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  • Writer's pictureDebbie Salter Goodwin

Wait; Don't Worry

I didn’t wait; I worried.

Knew it the minute the answer came. Knew that my fear had overwhelmed me, robbed me of resources God had wanted me to have so that a time of waiting would not undo me.

What the issue was doesn’t matter because I could apply my worry response to more than one waiting period. Why do I keep forgetting that God promises strength to those who wait, not to those who worry?

Why can’t I wait without worry? Is it because waiting feels so empty and irresponsible? Because the doer inside me feels that if I am not doing something I must be missing what will make the difference?

Jesus told the disciples to wait more than once. He told them to wait and pray. Told them to wait for the power of the Holy Spirit. When waiting is the instruction, worry is unnecessary.

Instead, I should remember that waiting is a place to stop and survey the landscape. Waiting warns against moving forward too quickly. Wait for the right answer or the right time or the right resource. Waiting means the answer isn’t ready yet. An answer before its time is no answer at all.

I know that waiting grows in me a different discernment, a kind of quality control that will not settle for “good enough,” but knows that the best often takes more time. I expect to wait for the roses to bloom, the cake to bake, the weather to change. I have trouble waiting when I was ready to move on. The very process of doing nothing makes me worry that I should be doing something.

I think about Sarah’s story in Genesis. All she had to do to receive her dream was wait. But she worried herself into believing that she had to take control and do something. When she did, she changed everything. She produced an heir for Abraham through Hagar, but not without severe consequences we are still living through.

I don’t want my antsy, doer mind-set to create consequences for me or anyone else. I want to learn to wait. I want to wait with child-like expectation like I do for the clouds to clear or the sun to rise. I know that if I can learn to wait that way, trust grows. Where trust grows, worry wanes.

I know better than to make a wild, over-confident statement that I won’t worry any more. What I can say is this: I WILL let my trust in God go deeper. I WILL let His answers take all the time they need. I WILL ask if I am supposed to do something. And when He shares silence as His answer, I will not fill it with my best idea.


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