Omgoodness Lord… when will I arrive? When will I get it? When will I be in a relationship? When will I get that job? When will it finally be my turn?
You may be asking yourself these questions as you journey towards your goals. Sometimes the wait period seems like forever. Many times we find ourselves reminding God of His promise towards us as if He forgotten. I used to ask God these same questions.
In Philippians 4:17, Paul tells us to be content in all things. The Hebrew meaning of this word (content) means, “[to be] independent of external circumstances”. In other words, no matter what is going on around you, you must be independent of these external causalities. Paul was saying to not allow ourselves to be dependent on what is happening around us, what we see, but to remain secure in ourselves. I think Paul knew what he was talking about due to the hardship experiences of his day. I mean this man encountered incarcerations, harassment, injustice, beatings, shipwrecks, sickness, and starvations, to name a few, in the midst of his waiting. Yet, he was still able to accomplish writing about 75% of the New Testament, pray, and train new disciples in starting churches. In one of his epistles, the book of James, Paul is so content, he exhorts his brothers and sisters to count it all joy in the midst of hardships and trials. Really Paul? How?
I remember the time I learned how to be content: I was getting my hair braided. It took the hairstylist 5 hours to braid my beautifully enlarged head. The goal was to receive a nice braiding style for the Fall semester, however, it took a very long time for this to be accomplished. I was so excited, I so looked forward to rockin’ my new hairstyle in college. One hour into my hair braiding, I began to become extremely impatient.
Ladies you know the feeling. Your legs start to cramp, you get hungry, boredom sets in, and anxiety consumes you because you are not halfway there. I could not ask my stylist to quit braiding my hair. Not only would my head be incomplete, but my entire body image would look incomplete. If I rushed my hair stylist, chances would be that she would not do an excellent job on my style. If she would have stopped for multiples breaks, chances of her completing my hair would take more than 6 hours. I chose to be content within myself and not allow the state of finishing my hair during the time to discourage me. After 6 hours, the hairstylist completed my hair. YES! I looked and felt like a new person.
Many times God may give us a vision, similar to a new hairstyle picture. You see the vision in your mind, you even see yourself functioning in a certain capacity in your vision. However, the long process in arriving there is called the waiting period. Just like I had to wait hours for my expected hairstyle, we also have to wait days, weeks, months, or maybe years for the achievable vision to manifest. During this process, God is combing, detangling, measuring, sizing, and creating the finished product. We have to remember not to rush His process and to be content wherever we are in life. The only thing God requires of us is to be still and content, trusting Him to bring everything in our lives into His perfection. So during your season of waiting, I encourage you to remain independent of you circumstances and believe that God is working on your behalf.