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This Life: Waiting on the Lord

Waiting sign

SAMANTHA ELLEY reflects on what it means to wait patiently on God…

Northern Rivers, New South Wales, Australia

Waiting sign

PICTURE: Levi Meir Clancey/Unsplash

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” – Psalm 37:7a

One of the best discoveries after the wheel and sliced bread has got to be the three-minute chocolate mug cake. You know the one? Where you put the ingredients for a chocolate cake in a mug and cook it for three minutes in the microwave.

In the time it takes to boil the jug, you have just the right sized serving of cake to have with your coffee or tea. The true attraction is the brief amount of time it takes before being able to eat that yummy sweetness, but it’s not ideal if you have company. It really is a solo experience and that’s the downfall.

“Often when there are shortcuts to be had or we want something now, there is a catch, or it’s not an ideal situation. And sometimes, more often than not, it’s not how God works.”

Often when there are shortcuts to be had or we want something now, there is a catch, or it’s not an ideal situation. And sometimes, more often than not, it’s not how God works.

As I write this, it has been 11 weeks since we were evacuated from our home due to floods and in that time we have watched all our furniture and belongings thrown out on the front lawn and taken to the tip. A second flood deposited copious amounts of mud, the grass grew and the gutted walls eventually dried out. 

And we waited. We didn’t want to, but we had no choice. As each day went by, then weeks and now nearly three months down the track, we have lived in someone else’s house and watched our home stand with no walls, no water and no electricity.

The insurance assessor has been through and a hydrologist is writing up a report. And still we wait. And still we don’t want to. But there are a number of ways we can handle the situation we find ourselves in. We’ve had our tantrum moments where I’ve felt like the proverbial toddler yelling at God, asking why we can’t move back home. We’ve had the moments of muted longing, where we walk through our empty rooms and imagine how they were and hope for what they can become again.

Then there is another way I am learning, even as I write, and that is to be thankful for the lesson on patience. I don’t want to, I want to go back to living in my home, but I know the plans God has for me and my family are good and I would rather wait patiently for Him and His plans, than stress unnecessarily.

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If we had fixed the house straight after the first flood, the renovations we did would have been destroyed again in the second flood. For the past 11 weeks we have lived with friends who have been a great comfort and support to not  only our physical needs of a roof over our head, but deepened our friendship through shared experiences and support (they lost their business in the flood).

Accepting that God has a bigger plan than our desires for instant results means sometimes we need patience. And just as Morgan Freeman (aka God) in the movie Evan Almighty said: ”If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient?”

We can try for the instant three-minute chocolate mug cake where we only gratify ourselves, or we can take the time to cook a big chocolate cake to share with those around us. 

I think I need to take the opportunity to bake a large chocolate cake.



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