Emilie—Working and Waiting
As strange as it seems, snow was on the ground last week and today it’s warm enough for short sleeves and bare feet. Oh well, such is the weather in this area this time of year. The sudden changes do make us prone to tornadoes and strong thunderstorms, but thankfully the threat that came last Thursday with the weather change wasn’t as violent as it could have been.
When my brother and I were little, we used to wait until we had seen eight butterflies until mom would let us go barefoot each spring. Why eight butterflies? We never knew, but it was something mom got out of a nature book, so it had to be the right number. How slowly those butterflies emerged! More than once we would make the mistake of counting the same butterfly several times. When we finally saw the eight butterflies, taking off our shoes was a special occasion.
Did I wait for the eight butterflies this year? Well, no. And I have to admit, going barefoot today wasn’t as nice as in past years even though it was 60 degrees out there. Waiting for the butterflies added so much value to that simple pleasure. You know how people compare chasing opportunities to chasing butterflies? As soon as something seems attainable, it seems to either slip away like a high-flying butterfly or linger for only a little while. But when you patiently wait for something and it arrives in God’s timing, receiving whatever you’re waiting for seems to linger and land a butterfly kiss in your palms. It’s beautiful and satisfying.
Photo credit: bing.com
Waiting for something to rock your world like a job, a raise, a relationship, an acceptance letter from your dream university or a test result can be tough. But while waiting it is important to remember that we should be content in whatever state we are in, as Paul says. Waiting may be God’s way of getting us to look higher, to see what He has planned for us. In fact, He may be waiting on us to work and prove ourselves ready for the task He has assigned us to.
As a child, I couldn’t wait to grow up because all the things grown-ups got to do looked so fun. But now as a young adult, it seems as if there is only work with a few vacation days here and there. Work has become associated with drudgery. But it shouldn’t be that way. Too many people these days go to college to get a degree for a better-paying job, never mind the fact that the degree they have chosen doesn’t suit their personality and is not personally interesting at all. They fail to consider the specific gifts that God has endowed them with. Should our natural abilities influence the line of work we choose? Absolutely! Never choose a job or career simply based on the salary or whether somebody else thinks you would be good at it. Instead, ask what God wants you to do—where He thinks your talents lie. He knows already. He created each of us with a need to work and be productive in a specific area. That said, work should be a joy; you will never feel like you are working if you enjoy what you do.
Just as waiting increases value, so does work. You appreciate things more when you work and wait for them. But work shouldn’t consume you whole life. Take time to enjoy the simple things in life and ponder the deep things, and cut out time for God, friends and family. Finding joy in life’s journey, taking proper pride in your work, being content in whatever condition you find yourself in—it’s a challenge, but in the end it will all be worth it.
“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content:” (Philippians 4:11)
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11)