By: Rachel Brown
When we’re waiting and praying and dreaming for something, it’s hard to know exactly how to move forward. It’s easy to second-guess ourselves as we mentally sort through the process, asking ourselves plenty of questions along the way. Do we need to seek out stillness, reveling in our quiet time with God? Or should we be continually walking through open doors, submersing ourselves in the Word all the while—but moving forward nonetheless?
We were inspired by Erwin McManus’s words in his book, Wide Awake. He provides an amazing commentary on the subject that really calls Christians to action, even if they’re in a waiting period.
“Are you living as if it’s God responsibility to make sure you have oil for your lamp? Maybe you’re spiritualizing your lack of preparation: ‘If God wants it to happen, it will happen’ or ‘I’m just waiting on God.’ When we fail, when we blow it, when we fall short because we were unprepared for an opportunity, we blow it off and say, ‘Well, that must have been the Lord’s will.’ That’s a Christianized way of blaming God for our own problems. There are some opportunities you were intended to have that you may not even see, much less seize, because you didn’t prepare yourself for the future opportunity. Sometimes the reward is in the effort.”
We were so compelled by this quote. So many times we have done this very thing—we assumed we were patiently waiting on the Lord, praying for guidance and sitting still while we waited. Instead, we were (intentionally or not) refusing to prepare our hearts and minds for what the Lord had in store for us, rooting ourselves in our chairs instead of getting up to walk through open doors.
Let us clarify one thing: there is nothing wrong with praying and waiting and listening, soaking up stillness and silence. In fact, that part of the process is hugely important; finding stillness allows us the clarity to receive what God is trying to tell us. But it is just that—a part of the process. Most times, as McManus points out, we need to balance the stillness out with action. There are moments when God will not speak to us in our quiet times, opting to communicate with us through nature or friends or conversations with strangers. And how are we to experience any of those things without walking through open doors? God uses people and places and things to speak with us and nudge us in the right direction. Whether we’re hoping to land a new job, pursue a new passion, or meet the right person, sometimes, even in the stillness, God is calling us to continually put one foot in front of another, to be present and aware and in awe of the opportunities He is specially crafting for each of us. We have to get out of our chairs, prayerfully prepare our minds and hearts, and walk through open doors in order to receive what He has in store.
Photo Cred: Kevin Fernandez
Rachel is the Director of Project Development for Touch A Life, an organization committed to the rescue and rehabilitation of children who have been exploited and trafficked in West Africa and Southeast Asia. Though she loves working in the non-profit world, Rachel has always been passionate about writing, pursuing opportunities to put pen to paper outside of her day job. Aside from writing for Darling Magazine, she maintains a personal blog, Coffee & Tacos, where she connects with others through food, travel, faith & community. Rachel lives in Dallas, TX, with her husband and their adorably large English mastiffs.