How To Actively Wait

Today I have the pleasure of having my friend Michael Perkins guest post on Abraham Chronicles. He is a husband, dad, Nazarene pastor, blogger, artist, & map maker. He also wrote a killer manifesto, and you can get it for free here: http://bit.ly/startovr. Oh yeah, and his blog is pretty sweet also! Enjoy!

Waiting is tough.

I cannot think of a single person that enjoys waiting.

If a person is waiting for a dream job, they want the opportunity to come now.  If a person is waiting for a promise from God, they want it now.  If a person is waiting, well for anything, they want it now.

Waiting is an opportunity, but unfortunately many don’t see it that way.  Many view waiting as an inconvenience and a hindrance. (I know I have in the past)

But the truth is, waiting prepares us for what’s to come next

We say things like, “I’m just waiting on the Lord.” or “When God wants it to happen, it will happen.”

Those things are most certainly true, but those statements can also be used as a cop-out or an excuse.  In other words, they can really mean, “I’m going to sit here and do nothing and wait for something amazing to happen.”

Listen, it doesn’t really work that way.

We should actively wait.  We should do the things that will make us better, so that when our time of waiting is done, we are prepared and equipped.

Here are three key things that I have found to be crucial to actively wait:

1. Pray.  Ask God what you need to work on.  Ask God to give you the wisdom, knowledge, courage to be able to handle whatever it is that you are waiting for when the waiting stops.

You’d be surprised how much you actually hear if you would just stop and ask.

2. Practice.  If your dream is to be a professional writer, you don’t just wake up and say, “Today, I’m going to be a professional writer.”  Instead, you write…a lot.

Professional baseball players spend hours hitting off a tee.  Why?  Because they know that if they are going to be able to perform at a high level when their time comes, then they had better do the work and put in the practice.

3. Hope.  Hope is a powerful thing.  It gives us the strength and power to fight through when things get tough.  When we have waited for an extended amount of time.

Races are won in the middle?  Why?  Because everyone sprints when they leave the starting line and everyone sprints when they can see the finish line, but hope gets them through the middle.

Hope propels us to go forward when we cannot see when and where the dream started and hope reminds us of the reward that we cannot see yet, but is waiting for us.

4. Repeat.  Actively waiting is an ongoing process.  In other words, if you are in a period of waiting:  keep praying, keep practicing, and keep hoping.

Don’t waste the opportunity given to you.

Don’t use waiting as an excuse to do nothing.  Instead, actively wait and do the things that are necessary to be the best that you can possibly be.

::

What do you do when you are in a time of waiting?

25 Comments

  • bill (cycleguy)

    March 13, 2012

    Good advice Michael. Sure beats impatiently tapping the foot. :) Seriously, the waiting period can be a great time to listen and learn.

    Reply
  • Jon Stolpe

    March 13, 2012

    I stay away from the clock.

    I try to keep myself going by attending to other things that require my attention.

    Good things come to those who wait!

    Reply
  • Grayson Pope

    March 13, 2012

    Love this Michael. My wife and I talk about this all the time. We feel like we’re always in a waiting stage of some sort, but we keep pushing through it. Most of the time, whatever it is that gets us moving is the very thing He is trying to teach us to begin with.

    Reply
    • Michael Perkins

      March 13, 2012

      Grayson, from the sound of it, you and your wife are very wise.

      Reply
  • Jim F

    March 13, 2012

    Great Advice – I call it the shampoo advice :) – I honestly wait the same way.

    Waiting as Tom Petty says is the hardest part! I hate to wait and hate to be still but in those times where I am obedient and do it – I have learned and grown the most.

    Reply
  • Matthew Snider

    March 13, 2012

    Michael, you are the man – I have something LARGE that I am “waiting” on and it is very very hard. I have been praying, been waiting, been still and I am actually at peace, now I need to stay in motion.

    Reply
  • ThatGuyKC

    March 13, 2012

    Awesome guest post, Michael.

    I’m in a period of waiting now, but I’m trying to focus on being active. I know where I want to go, but I need to bring my A-game where I’m at first.

    Reply
  • ISRAEL ASUQUO

    March 13, 2012

    colosians 1:11, 1 thesalonians 1:3, 11 thesalonians 1:4, 1 timothy 6:11, 11 timothy 3:10 all gives scriptural insights into the essence of waiting as patience which works hope, and faith etc.

    Reply
  • Louis Tullo

    March 13, 2012

    I also know that opening up Scripture during times of waiting helps us remind ourselves of God’s faithfulness to those who wait for Him. It’s such a great way of building faith during difficult times.

    Reply
  • Jason Vana

    March 13, 2012

    Actively waiting is so important. God gives us seasons of waiting to develop something deep within us. It took Abraham and Sarah 25 years to receive the promise of Isaac, and that was just from when God promised a son. It doesn’t take into account the years of prayer from the time they got married until Abraham was 75 and received the promise. That’s a long time to wait. But during that time, Abraham went from someone who tried to receive the promise on his own (Ishmael) to completely trusting God. Romans 4 tells us that he was fully convinced God could fulfill his promise even though it was a physical impossibility. That’s amazing faith!

    Reply
  • Eileen

    March 13, 2012

    Great thoughts, Michael. I’m reading The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson right now. Your thoughts on waiting go so well with that. “But the truth is, waiting prepares us for what’s to come next” So true. Unfortunately, we only see it in hindsight. That’s where faith comes in!

    Reply
  • Cindy Holman

    March 13, 2012

    Good stuff Michael – waiting is not a strong point for me. I struggle with it – but I learn more through those times than when things come really easy to me.

    Reply
  • Jason

    March 13, 2012

    Waiting gets to be a challenge because unlike someone in a race, you know there is a finish line, you know it’s a certain distance from the start and there’s a path to get there. My experience waiting on God has rarely shown me a visible path and I have no idea if/when there’s an ending to this desert trail. And I have no idea what He wants me doing at the end of it so I can practice it in the interim.

    But no one ever said following Christ was easy. ;)

    Reply
  • Keri

    March 13, 2012

    Actively waiting…I love the sound of that! It’s so easy to just sit and grow agitated and impatient while we’re waiting. I love this idea of ACTIVELY waiting, Michael. I could really instill these practices into my own life, rather than saying, “Life will just be better when this or that happens.” He has purpose in the waiting.

    Reply
  • Jon

    March 14, 2012

    I feel like you just went into my mind with this one. It was the kick that I needed. Thanks for the words.

    Reply
  • Moe

    March 14, 2012

    Great thoughts Michael. I was always the guy who hated waiting. I still do, but I’m more “productive” in my waiting. As you mentioned, praying, hoping and my new favorite, using the opportunity to learn. I read, or watch TED videos from iPhone when I have to wait for someone. I like to squeeze every oz of productivity out of each minute.

    Reply
  • Joseph

    March 14, 2012

    Great words, Michael. It’s true. We (I) often have trouble waiting correctly. And while we wait we should be praying, growing, and seeking God. Because when he actually opens up the door and blesses us it will definitely be worth the wait!

    Reply
  • Stephen Haggerty

    March 21, 2012

    Awesome thoughts, Michael. I love The Handwritten. That said, it’s cool to see your thoughts here more expounded. I really enjoy this idea of not merely sitting around and waiting, but pursuing God in prayer and practice.

    Reply

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