My good friend Matt Peacock is waiting. He is waiting for what is next for him and his family. Most Christians refer to this as “waiting on God.”
The connotation for the term waiting is a picture of doing nothing until you know what to do next. Waiting on God can sound like a passive thing.
Hardly the case.
I recently read a good book by Jeff Goins, The In Between—Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing. Here is a quote from Goins book that hits the bullseye:[su_quote cite=”Jeff Goins, The In Between”]…God is less concerned with exactly what I’m doing and more concerned with who I’m becoming.[/su_quote]
I am observing my friend Matt focus on who he is becoming and trusting God for what he will do next. I don’t think he has read Goins book, but here is something Matt said recently:[su_quote cite=”Matt Peacock”]I know there is more to waiting on God than waiting. What is He doing now? I may think of my life as being in between – but I believe God sees this day as just important and purposeful as any other. That is a great challenge in faith.[/su_quote]
Can’t we all relate?
When Danielle and I moved back from Thailand exactly six years ago this week, I remember wondering what was next for us. While we lived in Thailand I asked God to do me the favor of telling me what was next at least by the time we got on the plane for the return trip. He answered that prayer, sort of.
Our home church hired me as a part-time temporary missions pastor. It was initially a one-year contract that turned into three years.
I still waited on the next big thing.
In many ways, we still are living in the “in between” as we wait for the “next big thing.”
However, a lot of things happened in between the time I got on that plane six years ago and today:
- Served three years as a missions pastor
- Led a young married couples Bible study group for three years
- Helped start a local nonprofit—Partners In Hope
- Obtained our Foster Care and Foster to Adopt License
- Began a new career as a writer
- Fostered an eight-month-old baby boy
- Adopted 23 month-old toddler boy
- Wrote and published first book—Adopting the Father’s Heart
I expressed many times how I felt that I was in between one thing and the next. At the time my focus was on returning overseas to the mission field. I am glad that I was not passively waiting.
I easily could have turned down or rejected any or all of these opportunities if I had been too focused on the “next big thing” in my life.
So, how do I recommend that you stay productive while you wait?
See the waiting as a time to grow.
This is one of Goins main points in his book. I agree with him. Whether it is waiting in line somewhere or it is waiting for a new job, it is an opportunity to grow.
Keep an open mind to new opportunities.
Even though I “knew” we were going back overseas, I kept an open mind to ideas that came my way. Yes, I struggled with “but that is not what I am supposed to do next” thoughts, but I remained open to new opportunities.
Think of “waiting” as an active pursuit.
Use this definition—expect, look for, hope in. Expect, look for, and hope in things to happen while you wait. When we have this mindset, we tend to notice what God is doing around and in us.
Here is another good quote from Goins book:[su_quote cite=”Jeff Goins, The In Between”]Our problem, then, is not one of impatience, but entitlement. Life is waiting. Not just waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting to renew your driver’s license, but waiting to love and commit and find the work you were meant to do. Our lives are full of inconvenient setbacks, not due to some great cosmic mistake but because of some divine purpose we don’t comprehend. In the waiting, we become.[/su_quote]
Question—What are some other ways to stay productive while waiting? Or what is the “next big thing” that you are waiting for?