As we move into the new year of 2017, many of us start thinking about what went well and what we wanted more of in 2016. I have come to notice that many people I speak to (myself included) are wanting to pace themselves and not jump into the new year with 'all guns blazing' – as we are not sure what we are jumping into. This is why I believe 2017 is becoming a waiting game of what to expect.
There are a number of specific events we tend to wait on or want to happen, for example waiting for a holiday, or waiting for the birth of a child.
However, there is another kind of waiting which comes out of uncertainty – when we ask the questions 'what next?' and 'where do we go from here?'
I believe the answer is not always obvious. Despite this, we take a step of faith and God moves according to His plan. This is like Abraham, who must have been asking those very questions, but he moved forward according to the way he thought God was guiding him.
In exactly the same way, the wise men knew what was next but they didn't know where they were going.
I believe that it is a tricky issue when we start pondering the question 'what next'? We sometimes force certain issues, or we move in the wrong way because we are so obsessed with seeing something happen.
It is easy to forget that we are often in a necessary season of growth or a testing of our patience. However, we are constantly in a season of waiting, a waiting game, and this enables us to build up the strength we will need to go on from here.
Where are we?
Sometimes we need to evaluate where we are before we can ask 'what next?' I like to think that once we see what we are doing at a certain point and where we are, things start to fall into place.
This can be the same with waiting to board a plane. We can be in such a hurry to get to where we are going, we forget to enjoy the airport and the plane journey. We can also be expectant and hopeful about that which we will encounter when we land.
The waiting experience
We need to enjoy the waiting experience and everything that is part of the current season. We can also look forward to the people we will meet when the time for a long-awaited event or journey finally arrives.
Life is sometimes like a fork in the road or a delayed train. We have to make do with where we are and what we are doing whilst we are there. It can be difficult to accept the waiting, but we will find peace in doing so.
That is fundamentality what we should be striving towards, as God is a God of peace. We should be wanting every season and journey to be peaceful so we can draw close to God in each of these seasons.
How do we go about this?
We have to seek out where we are in Jesus and how we are allowing him to guide our lives. Once we work that out, we can keep that peace and want to pursue him more.
When we go out wanting to lead a life for Jesus, we find peace and discover new directions. We step out in faith as we know that Jesus is around every decision we are making and we can feel a total peace in that.
To summarise, I would always seek Jesus in every decision, but enjoy the waiting experience while you seek out the next step. Once you have peace in each of these situations, you will have a peaceful waiting experience and this will make stepping out in faith easier.
Mike Burr is from Manchester, England, with a marketing degree and several years working in the corporate world. Mike is in Australia for six months at a YWAM Discipleship Training School in Byron Bay, NSW.
Mike Burr's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mike-burr.html