God vs Google

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jer 29:11)  “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28) “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!” (Ps 27:14) … … … … …

Learning to Wait

Don’t know what the next step is?  Don’t know what the best option is? Remember those times you were at a loss as to what do.  One of those times that you needed an answer—and wanted it NOW.  People may have told you: Research it. Make questionnaires. Ask for advice. Go to the library. Practice it. Think about it.  List pros and cons. Solve the problem.  Take a personal quiz. Figure out the best possibility….if all else fails GOOGLE IT! 😉  But did anyone ever say, “Wait for it”?

Come on, now!  How can “waiting for it” ever produce an answer?  That’s an oxymoron. Answers don’t magically appear without searching for them. But think with me for a moment, Someone has told all of us to “wait for it.”  The realization struck me the other day:  Of all the themes in the Bible, I can’t think of one instance that instructs me to “figure it out,” to “solve the problem”… But I can think of LOTS of instances that God says “Wait patiently,”  “Be still,” “Do not worry about tomorrow”…  (Disclaimer: please hear me out.  I’m not advocating that we should idly sit back meditating until answers are painted on the clouds)

Oh, waiting is one of the hardest lessons I’m learning in life!  I, as I think most of us do, like to logically figure out an answer and then act on it. It gives us power and independence.  So when God says “wait,” we grumble and complain and don’t understand why it’s “taking God SO LONG.” Have you ever stopped to realize, it’s YOU God is probably waiting for!  You are the one that is not ready, and the other people and circumstances involved are not ready.  Not ready for what?  We’ve been doing our research!  Maybe we’ve been doing the wrong kind of research, or rather neglecting the Higher Research.  Are we, like Martha, figuring out how to clean fifteen sets of tableware instead of listening to be transformed into the Server Himself? Have we been looking for answers or seeking the Answer Himself.  Are we degrading God into the best “google” we could ever want, or are we seeking to become like Him so that in doing so, we will then become aware of His will because we know better who He is and are becoming more like Him?
So, I choose to wait.  But then what do I do with all these unanswered questions of which I don’t know even when I’ll have an answer to them?  The best advice I was given was “surrender them,” which for me, looked like “just turning them away.”  When one came knocking, simply saying “sorry, nobody’s home to answer that question right now.”  For me, this turned out to be a great way to practice abiding in Christ because it was a moment by moment struggle of choice.  But praise God that I know He knows how to answer them and when to answer them, and so I can choose to trust Him with that.  I came up with a little “jingle” to remind me throughout the day of the lessons I was learning:

It’s not my job to figure out; It’s not my job to figure out; It’s not my job to figure out, the way my life ought to go.  It’s my job to trust to Lord, to get to know Him more and more; It’s my job to wait until, God reveals His perfect will.

Surrendering the Unknown

I chose to reject either kind of worry—I was not to be worried about if what I wanted was going to happen, nor was I supposed to be worried about if what I didn’t want was going to happen.  God gives us strength for today alone.  He says, “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Mat 6:34)  Once He reveals an outcome, then He will give me the strength to bear it either way.  But I am taking an unnecessary burden on myself if I worry about all the potentials.  Surrendering was very concrete in simply returning all of my concerns to God each moment and trusting He had an answer that He would reveal in His time.  Accordingly, I was amazed with the peace from God I could experience even without having answers—a situation that is totally unnatural for me to be at peace in!

As I was sharing this experience and how I’d been enjoying a new sense of peace even without answers to my questions, a new concept unfolded to me.  As my fellow missionary Danielle reflected, many people are afraid to completely surrender because they’re afraid of a certain unwanted outcome.  But if we realize that it is not necessary to worry about giving up the thing we want but rather practice waiting until God reveals if giving it up is necessary or not, we can enjoy a “peace that passes all understanding.” (Phil 4:7)  Then once God reveals His will, He will give us the strength to bear it and we can trust that that is truly what God knows is best for our lives.

Will you surrender any unknowns you’re unnecessarily fearing?  Will you search to know God rather than just seek Him as the “ultimate Google”?  Will you trust God knows what is best in any of your life’s questions?  Will you practice waiting instead of trying to solve it all by yourself?  God’s peace be with you!

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