My first response to tackling anything in life is to bolt. I get a new ministry idea…I go full speed. I see a mess in the kitchen…go full speed cleaning wildly, madly, running from room to room…might as well right?
I instinctively want to rush through every single factor of life…to get past whatever task, struggle or hardship I’m presently facing.
I do laundry fiercely, wash/rinse/dry dishes so quickly that I miss smudges and crack glasses into cabinets. I clean my closets with speed, timing myself to beat my last record. Yet if you were to peek inside you would see a haphazard mess, not one sign of organization.
I sweep and mop our floors so intensely that I’ve broken 3 Swiffer wet mops. I’ve also put so much tension on my right hand and forearm while cleaning that I was crippled by carpal tunnel, had surgery but two years later I was diagnosed with tendinitis.
Needless to say, I clean with intensity.
I get my children involved in the cleaning madness so that my time can be even more efficient, yelling, barking out orders like a drill sergeant as my girls and boys scurry to assist their wildly frantic mother.
All mundane tasks that grate my nerves are set to a test, a battle against the clock to beat yesterday’s record speed.
All things annoying, unwanted, difficult, painful, trips the default setting in my mind, sounds an alarm that screams “blast through this, beat the clock and GO!”
Unlike the dishes, laundry, scrubbing the floor, we cannot outrun real-life struggles and problems in hopes to overcome the pain and speed up Gods process to beat His clock.
I think of Elijah (1 Kings 18-19) as he ran with velocity after calling fire from heaven to consume the god of Baal on Mount Carmel. Even though this amazing man of God just witnessed God’s miraculous provision, He ran for 100+ miles from doubt and fear. It was in the desert, by the brook, dependent upon nothing but God and birds for sustenance that he overcomes the battle, resumed strength and endured.
Not all of us have such a quiet place with birds to rest and wait on God. As a mom to two rambunctious toddlers, there are many days I crave that kind of quiet. Send me to the brook to depend upon birds for lunch Oh Lord! JK that would be awful.
As Tony and I set out to save two adorable children from living a life in foster care, we have learned many things, but waiting on the Lord has been at the top of Gods curriculum. As we waited three long agonizing years for our final adoption hearing, Tony and I were finally blessed to leave the courthouse with two sweet boys to call our very own. Although our lesson plan of patience is far from being complete (quite impossible with two wildly energetic boys) we have withstood the test of endurance.
Now that we are on the other side of the adoption process, I can see God’s hand of control since the day He asked us to rescue the sweet boys. Like Elijah, we have seen God’s miraculous provision. He carried us through the three grueling years of hardship (financial, physical, spiritual, emotional). It was undeniable that He held us close as we endured the change in our family dynamic, walked through many court hearings, doctor appointments and days and days of tears (from little ones and mama). But the last remaining test of endurance was the excruciatingly painful silence in waiting.
I know if our adoption process had flown through warp speed like I wished, I would not have seen God clearly or heard His voice of comforting peace as loudly in those many days spent so broken and dependent upon Him.
The waiting feels eternal. We feel the moment of finality and completeness will never come. But in such moments we cannot lose hope. We know God does not leave His children without completing His will. I am comforted and encouraged by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God does not begin something that He will not complete.
Today as I instinctively want to remain so busy that I refuse to think on the many things I am waiting to take place in life, I am choosing to take a deep breath, to lean hard against God and listen for His provision by the brook. For I know that it is in this place of surrender that He provides my nourishment and peace.