Stretching While You Wait

 “He who is best prepared can best serve his moment of inspiration.”

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.”

C.S. Lewis

I have often heard that God answers prayers in one of three ways: yes, no, and wait. I get the answer “wait”… a lot. There are times that I wish those answers came in an 8-ball so that I could just keep shaking it until I got the answer I wanted. God, however, is not an 8-ball, so when He says wait, it is best to obey.

For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him… And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, which she had born unto Abraham, mocking.

Genesis 21:2, 9

Sarah had to wait 25 years for the promised son. She grew a little impatient, so she took it upon herself to make it happen by giving her handmaid to her husband so that she could gain a child through Hagar. Now that Sarah finally had what God had promised her, she had to deal with the consequences of her actions: Hagar and Ishmael. She should have waited, but it is hard to sit idly by while the world moves on. So,what do you do while you are waiting?

When God says wait on Him, he doesn’t mean to just sit in front of the television binge watching or endlessly scrolling through social media. Maybe what you are waiting on requires a little preparation. So, maybe it’s time to get up off the couch and stretch.

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 3:13-14

I recently bought a copy of The Joy Box Journal by Adria Wilkins. I ordered the book online and it took the scenic route to get to my house, so I was waiting [not so patiently] on it. Then, I was busy dealing with the flea incident [see earlier posts], causing me to wait another week to actually open it. I was excited to finally sit down and open the book. The first entry was about how the author had to wait a while to adopt a child, referencing Luke 1 about Elizabeth and Zechariah waiting for a child. It caught my attention because the Sunday before the pastor preached a sermon on the Genesis 21 text I referenced above. I had been praying about a couple of things, so the book had actually come at the right time to confirm God’s answer to wait.

A couple of days later, an entry referenced Philippians 3 and the idea of stretching yourself. I had been planning to start a 21-day plan to help me focus on discerning God’s will for my writing, and part of that plan is a focus on eating and exercising in a more mindful way. Maybe I needed to stretch my mind, body, and spirit while I wait.

Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

1 Corinthians 9:24

If you want to finish the race and win the prize, you have to grow. As Christians we grow by renewing our minds in the scriptures, praying, and obeying God’s known will. Take the waiting time to study to show yourself approved. Digging into the Word of God prepares our hearts and minds. Then, pray for guidance, but also purpose to pray for others. It is easy to get caught up in our own little world, but when we focus on the needs of others, it gives us a clearer perspective. Finally, If you want to be considered for bigger jobs, then you should do your current job to the best of your ability. If God tells you to mop the floor, then make that floor shine. None of these things is easy, but stretching isn’t about easy; it’s about growth. Usually growing has its share of pain, but it’s worth the end results. I will keep telling myself that every time I pass the ice cream shop. Maybe I’ll just change my route to work.

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