Posted in Character, Faith, Vision & Goal Setting

How to Thrive in Waiting Mode

Sometimes life doesn’t go as planned. Yesterday I became sick without warning and spent the entire day in bed, most of it sleeping. As I lapsed occasionally out of sleepiness I was reminded how uncomfortable I am being in “waiting mode.” I really like to have answers, to know exactly what is going on and where I am headed.

When seeking direction from the Lord, I know what to do with “yes” and “no” answers. “Yes” means I can move forward with a plan, taking the necessary steps for it to unfold. “No” means I step back and re-evaluate a plan, ponder the options and seek to be clear on God’s direction rather than my own. “Wait” is a different story.

“Wait” means staying put, not moving forward. This can lead to feeling unproductive…
“Wait” means living in the realm of the unknown. This can lead to feeling uncertain and even out of control…
And “wait” means not having the answers when others are looking to you. This can cause feelings of incompetence as a leader.

However, it is possible to thrive in waiting mode.

Live fully in the present.
Jesus instructed us to live fully today. When we are in waiting mode, we may often find our thoughts focused on dreams for the future and formulating the possibilities for getting there. This robs our attention for the here and now. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own” (Matthew 6:34). Effective leaders tend to the tasks at hand, while occasionally scanning the horizon ahead. Be a good steward of the time and opportunities God has given you today. Be a blessing to those around you. Excel at the tasks set before you.

Keep following the last instructions.
What was the last thing God told you to do? He hasn’t changed His mind. After God delivered the people of Israel from Egypt, He personally led their journey to the Promised Land. His presence was visible as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Sometimes they camped at a location a few days; sometimes it was much longer. They were to go about their business in that spot until God said to move. Wherever you are camped right now, be faithful with your business. Build a strong foundation from which to launch when the time is right.

Thank God that He is in control.
I learned something from a good friend who leads a growing non-profit agency. In the midst of waiting for details of the next phase to come together, she always says with great peace and assurance, “This is God’s deal!” In other words, God is in control. We live in the present with our very limited perspectives. Our God sees it all. Thank God that He never sleeps, and is always working out His plans for our good and His glory.

Are you waiting on the outside, and yet running on the inside? Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).


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