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Alleviate the Agony of Waiting

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Sitting at my kitchen counter, I ate my warm oatmeal and pondered the topic: waiting. My friend’s dilemma related to her professional life, and mine touched my personal life. As we encouraged each other back and forth with our text messages, I realized that she and I are not alone.

Waiting for something or someone seems to perpetually command a placeholder in our lives.

Waiting for:

a medical school slot to open up

a business permit to be acquired

a boss to get back to us

the insurance company to approve

an interview to be granted

a biopsy report to come in

an internship to turn up

a spouse to change

a prodigal to come home

one’s finances to improve

a friendship to be reconciled

a healing to take place

an email to be answered

If Waiting is a Biblical theme—and it is—we ask, “Why is waiting so hard?” Perhaps, as one of life’s greatest challenges, waiting reminds us that we are not in control.

So while sitting in Life’s Waiting Room, allow these three thoughts to alleviate—lessen—the agony.

Perspective

The Lord of all time is also the Lord of timing.

-Ronnie Stevens

While we are waiting, God is working.

-Alistair Begg

Presence

God + nothing is more than enough.

(God’s very Presence offers fullness of joy—Psalm 16:11—with or without what it is that I am waiting on or for. So, while we wait, we still get God!)

-Larry Thompson

Provision

His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.

-2 Peter 1:3 Berean Study Bible

Living With Eternal Intentionality®

How well do you wait?

Why do you think waiting is so challenging?

What are you waiting on right now?

What thought of encouragement do you have to offer to a fellow-waiting pilgrim?

Note: Please keep in mind, the definition of alleviate is to lessen, as opposed to eliminate. Only God can eliminate the agony of waiting.

A Broken Heart and a Grief Stricken Question

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Do you ever ask yourself, “If I had been there, what would I have done?”

For a few moments, write yourself into The Story on that early Easter morning. No Starbucks, no Egg McMuffin, no breakfast bar. Just a broken heart and a grief stricken question: “Who will roll away the stone?”

What we know:

It was early, very early, just after sunrise, and three women faced a challenging, emotional task. Someone dear to them died the day before, and they took it upon themselves to anoint the Body for a proper burial. Since two of them stood with the owner of the tomb the previous evening, they knew the location. Staring at a problem of gigantic proportion, they asked themselves the question, “Who will roll away the stone?”

What we don’t know:

  • Who first raised the question? Was it Mary Magdalene, or Mary the mother of James, or was it Salome?

  • Why had they not thought of this before now?

  • Was the question one of worry and anxiety or just a concern for the obstacle?

What they discovered:

Their ordinary question received an extraordinary answer! When they looked up, the stone was rolled away and the empty tomb confirmed the resurrection!

As the Scriptures record:

But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed, he said. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen!” (Mark 16:1-6).

Our place in the Story:

In our life journey, like the ladies, we grapple with the obstacle: “Who will roll away the stone?”

In our finances, in our family, in our future?

In our habits, in our hearts, in our hopelessness?

Yet when we look up—like Mary, Mary, and Salome—we discover that God, in His glorious faithfulness, has already rolled away the stone. Just when needed, His grace for the moment is greater than the stone, regardless of its size.

But there is more:

God always longs to accomplish a greater miracle than just rolling away the stone. In our finances, in our family, in our future, in our habits, in our hearts, and in our hopelessness, He desires to display the Resurrection of His Son!

Dear One, may this be the most meaningful Easter you have ever experienced, and may you and I pray together: Father, as I write myself into this Easter Story, I ask You to roll away the stone in every crack and crevice of my life, and reveal the glorious Resurrection of Jesus, my Lord and my God.

Living With Eternal Intentionality®

1. How would you have felt if you were walking with the women on that early morning, just after sunrise?

2. What would your concerns have been? Would you have been worried and anxious?

3. Where do you need God to roll away the stone in your current circumstances?

4. What would it look like not only for the stone to be removed, but for the Resurrection to be displayed in that situation?

3 #'s for Productivity

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Productivity commands a high priority in our overcrowded lives. None of us is lazy, and yet too often, productivity eludes us. And, we feel like the math is against us—execute more, accomplish more, produce more, volunteer more. More, more, more, with less, less, less time … If you find yourself struggling at the end of the day to come up for air read on.

Three of my favorite hacks offer a simple pathway forward, and promise to bolster productivity.

#Usea3x5card

This simple card looks like a dinosaur in today’s sophisticated society. However, such an uncomplicated method of making a list gives clarity and removes the cumbersome. A few simple guidelines work:

• Pray for God’s wisdom

• Itemize, starting with the must-do category

• Move to the want-to-do category

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At the end of the day, thank God for the accomplishments, and celebrate. A celebration includes checking off the items completed and tossing the used card into the trash. Then, a fresh white card and a new list prepare one for the next day.

Levenger produces a lovely leather purse-pocket briefcase which holds these time-tested cards and offers professionalism to the procedure. With careful watch, you can purchase one on sale.

#Takechargeofyouriphone

My phone is a companion I treat with respect, but honestly, it holds the power to be a gargantuan distraction. When my productivity is at risk, a disciplined plan is needed.

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Suggestions:

Silence beeps, buzzes, and bulletins (even ESPN sports scores, Debby)

Strategically place the device in a different room or desk drawer

Send calls to voicemail, and courteously check at appropriate intervals

Use the do not disturb setting to allow incoming calls for family needs

#Fixyourfocus

Focus on the task at hand. Modern thought entices us to believe that multitasking is the way (only way?) to operate. But it is not efficient. Not all that gets done, gets done well when too many fires simultaneous mandate our attention.

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An intriguing insight describes the late Truett Cathy, the founder of Chick-fil-A: “Truett has a tremendous ability to focus. He is not easily distracted. It doesn’t matter what it is … He focuses on whatever he’s thinking about.”*

S. Truett Cathy opened his first restaurant in 1946. One restaurant and one idea led to the nearly 3 billion dollar sales in today’s nationwide restaurants.

#ThankyouMrCathy. Thank you for demonstrating the powerful potential for a fixed focus.



Living With Eternal Intentionality®

Teach us to number our days and present a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).

1. How do you access your current level of productivity?

2. Which of the 3 #’s offers encouragement to you?

3. What is your most valuable # for productivity to share with other readers?

* Note: How Did You Do It, Truett? p. 14, Jimmy Collins