I don’t know where you are at right now, but I’ve been in a waiting game for far too long. And, there’s not a lot I can do about this particular game as it is not dependent on me alone. It requires the cooperation of others. I’ve been waiting for three years and three months for a new job to show up since I lost my job in Houston. And after applying for almost 500 jobs during this time, the prospects look pretty grim. No employer out there seems interested, and the economy is still tanked after all of this time.
Psalm 27:13-14 states: “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord.” As a Christian, I know we are admonished over and over again to “wait for the Lord” and to let Him work out His will in our circumstances and our lives (if we give Him the control to do so). We can try to circumvent our time in the “Land of Waiting” in our own way and power, but it usually has disastrous results–perhaps not immediately but definitely in the long term. God is sovereign–we are not.
So, regardless of how I feel, I will continue to apply for jobs and wait for the Lord to move in my circumstances. Each of us is only a tiny piece in the grand “puzzle” of life, and He has to make sure all the other pieces are in place before He can move us into the right place–if we don’t grow weary and try to take matters into our own hands.
However, there are some things in life that we shouldn’t wait on. Let me give you an example from a devotion I read this morning by Dr. Charles Swindoll titled, “Don’t Wait.”
Remember me? I’m the guy who promotes waiting. Allowing the Lord to open the doors, clear the way, smooth the path, shove you through. You know, all the stuff you expect a preacher to say.
But I do think we can get so good at waiting that we never act. We yawn and passively mutter, “Maybe, someday” as we let opportunities slip away. Like having friends over for ice cream or going on a picnic. Like using the fine china or celebrating a birthday . . . or slipping away for a weekend of relaxation and romance . . . or sailing for a day . . . or spending a week away with the family. “Not this year . . . but maybe, someday . . .”
Don’t wait! If you continue such passivity, someday will never come–and you’ll regret it for the rest of your days. I realized this anew when I read the following in the Los Angeles Times. Ann Wells writes:
My brother-in-law opened the bottom drawer of my sister’s bureau and lifted out a tissue-wrapped package . . . . He discarded the tissue and handed me the slip. It was exquisite; silk, handmade and trimmed with a cobweb of lace. The price tag with an astronomical figure on it was still attached.
“Jan bought this the first time we went to New York, at least eight or nine years ago. She never wore it. She was saving it for a special occasion. Well, I guess this is the occasion.”
He took the slip from me and put it on the bed with the other clothes we were taking to the mortician. His hands lingered on the soft material for a moment, then he slammed the drawer shut and turned to me.
“Don’t ever save anything for a special occasion. Every day you are alive is a special occasion.”
I remembered those words through the funeral and the days that followed when I helped him and my niece attend to all the sad chores that follow an unexpected death.
I’m still thinking about his words, and they’ve changed my life . . . . I’m not “saving” anything; we use our good china and crystal for every special event–such as losing a pound, getting the sink unstopped, the first camellia blossom . . . .
“Someday” and “one of these days” are losing their grip on my vocabulary. If it’s worth seeing or hearing or doing, I want to see and hear and do it now . . . . I’m trying very hard not to put off, hold back, or save anything that would add laughter and luster to our lives. And every morning when I open my eyes I tell myself that it is special.
Every day is that special day you’ve been waiting for.
Source: “Day by Day,” by Dr. Charles Swindoll, p. 67
Word Publishing, Thomas Nelson, 2000.
I’ve been waiting for a “big thing” (a job) for so long that I’ve lost sight of the little things that are slipping by that make life worth living. Things that used to put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. It’s not that I don’t smile a lot–I do–but it’s the little things that put the joy back in living, even in the midst of a very trying circumstance that feels like it has gone on forever.
Let me give you an example. A few days ago I wrote a post titled, “Three Free Sin . . . Say What?,” which is about a book titled “Three Free Sins” written by my very good friend, Steve Brown. One of the endorsements at the beginning of this book stated: “After reading Steve Brown’s ‘Three Free Sins,’ this rotten girl redeemed put on a pair of red stilettos and did a happy dance. ‘Three Free Sins’ is like an old Three Dog Night tune–it makes you sing along, crazy and loud, happy as all get-out. Steve Brown isn’t the old bald guy he claims to be–he’s all heart, graceful and true, and his message is indeed ‘Joy to the World.’” ~Karen Spears Zacharias, author of “Will Jesus Buy Me a Double-Wide?”
Well, I got to thinking about that endorsement after I finished reading Steve’s book, and remembering the days when I used to love wearing stilettos (many years ago). I had foot surgery on one of my feet back in 1998 and I haven’t been able to wear stilettos since then, but it never stopped me from looking at them and remembering days gone by. The other day I was headed to the bookstore (one of my favorite pastimes) when I thought of that endorsement and Karen’s comment about the “red stilettos” and, well, I’ll let you read what I wrote to Steve about what happened next:
“ . . . I didn’t set out this morning to buy any stilettos. Wasn’t even on my mind. I just headed out to Books-A-Million to do what I usually do when I go there (look at and read books). However, after I parked my car, I looked over and saw Ross’s next door and decided to go take a look before I went into the bookstore.
“Well, I went to the shoe section and, low and behold, they had a pair of red stilettos in my size, but when I tried to put them on, they really felt bad, so I just sighed and put them back on the shelf, and was going to leave and go to the bookstore when I spotted the stilettos that I ended up buying. I really liked them immediately and the colors of the shoes were some of my mother’s favorite colors. And, when I put them on, I couldn’t believe how good they felt as compared to the red pair–and they were almost half the price of the red pair. Well, I debated whether or not to buy them as I knew they aren’t shoes I would wear very often so I walked around the store with them in my hands for a while and then I thought of what Karen Spears Zacharias wrote in her endorsement on your book–that she put on a pair of red stilettos and did a happy dance to a Three Dog Night song. And I knew right then I was going to buy those stilettos . . . .
“Because it’s a sign of new hope, renewed determination, and it brought more smiles to my face and happiness in my heart than I have known for a long time. There is a change in the wind, and I hope it’s a change that crosses our country from ‘sea to shining sea.’ I cannot lose my hope, and we as Americans cannot lose our hope for better days ahead.”
Do you have something you’ve been putting off doing waiting for “someday” when the time is right? Well, don’t!!! Seize the day, and do it NOW!!!
Which reminds me–the first two verses in the scripture reading at the beginning of Dr. Swindoll’s devotion state the following: “As God’s fellow workers we urge you not to receive God’s grace in vain. For He says, ‘In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you.’ I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:1-2). Do you know Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord? If not . . .
Don’t wait . . . now is the time . . . .
YouTube Video: “Time Out of Mind” by Steely Dan (1980):
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