Delay is like the narrow neck of the hourglass. It’s an inevitable part of life. Instead of allowing disappointment to drag you down, there are ways to be productive while waiting. They are the smart response when there’s delay.

The Smart Response When There’s Delay

Are you waiting for something?

They say the anticipation leading up to an event can be more exciting than the actual event. That excitement is like the height of a mountain. And then sometimes delay spoils what you are looking forward to. And disappointment drags you down.

Maybe that’s why the dip of discouragement feels like such a low. It feels like the opposite of that mountain high.

Some people start whining to God when their desire is detained. I never do that.

Nope. Never!

What?

Okay, okay! I admit; I do complain sometimes.

Being content is difficult. Paul said in Philippians 4:11 that he’s learned to be content no matter what situation he’s in, but that verse and I don’t seem to be getting along lately. I’m working on it.

I see others getting their chance and I want a green light, too. My heart will begin to whine, I just want—and I’ll try to stop myself right there and correct where that was going.

Complaining is a hindrance. Just ask those wilderness-wandering Israelites.

So I say be smart and keep moving forward when life impedes your goals.

How is one supposed to keep moving forward when there’s delay?

One night the Holy Spirit answered that exact question. Here’s what I learned:

4 Ways to Be Productive while Waiting  

 

1. Worship through it. I love the phrase “pour out your heart” from Psalm 62:8 (see below). That means you can be real with God. He knows how you’re feeling anyway. He is a safe place—a refuge, just like the verse says:

Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah Psalm 62:8, ESV

Put on some worship music and let your emotions splash into God’s lap. Cry it out! Crying releases what is pent up inside. Lay your disappointments at His feet in surrender. Then after you’ve poured out your heart, and you’re feeling empty, start worshipping Him because He is your king. Because you love Him. He will not leave you disappointed! He brings peace and encouragement in place of disappointment.

2. Ask questions. “Why is this happening to me?” “Why can’t I just have _____?” “Why does it seem like I’m the only one who isn’t getting to ____?” I hear myself asking these “why me?” type questions, and I realize they’re not the right kind to be asking! See, a major key to waiting is preparation. Instead, ask “What do you want me to specifically do to prepare?” Asking God for directions will channel your energy to having a proactive focus. Ask Him for wisdom (James 1:5) and more discernment. You need wisdom and direction in areas that will help you to prepare for whatever you’re waiting for.

3. Invest your time in preparation. One of God’s promises is found in Matthew 7:7 (ESV), “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” God doesn’t leave us wondering; when we spend time seeking Him, He gives directions. Even if it’s one detail at a time, He comes through on His promise. Now do what He lays on your heart both practically and spiritually. Think of Noah’s call to build the ark. God gave him many directions about how to build the ark, about the animals, and about food for the people and animals. It took many years putting everything into place. Embrace the vicissitudes of the season. The time isn’t wasted. You are simply preparing for what’s ahead.

4. Trust God. I know this is easier said than done so I give you permission to talk to yourself. Yep! Tell yourself you trust God. Out loud. Go ahead, say it. It makes a difference. You are telling your heart what is true, and you are also letting God be in control. There is power in words. Pray some verses that remind you to trust Him. It makes the trusting easier. You can trust Him because He’s holding your life in His hands. “The course of my life is in Your power.” Psalm 31:15a HCSB That’s good to know!

Delay is like the bottleneck of the hourglass. It’s an inevitable part of life. Instead of allowing disappointment to drag you down, there are ways to be productive while waiting. They are the smart response when there’s delay.

Notice these four actions spell an acrostic for the word wait:

W…worship through it

A…ask questions

I…invest your time in preparation

T…trust God

They are a wonderful way to take action while waiting.

Delay is like the narrow neck of an hourglass. It’s an inevitable part of life.

But there is beauty in waiting; God intends this period to be an encouragement to us.

Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD! Psalm 27:14, ESV

Delay is like the narrow neck of an hourglass. It’s an inevitable part of life. Here are 4 ways to move forward. twitter

 

How do you deal with a delay?


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Annoying People and the Holy Bathroom | You’ve spent time with Jesus; you’re prayed up, fired up, and looking up. And then annoyances start poking holes in your “It’s a Good Day” balloon. Image having a practical, biblical, and even humorous approach to fall back on when people seem annoying.

Annoying People and the Holy Bathroom

Imagine having a practical, biblical, and even humorous approach to fall back on when people rub you the wrong way.

Let’s be honest. We all have days when someone around us seems annoying. Or maybe that doesn’t happen to you?

Let me tell you how it is.

I live with a lot of people. A couple of them are little. One of those makes it seem like I’ve been taking care of 80 kids by nightfall. So let me be truthful: I get annoyed with my kids. (Any other moms out there that can relate?)

Some days you wake up feeling great and it slowly creeps up on you. You’re holding your hot cup of tea in your hand, and feeling fine. You’ve spent time with Jesus; you’re prayed up, fired up, and looking up. Today is going to be unforgettable!

And then annoyances start poking holes in your It’s a Good Day balloon.

You’ve spent time with Jesus and then annoyances come. twitter

 

First annoyance:

It’s when you hear, “Moooommm, I just spilled my orange juice all over me and the floor! On purpose!”

Sighing, you clean it up, redress the kid and start the day again with the outlook that today is still going to be great!

Second annoyance:

Morning is in full-swing, and you’re singing along to your favorite tunes. You’re dancing around picking up stuff that’s out of place to put away. Feeling accomplished, your arms are full of said stuff when you trip over your husband’s shoes left in the walkway after the toddler decided to stop trying them on. More stuff is scattered on the floor and your ankle is throbbing.

A small growl escapes your lips, but you decide to shake it off. Today is still good. Nevertheless, your optimistic mindset is fading.

Third annoyance:

You’re on the phone for an important call and your family members are making too much noise. Being on the cordless allows you move to another room, but they follow you. Either the noisy people are oblivious or they are playing “follow the leader” and made you their leader.

“Can I call you back? Thanks!” Click!

The unforeseen irritations keep coming, and they better watch out because your shadow has changed into a grizzly bear!

Some days, oh, some days! You get to the end of the day and feel drained. Being physically tired at the end of the day is normal. I get that. But when you are emotionally drained as well—it’s time for a new tactic.

Go Into Hiding

We all have days when someone gets under our skin, rubs us the wrong way, and our Super Christian status disappears. I found this gem one day and it has been a great practical scripture:

Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. Isaiah 26:20 KJV

This verse is talking about hiding until the Lord’s anger is passed. But on the flip side, you can still go behind closed doors to regain control of your emotions. Ahem…the bathroom is a great place to escape! Just lock the door, turn on the fan and it’s like a second throne room as you start praying. Ha!

It reminds me of another verse:

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. Matthew 6:6a ESV

So when family members (or coworkers, or customers, etc.) are annoying you, get thee to thy private room. Make sure it’s one with a mirror. Seeing your face while angry can be entertaining and also quite telling.

Get thee to thy private room. twitter

 

In all seriousness, though, it’s better to flee behind that locked door and regain your composure rather than letting your heart stay in the wrong place.

3 Ways to Treat People

After you’re in there, pray to God for help. I know, I know. You’ve been praying that God would help them because you’re about to strangle them. I’ve been there. But that’s not exactly the kind of help I mean. Ask God to help you respond in a different way—His.

God has given us biblical protocol in His Word. James 1:22 says to “be doers of the Word and not hearers only.” What does that mean exactly? It means we can make a plan by pulling verses and apply them to our situation. Specifically, ask that He would help you do the following:

  • Love one another. “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” 1 John 3:23 ESV
  • Honor. “Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.” Romans 12:10 ESV
  • Be kind and forgive. “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 ESV

If you go into the bathroom and pray these verses every time they’re needed, you will remember them. Eventually, when another annoyance comes, you will remember to respond with the wisdom they provide. You won’t feel drained because these verses will help you recharge your outlook.

“What if I want to clean their clock but I’m too worn out?”

I’m glad you asked. If you’re in a situation of being a caretaker or an ongoing burden-leaden circumstance, you may need to grab a different plan when you “find your escape.” If you feel tired, worried, stressed, or empty from serving those around you all day, look at my Take 5 Rejuvenation proactive strategy.

These strategies bring sweet relief to my days. I guarantee they will work for you, too.


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We have God’s power within us. When Jesus left, He sent the Holy Spirit to us. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would dwell with us and be in us (John 14:17). Since this is true, we can live empowered and therefore, fulfill the Great Commission.

Live Empowered: the Holy Spirit Moves through Us

We have God’s power within us. When Jesus left, He sent the Holy Spirit to us. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would dwell with us and be in us (John 14:17). Since this is true, we can live empowered.

What does living empowered look like? I don’t completely know. God might prompt us to action. Our job is to obey. As we obey, we will know when these moments in life take place that there is no other way to explain it, except God’s hand was in it.

And it’s not because of our strength; although, I do like to think of us as super-Christians extraordinaire. 😉

Unlimited Strength

Remember the movie The Incredibles? Mr. Incredible’s superpower was super-strength. There’s one part of the movie near the end when he’s trying to get his family to go back into safety instead of fighting with him in the battle. His wife wasn’t having it; she accused him of being all ego. Finally, he oxymoronically admits, “I’m not strong enough!” The truth spilled from his lips. He didn’t want to lose his family again because he thought they had died earlier in the movie. That’s where his strength failed.

God has empowered us whether we think we are strong enough or not. Actually, we aren’t strong enough. He sent the Holy Spirit to us, and we are filled with the Spirit. That doesn’t mean that we are the power, that means we are filled with the power. If we are Spirit-filled, then we are Spirit-controlled. God is our Source of Power, and His unlimited strength is at our disposal.

Use God’s Power

God calls us to serve Him in detailed ways, but sometimes we don’t budge from apprehensiveness. Here’s the thing: we have God’s power so don’t be afraid to use it! The devil’s not going to skin our hides like he did to the seven sons of Sceva in Acts 19.

Instead of being afraid, we need to make adjustments. Have you ever noticed the way the trees bend and the leaves move when the wind blows? In the same way, when the wind of the Spirit is “blowing on us,” we will need to adapt our position to flow with what He’s doing.

We need to adapt our position to flow with what the Holy Spirit is doing. twitter

 

It might not turn out perfect. Recall the instance of the disciples not being able to cast out a man’s son who was being harassed by a demon (Mark 9:17-29). Jesus had already given the disciples authority over unclean spirits, but they were still learning (Mark 6:7). They couldn’t cast out the devil in the man’s son, but that didn’t mean they stopped walking in power.

We have been talking about the power of God in this series. Can everyone use God’s power? No. But we can because we are Believers and Followers of Christ. Authority given and correctly applied brings glory to God. Jesus said the Holy Spirit would testify of Him (John 15:26). Salvation came to 3,000 souls because Peter preached to them while being full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:41). Wow! Do we want souls to be saved because of what we are doing for the kingdom of God? I sure do!

Jesus isn’t walking the earth right now; we are. There are people out there that need the Jesus in us. We are vessels in which the Holy Spirit will move through to touch the lives of those around us. Rely on God’s strength, make alterations when He leads, and let God take care of the outcome. Let’s move forward in fulfilling the Great Commission while living empowered.


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Don’t miss the other great posts in the Power of God series:

  1. Experiencing the Miraculous Power of God
  2. Like Moses, We Can Get Used to Using God’s Power
  3. God’s Power Defies What Is False
  4. How God’s Greatest Power Was in the Suffering of the Cross
  5. A Testimony of God’s Power of Provision
  6. Prayer Is a Conduit to God’s Power
  7. God’s Healing Power Is for You
  8. Live Empowered: the Holy Spirit Moves through Us