Crash and Burn
Years ago, I crashed and burned physically, mentally, and spiritually. I couldn’t work, and I barely functioned in any way. Socially, I ceased to exist. Spiritually, I was only getting by.
A big part of my crash and burn involved adrenal fatigue. Healing from adrenal fatigue requires a lot of waiting. My body, mind, and spirit needed replenished after years of stress, continual drain, and constant overload. Only waiting and resting could make that happen.
Life as a whole involves a lot of waiting, small and big pockets of time spent in limbo. Too often, I try ending the waiting on my own by forcing things to happen. This approach ever works out all that well for me.
Bob Sorge in The Fire of Delayed Answers calls waiting “the hottest flame” because it reveals the depths of our hearts. He also notes that God “is capable of applying as much heat as it takes to surface the garbage in our hearts.”
Garbage? The arrogance that makes me need to get ahead of others in line. The pride that refuses to admit mistakes. The lack of peace that leads me to force immediate answers rather than waiting for well-thought-out responses.
Sometimes, pure selfishness fuels my inability to wait. Equally, and perhaps even more so, I simply give up on waiting. I give up on God’s way and pursue life on my own terms.
Depth takes time to develop. This is true of one’s character as much as it is of one’s relationships. God wants to develop that depth, and He knows that waiting is often the best tool for making that happen.
A focus on Him in our waiting reveals opportunities from him to cultivate depth. A focus on him in our waiting leads us to pray for the mother of four in front of us at the checkout counter and to spend time with him in prayer and Bible study as we allow our bodies the physical rest needed to recover from stress overload.
However, a focus on the waiting itself and how much we dislike it turns our gaze toward pushing ahead and ending the wait, which causes us to miss out on God’s refining of our character. Instead of pushing and forcing and moving to get rid of the waiting, consider what Sorge says about how to wait.
“Run after him with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Waiting is aggressive repose. Waiting is a stationary pursuit. Waiting is intense stillness. Waiting is vigilant listening.”
Be someone willing to wait for God, no matter the length of time. Be willing to give him both your small moments and your seasons of waiting. Be aggressive in your rest, extreme in your stillness, and vigilant as you listen for him.