Over the past two months, I have been contemplating the idea of waiting on God. I have scoured the Scriptures looking for clues as to how we should wait, and I have come up with four important concepts.
When waiting, we must:
1. Wait quietly
2. Wait patiently
3. Wait confidently
4. Wait expectantly
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. Psalm 62:1
The concept of waiting quietly is taking on new meaning for me. You see, over a month ago I developed laryngitis after a bout with bronchitis. Since I battle laryngitis at least once each year, I didn’t think much about it. Usually within a few days, my voice begins to return. I never need medications or medical attention; it just resolves on its own.
This time, however, has been different. After a week of non-stop coughing and no voice, I returned to the doctor. I was still coughing constantly, and my throat was raw. The doctor gave me a steroid pack. For the first 48 hours of steroids, I thought I was good to go—then the laryngitis returned. By the time I finished the steroid pack, the inflammation was so bad that I could barely get enough air to breathe—let alone make sound. Each word was barely more than a puff of air escaping through my wind pipe. I was able to get a second round of steroids—stronger than the first.
Although the steroids decreased the inflammation enough to allow me to breathe, my voice did not return. I scheduled an appointment with the ear-nose-throat specialist. When the PA looked at my larynx, she was so shocked by the amount of inflammation that she refused to make the call. The doctor came in to look for himself. Although everything is working correctly, there is simply so much inflammation that air cannot vibrate the way God designed it to. Therefore, no vibration means no sound.
The doctor recommended that I see a speech pathologist for some voice therapy. I scheduled my appointment, but since it was going to be a few days, I cornered one of the therapists at the hospital where I work. He did an “unofficial” evaluation for me, and made the recommendation of NO talking for AT LEAST one week. Talk about waiting quietly!
As I sit here typing this post, I have been on voice rest for about three days now. All I can say is that it is going to be a long week—and I just pray that one week will do the trick! So much is going through my mind: What if one week isn’t enough? Will I have to take unpaid FMLA leave? Will my voice ever return? Have I done permanent damage? What am I going to do while unable to talk? How many books will I read? How many movies will I watch?
What would God have me do during this time?
A friend has pointed out to me that God just might have a lesson in this time—even though I’ve been in no mood to discover what that lesson is! However, I am trying to look at this as an opportunity—a time to complete things I’ve wanted to do but not been able to make the time. This is an opportunity to truly rest—not like a vacation where I’m running around seeing things, but a true time of refreshing. I have already scheduled several important activities for the first two days off work—things that desperately needed to be done but that I simply haven’t been able to fit into my hectic schedule. But, the rest of the week is wide open.
As a single mom, my time is packed—working, running kids, cooking meals, doing laundry, helping with homework. There’s an endless list of activities that must be done, and I am the only adult to manage them all. I am blessed with very supportive family—especially my parents who live next door (but, they’ve been on a well-deserved vacation and I have been completely on my own); but, there are so many things still to be done.
I really try hard to take a day every week to rest. I have been going to church on Saturday evenings so that Sunday can be my day off. I thought I was doing well at reserving time to rest, but apparently God thinks I need an extended time off. So, I now have (at least) a week of total and complete quiet.
As I search the scriptures to gain understanding of what it means to wait quietly, I have found that “wait quietly” is often interchanged with “rest,” depending upon the version that you use. Psalm 62:5 says, Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him (NLT). In the NIV, it is translated Yes, my soul, find rest in God.
When we are waiting quietly before God, we are resting in Him. We are not stirring about, anxious about what may happen. We are at peace. We are not striving. We are not working. Rest is defined as to “cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.” Perhaps that is a clue as to what God is wanting from me.
The thought of waiting quietly and resting in God makes me think of Isaiah 40:31: But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. We live in a culture that puts a high value on activity, but God commanded us to rest. He promises that when we are weary, we need to come to him, learn from him and he will give us rest (Matthew 11:28). Too many of us try to control the crazy lives we live. The truth is, we have no control over our lives—but we can trust the ONE who does. He is sovereign. He is all-knowing. And He loves us so very much that He promises to work ALL things for our good. We need only to trust Him.
I am actually beginning to look forward to this time of quiet. I am expecting to come out with a sense of refreshment and renewal that only God can give. I am excited about having some uninterrupted time to focus on things that I would not otherwise be able to do. I have been praying that God would expand my territory, give me opportunities to share His love and use the gifts that He has placed within me. I am just wondering if this time might be His answer to that prayer.
Although I don’t fully understand why this has happened, I know that none of it has taken God by surprise. He has orchestrated it. He not only knew it was coming, but He planned it. He wants to use this time to accomplish something in my life. I only want to use this time to LISTEN to Him. Too often, I am so busy talking to Him that I fail to hear His voice. Right now, I have no choice but to be quiet and listen.
I am excited to see what He has to say!
So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. Lamentations 3:26