What are You Waiting For? (And Are You Ready to Stop?)

I think we can work towards our goals with the peace that Jesus promises us, instead of anxiously pursuing and constantly striving. What do you say we stop living as if we're waiting and just start living?

Recently we talked about waiting through those things that are so incredibly hard to wait for. But there’s another kind of waiting we do that’s just as difficult, and it’s the kind of waiting we get into all by ourselves. By waiting, I mean pursuing and by pursuing I mean the living life in the pursuit of our desires.

There are all sorts of things I desire. Aspects of my life I want to see succeed. Aspects of my life I can’t wait to leave behind. Things that excite and motivate me, and things I dread every single day. And most days, whether I realize it or not, a lot of this stuff drives me. It’s what pushes me to get through the day and to make certain decisions – whether I’m pursuing the end of a long work day, that sweet moment in time when I get to crash on the couch, eat my dinner, and watch a favorite TV show before it all starts again, success in a given area, or something less tangible like financial freedom.

I have all sorts of pursuits.

But none of those things is Christ.

When I was being healed, Jesus chose to walk me through years of internal and external change. I spent most of those years desperately pursuing health. But for a brief period of that journey, I was just pursuing Christ. In that window of time, I had a new outlook: Healing will be great. I’m looking forward to that day. And God will get me there when He gets me there.

It didn’t last long before I was back to my old ways, but I’m convinced that sweet spot – where we can enjoy and anticipate without the anxious pursuit – is where we’re meant to live.

And now as I subconsciously pursue all kinds of different things, none of them contrary to Christ but none of them Christ Himself, I hear Him extend the invitation again, “Come to me, all who are weary, and I will give you rest. Lay down those burdens, those things you’re holding onto so tightly, and trust me to give you good gifts when the time is right.”

There’s nothing wrong with anticipation, excitement, or dreaming of good things. Those things are certainly gifts from our God who made us in His image. But until we can say, the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord, we’re living far from the peace Jesus died for us to have. Everything else feels like striving. Everything else feels like the hamster wheel that won’t slow down long enough for us to catch a good breath before it takes off again. Even when we think we’re doing that striving and pursuing for Him.

If you’re with me in the waiting game, what do you say we call it quits? It’s time we stopped rejecting Jesus’ real offer for rest and start living as if it truly is done. That sweet spot isn’t easy to find, but the closer we draw to God, the more we find His peace. And it’s in Him alone that we are satisfied.

Because I am righteous, I will see you. When I awake, I will see you face to face and be satisfied. – Psalm 17:15 (NLT)

Original photo of Young Woman Enjoying Her Morning Coffee by stockimages from freedigitalphotos.net. Text added by Stephanie Oh.

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11 comments

  1. Ohhhh, I love this so g and especially the prayer that says, “Spirit lead me where my trust has no borders”……beautiful and my heart’s desire!

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    1. Agreed, Renee! That line gets me every time. The following line that says “Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander” also hits home and reminds me of my favorite line in Come Thou Fount about being prone to wander. I love that this is your heart’s desire and want you to know that your pursuit of Christ is a constant encouragement. Hugs!

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  2. “I have all sorts of pursuits. But none of them is Christ.” Oh, Friend. Yes! I am with you on this. This “active” waiting for what we hope for is so consuming and it really does influence our decisions every single day. I keep returning again and again to Lewis Smedes’ book, Keeping Hope Alive. Hope is born of discontent, of the desire for things to be better, for the world to be better, for our own selves to be more Christ-like. Smedes’ write this: “We must be discontent until we find our contentment, eventually, in the fuller, better life only God can give. Until then, the trick is to live content with our discontentment. To achieve contentment with our discontent is to achieve the only kind of peace available to a hopeful spirit. Contentment with discontent is what we call patience…. To be content in whatever state we are is the wisdom to accept with gratitude the experience of *not* having what we wish for.” And this contentment with our discontentment? I think it’s the “sweet spot” you are referring to. And the pursuit of Christ above all else? I think maybe that’s the way to *get* to the sweet spot. Yes. Let’s call it quits on being discontent with our discontent and let’s go “all in” on pursuing Christ. So thankful to not be walking this road alone!

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    1. I HAVE to get that book! What a powerful quote. I want to print it out and hang it next to my bed. I can’t tell you how thankful I am to not be walking this road alone, too. I’m beyond grateful for every person who is walking the same path with me and those who are ahead of us and can encourage us. Thanks for sharing!

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  3. I loooove being in the sweet spot but for some reason I can never bring myself to stay there!! Consistency is a struggle I have in life, but I always try to rest in Him. How comforting is that!??! No couch or tv or cold soda is going to fill you and restore you as Christ does! As always you have brought truth in our lives and remind us of something most of us struggle with. Thanks!

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    1. I’m the same way… Try as I might, there are some things I’m going around and around the same old mountain with. I think it’s especially easy to turn to temporary fixes when we’re exhausted. It probably only makes things worse but it feels like a good idea at the time!

      Sent from my iPhone

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  4. Oh I love this. I’ve been learning some similar things lately, and this is something I keep coming back to: nothing is God but God. Anything that I am pursuing, for His glory or otherwise, is just not the point.

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    1. Yes, I’m constantly relearning this. I just read an amazing passage in Deuteronomy 30 this morning that spoke to me about this, too. It’s such a simple truth but so easy to be distracted from, right?

      Sent from my iPhone

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  5. LOVE this post (and song). It’s so important to desire God above anything else in our lives. When we are fully satisfied in Him everything else He blesses us with will be an “extra” in our lives instead of a “necessity” to make us feel truly content. 🙂

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    1. So true, Anna. But our human nature likes to struggle with that. The memoir I’m reading right now by Corrie Ten Boom is really challenging me in this way.

      Sent from my iPhone

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