Be Still and Wait

A few words I got from the Lord earlier in this year were “be still” and “wait.” I was in a season of worry, a season of looking frantically ahead, a season of anxiety. At the end of the spring and beginning of the summer, I kept feeling like God was setting me up for a season of being still. I had just moved into a new house, went full-time at work, and the pandemic made traveling safely and meeting new people nearly inaccessible. There was little in my life that was up for any kind of change or expiration. And so the message “be still” was planted in my heart.

For a while I rested in that. I settled into my new house, got adjusted to more hours at work, and was content in where I was. However, the newness of everything eventually began to fade. I started to realize something about myself: I love change. My whole life has been centered around change: a new grade each year, new classes each semester, a different sport/activity every season, a new place to live every year in college, even the people around me would change year to year and season to season. And I hadn’t realized how much I loved it, depended on it, until nothing was changing anymore. I was still, yet eager to be set in motion.

For about two weeks, I became an anxious mess researching what could be my next step. I searched through endless lists of mission trips, gathering information on what I would need, how much money it would cost, dreaming up ideal jobs and ways to get to be where I wanted to be, doing what I wanted to be doing.

It was late one night when I was researching trips on my laptop and my phone screen lit up beside me. I looked over and it was a verse from my Bible app. I get a Bible verse every day on my home screen at 12:36am. The thing is, it wasn’t 12:36am. I picked it up, curious about what this verse could be, popping up randomly on my screen: “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord” Psalm 27:14.

I just stared at my screen. There I was, feeling anxious and trying to dictate my future months—maybe even years—in advance. I was trying to pave my own way to whatever ideal future I had in mind. I recognized that the reasons behind why I was doing the things I was doing were rooted in fear and doubt. I felt the need to make it happen for myself since God didn’t seem to be moving me in the direction I desired to go.

The desire to forge my own way did not immediately disappear with that verse popping on my screen. I didn’t suddenly delete all the links I had saved or even stop looking at websites, but those words hung on my heart. Even now, months later, I still struggle with waiting on certain things. Yet just recently I saw a TikTok—yes a TikTok—from the account @aussie.dave. Every day he explains the definition of a Hebrew word. At this point I hadn’t seen many of his videos, but this one caught my attention. It was the word “qavah” which means “to wait, but not to wait quietly, it actually means to wait for God with eager anticipation…” So instead of waiting with anxiety and doubt filling my heart, I will pray fervently for the things I desire, waiting eagerly for the day that God will gift them to me.

A sweet friend gave me some more words of encouragement: “Isaiah 40:31 ‘But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.’ It’s so beautiful to wait on the Lord, his timing is everything.”

I don’t want the future that my blind, clumsy hands create. I want the future that is carefully handcrafted by the Creator, the one who works all things out for the good of His people (Romans 8:28). The one who is doing a million things in the background that I can’t see now. He is asking me to be still, asking if I will wait for Him, asking if I’ll allow Him to mold my character, to prepare me for whatever lies ahead. My answer is yes.

Always,

Emily

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