Anyone who lives in my neck of the woods knows that we are in a constant battle with flies. The sprawling farmland surrounding my little town makes for stunningly beautiful views but also the occasional overwhelming stench of manure, as well as the continual killing of flies.
I grew up watching my mom hunt down a fly every time it came into our house. What do you know, I do the same. In fact, I have become just as obsessive as she is in killing the nasty creature that does not belong in my house!
A few days ago, I heard the buzzing so the hunt began. I grabbed my trusty blue swatter and made my way around the house. Three gross flies had all landed on one window where the sun was coming in.
Swat! One down.
Swat! Two down.
One was left. The two earlier swats to the window had made the third land in the crack of the window seal. I told myself to wait until it moved to a flat spot so I could swat and kill it. Wait. Wait. Wait. Impatience.
Swat! The fly flew away.
Although this was just a silly little showdown with three flies and there was nothing spiritual about it, the Holy Spirit made it spiritual and taught me a lesson. Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be done being taught lessons! I guess not until I am with Jesus in heaven and there are absolutely no flies.
So what was the lesson? The Holy Spirit reminded me that often He asks me to wait, and I do…for a little bit. He says, “Wait.” And I say, “Ok, but for how long?” He responds, “Wait.” And I respond, “I think now is best.” He says, “Wait.” And I say, “I’m going!”
Far too often the directive is to wait, and I move ahead.
That day with the flies, I waited. The fly moved to a better position, but not the best. I didn’t want to wait anymore. I made a move by swatting but it essentially was a pointless move because my goal of killing the fly was unaccomplished.
That’s often how it goes with our lives too. We are willing to wait…for a period. But then we get too antsy, too fearful, too impatient, too prideful and we move. Sometimes our move isn’t necessarily a bad one, but it’s not the best one that God had intended for you. And when we move without the Holy Spirit’s directive, our moves often end up with the goal unaccomplished. Or maybe our human, fleshly goal was accomplished for the time being, but the godly, kingdom-minded goal was left unaccomplished.
I long to always choose the godly, kingdom-minded goal.
So why don’t I always choose the godly, kingdom-minded goal?
Fear, impatience, discontentment, and selfishness are all reasons that have caused me to fail to wait before. But fear, impatience, discontentment and selfishness all have their root in control. When we fail to wait until God says to move we are essentially saying that we think we know better than God. That our finite minds have it all figured out and his infinite mind does not. We are saying that we should be in control and he should not. We are elevating ourselves to a position that we should not be in and a position that we certainly do not deserve.
A perfect example of needing to wait for God but moving ahead is Abraham. God had promised to make him into a great nation. Abraham got tired of waiting so he decided to make it happen in his own way. The result was a son, Ishmael, but this was not the promised son that would carry on the nation of Israel. Abraham had forced his way and was left with tension so thick in his family that he ended up sending Ishmael and his mom into the wilderness. It was not the way that God had intended and there were consequences of Abraham’s own making.
Although Abraham moved forward in his own way, God did not turn his back on him. God kept his promise to Abraham and allowed him to have Isaac, the promised son to carry on the nation of Israel. And although Ishmael was the result of Abraham going against God, God still knew and loved Ishmael.
What has you in the waiting period? Is God asking you to wait but all you want to do is move forward with your own perceived right way of doing it? Is impatience, fear or pride playing into your desire to move? Are you putting yourself in God’s position thinking that you have the best solution? Are you gripping tightly to the control that you think you have over the situation? Maybe, like Abraham, you have been waiting for years and are tired of it.
May we be people who are always students of God’s word and learn from Abraham’s experience. May we be willing to wait until God says to move. Afterall, moving forward without God’s direction and power may seem profitable in the moment but it will leave us with tension deep in our souls. It may get us a result, but it won’t be the best.
His way and His timing are best.
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9
God, may we be willing to wait for you and may we be willing to learn through silly things, even flies.