There was a time when I was a mom of two preschoolers and life was just plain nuts. I worked part time which for any mom is really working full time because you already have a full time job keeping the husband, kids and house going. Everything was hard and to be honest I felt spiritually dead.
I was attending church every week and engaging in Bible studies because I was just sure that more knowledge would fix my problems. The problem was the studies weren't really Bible studies, they were more like book clubs and there wasn't much talk of God or Jesus. I'm not really sure what we talked about.
When the Bible studies weren't doing the trick, I signed up to serve more. I became director of the vacation bible school that summer. I cut out more crafts and learned hand motions to songs and made sure my helpers understood group rotations and themes and emergency plans. When all was said and done, I was not energized or spiritually renewed...I was exhausted, sweaty and sticky. Those kids were like an army with weapons of glue sticks, juice and runny noses and I went home with nothing left for my family.
One day, I gave my boss a ride home from work and I mentioned to him my struggles. How is it that I kept doing all these good "Christian" things but I felt even more depleted and did not experience any victory or grace in my life? Why was I leaving church on Sunday more confused and less peaceful? He mentioned maybe it was a time for a change. Maybe I was trying to make something work that just doesn't work anymore. Perhaps I needed a new church and some new teaching.
I mentioned a new church I wanted to try and how many of my friends were there. I had heard good things. These friends seemed so fulfilled and close to God. And then he posed the game changing question: What are you waiting for? By now we were sitting in the driveway at his home. And it was dead silent. I had no good answer. What was I waiting for? To feel more dead? To feel more alone? To have less of a relationship with God? To feel less connected with my husband? The consequences of waiting were too great.
I don't know what your current situation is. I don't know if you need spiritual renewal or awakening. Maybe you're deciding to go back to school or finally get healthy. Maybe you need to quit the job that's killing you or quit the friendship that is sucking you dry. I go back to what my boss said to me, "What are you waiting for?"
I think about that scene with the disciples in the boat at night in Matthew 14, the wind and waves beating against them.
(verses 25-33)And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”
And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
There I was sitting in church and not seeing the Lord. It took some stepping out of my comfort zone to finally encounter Him. I think He is revealed more clearly in our lives when we stop the waiting and we get out of what appears to be the safe option. I tried a whole new place and the first Sunday I found myself wrecked by the power of the Holy Spirit. You might not be needing a new church. Maybe you need a medical test that could reveal a serious problem. I believe the Lord stands with His hand extended when those results are read. Your kids might need a new schooling situation, He's right there in the middle of that situation, too.
I couldn't find, "What are you waiting for?" in Scripture, but God certainly says, "Come." or "Go." or "Leave." many times. Our job is not to know or be certain of what happens next, our job is to simply be faithful and obedient and let the Lord do the rest. Remember, the very thing you are most afraid of could be the very thing that saves your life. I'm thankful to my boss who asked me the hard question, and so I pose that to you, "What are you waiting for?"