No, there is no spelling mistake in the title of this blog. As you read more, you’ll understand why I’ve decided to title it this. Lately in my life, a pattern of “waiting” has occurred. Waiting for final marks, waiting to hear back from employment opportunities, waiting to know what I should do after I graduate (there’s so many options out there!)… and the list of things to wait for goes on. And if you’re anything like me, waiting can get brutally tiresome and tedious.
Even if we are working or doing something productive in our time of waiting, there’s always something we are working more towards: more money for the house, more money in order to get married, maybe we’re saving money to pay off student debt (*cough cough* me), or to buy our favourite set of kitchen appliances, or to spoil our kids or the people we love most in life. Maybe it’s not really about money to be able to do things for you. Maybe you’re simply just waiting on God’s call. Maybe you’re waiting for both right now.
Recently, I was doing some spring cleaning, trying to sort out what I use and what I don’t use anymore, and I came across a few of my old journals. I started writing in journals when I was 7, so there were quite a few to go through. I skimmed through most of them – my life really isn’t all that interesting – and found a little tidbit in my 12-year-old, 2009-labelled journal. This I what I had written:
“…I feel that I am helpless. I wish I knew what I was here for. Then I could fulfill my purpose. Oh well, I guess that’s part of the adventer of life. I just wish that I could help people. You know, give the poor money, food to the hungary, go and spread the news to those who need to hear it. I can’t wait until I’m older. That’s when I can have a boyfriend, when I can go on a missions trip, can do so much more for God! I guess that’s why I’m asking for Patients. Cause I need it.”
When I first read that, I laughed out loud. First of all, my spelling was AWFUL. Second of all, you definitely don’t need to have a boyfriend (or girlfriend) to do things for Christ, so I’m not sure what I was thinking there. And third of all, I’m in the exact same place I was when I was twelve! I don’t have a boyfriend, I haven’t been on a missions trip, and I definitely haven’t been to Hungary (haha, I had to throw that joke in there to make fun of myself)!! And I want so bad to say that I’ve travelled the world, or have at least seen outside North America… but I can’t. I still want to genuinely help people, and maybe I have in several different ways, but not the ways I have dreamt of. I’m 20 and I want to make a difference for Jesus. I have goals, I have dreams, and I want to serve in the best way I possibly can.
But sometimes what we think is best is not always what God thinks is best. Even when it comes to serving Him. I have often thought things like “why wouldn’t God want me to go on a missions trip?” or “why wouldn’t God want me give to this non-profit organization that brings people to Christ?” – both of these things involve serving God in one capacity or another, so why wouldn’t God ever want us to not do these things?
I’ve heard the phrase “just because you can doesn’t mean that you should” several times, especially when dealing with kids or teenagers. And I think this saying can be applied to both good and bad situations. It’s obvious that just because a person can smoke, doesn’t mean they should smoke. But what about applying that to certain good things that we can do, such as: just because a person can sing, doesn’t mean they always should sing. Imagine if someone started singing in the middle of an exam room – and I don’t mean the type of quiet humming someone does to remember how they musically memorized something – I mean belting out singing like the operatic kind in which you know the person is very talented, but it’s just not the right timing at all. Or just because God calls us all to make disciples doesn’t mean we should all go to Hungary right now and make disciples of Christ there. Because if we’re all in Hungary at the same time, who will be here in Canada to witness to those who don’t know Christ here?
And please don’t get me wrong, please do not say “just because I can, doesn’t mean I should” to someone who asks you to do the dishes or reminds you of the Ten Commandments. I definitely don’t mean it to be an excuse for you to not do something that God is calling you to, or something that your spouse or parents need to you to do like the dishes.
I am simply trying to make a point that although there are certain things God calls us all to do, they are accomplished in His way and in His timing. There literally is a time for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1-8), and that includes different times to serve God in different ways when different opportunities come around. For example, perhaps an opportunity comes around for you serve the homeless and less fortunate in the area through volunteering with a group of people from your church. Or maybe someone asks you to use your musical talent for a youth event. Maybe those aren’t your favourite ways to serve, maybe that’s not what you had in mind when you told God that you’ll go anywhere He sends you. But things such as those are ways we can be serving Christ while we wait on Him. Don’t miss the little opportunities we have to serve while we focus and wait on the big opportunities!
Because the truth is, what I didn’t realize when I was 12 is that sometimes God just wants us to spend time with Him in quietness. Sometimes the best way to serve Him is to simply wait on Him. It’s been 8 years since I wrote that, and I’m still waiting on Him. And even though I am physically in the same place I was when I was 12 and not much has changed in my relationship status or mission trip travelling, I have grown more spiritually and mentally and would not be where I am at today without focusing my attention on Jesus and spending much time with him every day.
So the next time you feel extremely eager to go somewhere or do something grand for Christ, but are reminded that it’s just not possible at this time, remember that God knows you’re desires, your talents, and that he does have something grand for you, especially when it comes to serving him. But also remember that God loves it when we simply just spend time talking with him and waiting on his perfect timing for us. Because as Bethany Dillon sings to God, “You can do more in my waiting than in my doing I could do” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFf-WaFJRTI ). God can do more in our waiting time than we could ever do by ourselves, on our own. And that’s when we’re just waiting! Imagine the amazing crazy things he can do when we step out, and take every opportunity we have to serve Christ!
This Hungary theme has really made me want to snack! Happy waiting and happy serving, folks!