My mother gifted me this adorable mug with an important reminder etched across the front of it: Pray. Wait. Trust.
It was an “I love you” present she gave me when I was in the middle of some challenges and the words brought me back to how to handle stuff the world throws at you that is uncomfortable and hard. Pray. Wait. Trust.
I’m pretty good with the “pray” part of the equation, or at least I’m pretty consistent anyway. As I’ve grown in both age and my faith, God has proven Himself over and over with answered prayer. And I love to pray. I love my casual conversations with God, thanking Him for the butterfly that just landed on a flower, or the incredible cloud formations left in the sky after a refreshing rainstorm.
When I can’t sleep at night, I ask God to help me use that time to pray for someone, and He always brings someone to mind that I can cover in prayer. I pray over my children and my grandbabies every single day ever since every one of them was born. When my husband travels for work, I always pray for safety for him while he’s gone. And every time I hear a siren, I start praying for the first responders on their way to help someone and I pray for the person they are headed toward.
For me, it’s fairly easy to bring an issue or problem to the Lord in prayer. I pray for wisdom with having to make a decision or strength to get through a particularly difficult season. When someone is unkind or has shown by their actions that they really need to know Jesus, I can pray for God to help me forgive them, or for Him to use me to bring them to Him.
Now, before you start getting all judgie, thinking I’m some super Christian, you need to know something. I can pray, sure, but when it comes to the “wait” and “trust” parts of the equation, things go a little wonky!
That prayer I prayed for wisdom to make the right decision? I do wait for God to answer, but only like a nanosecond! I immediately start making plans to figure out for myself what the right decision should be before I hear any response from God.
Tell me if you recognize any of these actions: I make a list of pros and cons for making a particular decision; I ask a friend for advise, but I tend to ask the one I’m pretty sure will give me the answer I’m really looking for, not necessarily what God wants; I start down the path I’ve decided is the right one, then turn around and holler, “thanks, God, I’ll take it from here!”
Anyone else? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Please tell me I’m not the only one!
I know that God is going to keep His promises and answer my prayers. And I know that He sees the big picture, so His response will always be better than mine. But for whatever reason, I get so wrapped up in my lack of patience and I forget that very important fact. I forget that God uses a totally different timezone than I do, and His asking me to wait isn’t so much about making sure He gets right to work on every request I make of Him. It’s about the fact that I have to leave it in His hands. I have to wait on Him to handle it. And I have to be willing to accept the fact that my waiting may not end until I get to heaven.
When I wait on God to answer or respond or show me what He wants from me, I’m actually already in the “trust” mode. The only way to really and truly wait is when I trust that He’s got this. When I skip the trusting part, there is no way I can wait because I am basically saying I don’t trust that God’s doing His part. Yikes!
I am feeling rather convicted right now. And so I’m looking at my sweet little mug. Pray. Wait. Trust. I start repeating it over and over and I start to pray, “Lord, help me to pray without ceasing, to wait on You to renew my strength and trust and obey whatever response You provide, whenever You provide it. Amen.”
But he who endures to the end will be saved. – Matthew 24:13