Practicing Patience: Why God Isn't Giving You a Clear Answer For What's Next
Let me be very clear and real with you right now:
I. AM. IMPATIENT.
Yep, I said it. I’m impatient, and the good Lord knows it. That’s why He’s been testing me lately…
I’ve been praying for patience recently, especially since I have no idea what’s next and that’s really scary when you’re a meticulous planner. I’m a senior in college with a very broad major that can take me a lot of different places. I’ve been praying and praying about this path for a LONG time now, and I’ve been extra frustrated lately especially as I look at grad school applications and job openings. I feel like there is no clear vision and no clear plan. I’m getting impatient for God to speak it into life for me.
So I’ve been praying about it…
And guess what?
The Big Man Upstairs surely has a sense of humor because ever since I started praying specifically for patience, I have had SO MANY TESTS OF PATIENCE.
You may find this kind of funny, but the day I started praying for patience, I seriously hit almost every red light that day as I was driving, and they seemed for some reason to be extra long. And then when I finally got to where I was headed, I had to wait in traffic for a long time. I ordered takeout that night, and I had to wait there for 30 minutes longer than what they told me to get my food. Yep. Haha, God. Very funny.
There have been many more tests than that too. Like my computer freezing up when I had one last thing left to import and one of my group members not doing the work on our final assignments… the list could go on…
But here’s the thing…
God is showing me how to be patient. He’s helping me get what I asked for.
It’s hard for me to not know what’s next. I’m a planner, and when I can’t plan out what I think is ahead, I get impatient. Recently I felt the need to ask a dear friend who is older than me what her path looked like at my age. I thought it might help me in this season, and I had heard the story before, but felt the need to ask again. Her and I spent a while talking about how scary it is to stare the unknown in the face. How messy it is, how hard it is, and how it’s kind of terrifying.
After talking with her, I felt a peace. I felt a peace about the unknown and the uncertain. This is what I felt God speaking through that conversation:
Maybe God isn’t giving you the clear purpose for your life because He wants you to find your purpose in Him. Maybe He wants you to stop running after the next achievement you see ahead in your future and instead focus on Him and His word.
Maybe God wants you to quit planning for your whole entire life and instead look to Him to show you His next step. Maybe He wants you to quit seeking out approval in what you do and instead focus on who you are in Him. He wants you to relax instead of wrestle. He wants you to surrender instead of strive.
Maybe God isn’t allowing you to see that next step because He wants you to stop planning and start praying. He wants you to quit crowding your mind with worldly plans and instead provide you with His heavenly peace.
As hard as it may be, we have to be patient and enjoy this season of life. The season of the unknown. The season of uncertainty. God will use it in beautiful ways - I can already see Him doing that with me.
If we had all the answers in life, why would we need Him?
Be patient. Use this time to dive into Him. Use this time to run to Him. Stop yourself in your tracks. Your worried, scared, and nervous self, and turn around and face Him. Spend time with Him. Grow with Him. Dive in. Have faith.
He will show you your path in His timing.