There is something deeply unsettling when someone tells you to sit still and wait. Remember when we were children and our parents would tell us to wait quietly? I think those moments were the most difficult few minutes of lives to stay still. It’s like when the dentist tells you to stay still and that is when you feel the most urgent urge to move about, even though there’s a masked bandit in your mouth with a drill.
So when the Lord tells us to wait, it is the most difficult and trying period of our lives. Not because we’re being “persecuted” or “tempted” or anything that would mean we’re spiritually high up. But because we just can’t stay still. Have you ever been told to not look behind you? What did you feel like doing? I don’t know about you, but my instant reaction would be to turn around and see what they’re telling me to not look at.
So when the Lord tells me to “Be still and wait”, all I want to do is “something”. Anything but wait. I get restless and anxious. Watch the clock ticking and the minutes that turn into days and then into months. Waiting is hard. And to be still, is harder.
Then the restlessness and the anxiety become loud and abrasive in my head. They make me want to do something stupid. Or thoughts like, “This is not what God wants you to do”, or “Maybe you just imagined His promises”, come up and there is no tangible argument to fight them. Helplessness and loneliness are next. I feel like no one understands me and that I can’t do anything about my situation. I feel lost and then anger barges in. I feel mad at the Lord. Why isn’t He communicating with me? What went wrong?
I’ll tell you what went wrong. I gave in. I allowed myself to think that God isn’t there anymore. That He has forgotten me or abandoned me. Self-pity ruled over me. Or the thought that God was accountable to me. The truth is, I have no right to shake my fist at God and demand an explanation. Why? Because I am not doing as He said. He said, “Be still and wait” and what did I do? Everything else.
I came across this song by Meredith Andrews that speaks to me in this situation. It is beautifully expressed and deeply encouraging. If you’re going through something like this as you wait, I’d recommend a listen. It will be worth your time.