Below are Jessica's thoughts on Chapter 12 of Just Enough Light For the Step I'm On. Please know that what we all learn from a study is usually different. Therefore, we ask, if you feel like it, to please share in the comments section what you got out of the reading as well. We're sure you'll lift someone's spirits!)
We’ve all heard the expression “The waiting is the hardest part”. In Chapter 12, Waiting in the Wings, I realized that this is because it involves so much patience. This chapter was helpful to me in realizing that you can wait on God patiently and still be fruitful and constructive. Stormie also gave some great insights on how to make the waiting periods in life easier to understand and even embrace.
Brief recap of Chapter 12:
Waiting in the Wings begins with Stormie illuminating the waiting periods in our lives, where we are eager for God to take action that will move us toward greater blessing and increase. She likens it to a play, where you are waiting for the next scene or act to start. Instead of a quick and smooth transition, her intermission gets extended and prolonged and we are left wondering when the real action will begin. She reminds us that the waiting is necessary because it produces patience, which we could not develop otherwise. She ties it all together with previous chapters on page 108, “When we are being tested, walking in the wilderness, surrendering our dreams, or standing in the line of fire, part of what we are learning is to be patient.”
Patience. This is something I pray for on a daily basis. Mostly, this involves praying for patience with my children and what challenges will arise on any given day. I realize now that I also need to be patient with God. I need to trust that He is still working on my behalf even when I can’t see it or feel like it is taking too long. This, for me is a very true measure of my faith at any given time. I can feel God’s love, promises and hopes for my son’s future but how well I am able to endure the waiting and persevering really shines a light on how much I am really trusting God to work things out.
Waiting can often involve stillness, where you need to stop what you are doing and open up an opportunity for God to guide you in a new direction. Sometimes we have to let people or circumstances out of our life to make room for something new that will ultimately be better. It can be very hard to let go, especially if you feel someone or something has been beneficial in the past. Waiting can also be a time of preparation (As Stormie puts it on page 108, “Waiting doesn’t mean doing nothing”). This may give us an opportunity to learn a new skill (or in my situation, type of therapy to work at home with my son), make new connections or develop a new insight that might be infinitely helpful. It can give us a chance to regroup and re-evaluate what is working and what is not, leading us to better decisions for our children. As we strengthen our faith and trust God more fully, we empower Him to work more in our lives and our waiting, perseverance and patience will invite the positive action we are longing for.
Sometimes it really is all in how you see things. Stormie’s suggestions helped me to view waiting in a different way. She suggests that it’s better to think of yourself as waiting on God, not trying to be patient with your circumstances. This makes a lot of sense to me and gives the power back to God, not what is troubling me or causing difficulty. I definitely related to her description of going through the motions, waiting for the next spurt of progress or new direction to take. On page 110, Stormie writes, “Every day you have another opportunity to affect your future with the words you speak to God. Each prayer sets something in motion”. I pray that my eyes and heart are open to the new ways God wants to show me that will affect my son’s future in a positive way. It is good to know that God gives me that chance every day when I call on Him for help or guidance.
Lord, thank you so much for all you do for us behind the scenes. Help us to remember that you are always acting on our behalf. Protect us from any fear, anxiety, doubt or sadness that might creep in and tempt us to give up instead of persevering and believing in you during our seasons of waiting. Your timing and Your ways are always perfect and will lead us in the direction that we need to go. Remind us lovingly that you use these situations to strengthen our faith and develop patience. Empower us with your graces and allow us to fully embrace Your perfect will in our lives so that we can grow in knowledge of you and bring our families into greater blessing. We ask this in Your name, Lord Jesus. Amen.
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.”
“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.”
“The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”