In times when we are sidelined in a season of waiting, trusting that rewards lie ahead is difficult because everything about the situation feels uncomfortable, uncontrollable, and unwieldy. However, with focused attention you can find positives in your present situation, and condition yourself to wait, rather than dashing forward with decisions that may prove disastrous.
COVID-19 pushed the pause button on the way we normally conduct our lives. Many were uncomfortable with the slowdown and ill-at-ease with the new normal as they struggled to quash fears and waited for the situation to change. However, waiting provides opportunity for rest, reflection, and renewal, and allows us to refocus for even greater perspective.
For twenty-five years, I participated in a 5:30 a.m. cycling class three mornings a week. When the fitness center suddenly closed its doors, and the cycling class disbanded, I felt displaced. But the change to my schedule resulted in added rest that enhanced my mental capabilities and energy level throughout the day. I didn’t stop exercising altogether, just changed to a later time.
Although many people view a time of waiting negatively, one benefit is the opportunity to slow down from life’s frantic pace and rest. Yet, we often find it difficult to let go of our plans and schedules and take advantage of a pause. Sometimes we equate rest with laziness. Instead, view rest as an opportunity for physical recuperation, mental stimulation, and emotional rejuvenation.
Many of us avoid quietness and stillness. We’re a blur of constant motion, moving from one activity to the next, listening to music or TV, checking social media, reading online articles, or playing games on our phones. While moving, talking, or engaging in mindless pursuits, there is no time to reflect, ponder, process emotions, or connect spiritually.
Waiting allows time for contemplation, an opportunity to process feelings and hear God’s voice. For those unaccustomed to stillness, it may require adjustment to the cessation of motion reflection requires. But once you begin to experience the peace and personal revelations, you will look forward to times of reflection with anticipation.
After my mother’s death, my family home needed renovation and renewal. My father died almost twenty years before my mother. Without him there, maintenance in many areas of the house was left undone. Some rooms needed a total gut, others, cleaning and a coat of paint. The job was projected to last three months. In reality, it required much longer. When the renovation was complete, I could feel my father’s approval even though he wasn’t present.
Renewal in times of waiting is similar. It may appear to involve minimal effort, but once you begin, you discover there is more work required than you realized. You may need to take some habits, actions, reactions, and attitudes down to the studs and start over.
Spiritual renewal may mean in-depth study of God’s word. Physical renewal could start with cultivating an exercise routine or shifting to a plan of healthier eating. Each step you take toward renewal refreshes, helps you cope with your current circumstances, prepares you for the next turn in your journey, and more closely aligns you to God’s plans and purposes for your life.
When you trust God’s time frame in a life pause, and see the benefits, the Father is pleased and will reward your obedience in waiting.
Candy Arrington is a writer, blogger, and speaker. She frequently writes on the topics of faith, health, personal growth, and methods for moving through, and beyond, challenging life circumstances. Candy’s publishing credits include nonfiction books and hundreds of articles and devotionals in numerous print and online outlets including: Focus on the Family, AriseDaily.com, Inspiration.org, CBN.com Healthgrades.com, Care.com, NextAvenue.org, CountryLiving.com, and Writer’s Digest. Her newest book, Life on Pause: Learning to Wait Well (BVB), addresses the challenges inherent in navigating life pauses and seeks to help others learn to wait well. Learn more at CandyArrington.com
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