Set Your Sails

I used to think “waiting on God” meant you just stood still and did nothing. But even “standing still” does not mean doing nothing.  Waiting on God can look very much like a busy waiter at a restaurant. They wait upon their customers by doing a lot.

Waiting is not Lazy

I used to be a waitress, so I know that they rarely sit around and do nothing. Even when no one is there to be served. During the down times at the restaurant I worked at, we sliced veggies for the salad bar, peeled potatoes for the American fries, returned clean silverware and plates back to storage, and anything else the boss asked of us. No standing around, that is for sure.

Waiting is Doing

When we want to wait upon the Lord, we must surrender our way to His. We must trust His timing, not force things to happen on our timeline.  Hard to wait. But it’s not like running your engine on idle. Waiting does not mean wasting. It requires patience but it also allows us to do things. Actually, we can do a lot of things while waiting.

We are called to prepare and do whatever we can to the best of our ability. Wait on the Lord, yes. But prepare for the wind He will direct and set our sails for the current He controls. That means waiting is doing.

How to Set Your Sails

First, a few things we do not do in our time of waiting. (been there done those things)

1. We do not manipulate

It is tempting to try to make things happen faster and in the way we envision. We push others to act, we beg and plead, we lie and cheat, and strive in our own efforts. It is exhausting. It is wrong. Manipulation is another word for control. It’s easy to dress it up so it looks better than it is.  A statement to someone who we want to do things our way might sound like this,

“If you really cared about me, you would…”

And sometimes we just take the reigns and do it ourselves. We pay their fines. We do their work. We mean well. But it reveals something we don’t want to admit: we doubt God and have more faith in ourselves than Him.

2. We do not toss the towel

So the opposite of manipulation might be resignation. We no longer try to control the outcome by stressing and striving. We simply say “forget it”  and we stop working. We call it “surrender” when we need to search our hearts to make sure it’s not “doubt and fear.”  Faith without works is dead. So obstacles and delays may simply be tests of faith. Will we press on?

What do we do to in the Meantime?

1. We Pray

We must check in often with our Father. Asking, seeking, knocking. It’s essential to get into His Word and trust it. He’s a Man of His Word. His promises are real. But we won’t know them if we don’t read them. We won’t remember them if we don’t meditate on them. We won’t believe them unless we test them.  The longer I sit with Papa and tell Him all that is on my heart, the more I seem to know His heart and the easier it is to wait upon the wind and the current to move my sailboat.

2. We Do The Next Thing (TNT)

I like to call it power. Dynamite is shortened to TNT. I take those letters and say the power is in The Next Thing.  I can’t do it all. I am not to try to make it happen with manipulation. I am not to give up. But what can I do? It seems to me to often be overwhelming and I cannot do anything. But I look again. I always look again.

And I usually discover there are things I can do. I can set my sails. Prepare for the answer. Be as ready as possible for the moment He stirs the current and directs the wind to blow. My sails can be up and ready. Or they can be wrapped tightly in storage. The wind will come and I can either begin to sail. Or find myself totally unprepared and miss the opportunity completely.

The Next Thing. Do that. It may be tiny. It may seem inconsequential. But each step forward is forward movement. It is one step closer to your destination. It is.  And it matters.