This article was first posted on The Write Conversation on Sunday, August 22. It is a great reminder to stay in God’s pocket without trying to forge ahead on our own. I’d heard a sermon about this once, and the pastor asked: “Are you asking God to show you His plan, or are you marching ahead, asking for God’s blessings?” I believe blessings come from obedience and total surrender. But enough babble. Here’s Edie’s devo. And remember, if you think this is one that should make the top three of 2010, leave a comment, fb share it, like it, or tweet it, and I’ll tally all the tweets, shares, likes and comments at the end. (And don’t forget to support Edie by visiting her blog.)
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Ps 37:7 (NIV)
I don’t know about you, but waiting patiently isn’t in my top ten of favorite things to do—it’s actually closer to somewhere in the bottom ten. I hate being patient, whatever it is—I want it, and I want it now. I would like to think I’m a product of my times and environment. After all, we live in a world of the instant now. How nice it would be to put the blame somewhere other than my immaturity.
But God has shown me that’s all impatience is, immaturity with a mask. This has been particularly true with my writing life So many times, if God had given me the answer the moment I asked, I would have missed out on so much. I would have missed the sweet prayer time, the fellowship with others who shared in my journey, and the ultimate joy of something anticipated and achieved. I would have also missed out on being used by God to teach and comfort others as they saw Him work in my life.
Most important, God has shown me that had I rushed His timing, I’d have traded an immediate good for an ultimate best. For years I’ve enjoyed success in my freelance writing, but an idea that led to a published book proved elusive. I watched my contemporaries and even some of those I’ve mentored land contracts with no success of my own. I cried out to God, asked why and received no satisfactory answer. Then, this very month, the magic happened. I now have joined the ranks of those contracted authors. Even better is the book God chose for my first.
My first book will be a devotional for those with loved ones serving in the military. I wish I could share the gift this book is to me. Our oldest son served in the Marine Corps. He went straight from high school to boot camp to Iraq. I truly believe this book is one of the many ways God is redeeming that time of struggle in our family’s life. So yes, I had to wait, but it was worth it!
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Edie Melson is a freelance writer and editor with a passion for life’s stories. She loves to share her 16+ years experience in the field of writing through mentoring and teaching others. She’s a member of several professional writing organizations, including The Christian Pen, The Christian Writer’s View I and ACFW, where she serves as the Editor for the Southeast Zone Newsletter and staff reviewer for Afictionado Magazine. You can visit Edie on her popular writing blog, The Write Conversation. Married 29 years to husband, Kirk, they have raised three sons.
As one non-waiter to another: Thanks for the reminder! Praise God, He’s in control and we’re not. Can you imagine the mess we’d make?
Although waiting doesn’t make my top ten list either, Edie’s devotions always do! Way to go, Edie. You spoke to my impatient heart!
Thanks for sharing so honestly, Edie. Your words encourage me.
Oh Edie, what a great definition for impatience and thanks for the reminder of how God uses the waiting room to prepare us for His best.
Congratulations on your blog success. It’s a good topic and well worth the read. Also, congrats on your devotional book! I’m excited to see your success taking off.
Even once we’ve had a yes (or two), there’ll be more waiting. That’s the writing world–and life! Thanks for the reminder. I love what you wrote: “But God has shown me that’s all impatience is, immaturity with a mask.”
Well, I love it in that oh-so-convicting way.
Edie, How exciting to hear about your success!! Having just recently joined your Christian Writer’s Group, I love knowing someone who is being so obedient to God by listening (even though you say you’re impatient) to Him and putting these thoughts into words for people to read and feel. Thank you for all the hard work. Kae Childs
I can SO relate. Thanks Edie for once again making me stop, think, and PRAY. Got to get me and my timing out of the way of God’ PERFECT timing!
I believe it to be a widely helpful post. An opportunity for us to confront our own impatience and evaluate ‘our’ plans. Thanks!
This is my favorite post, dear friend. Your writing reflects your life and I am soooo proud of you and all the work that God is doing through you. I cannot wait for your book and neither can all the military families I know.
Keep up all the good work. Renee’ Cassidy
Edie, I shudder to think of the many times I’ve traded an immediate good for God’s ultimate best in my life. Your insight on living this out in your writing life was extremely helpful — and encouraging — for this newbie. This is one of your best — and that’s saying something my friend. Thanks for sharing!
My favorite line . . . I’d have traded an immediate good for an ultimate best . . . such a powerful thought. I so often want the immediate, when what God has planned for me is so beyond what I can see right now.
Thanks for sharing your heart with us!
And while you were watching and waiting, you were helping so many others on their way. Thanks Edie, and congrats.
Edie, what you say is so true. None of us like waiting, but thanks for the reminder that waiting on God’s timing is far better than getting what we think we want.
Edie, I am so enjoying getting to read your work! God truly does have to let us get to the end of ourselves before we can receive the blessings He has for us! Kudos on your accomplishment! Can’t wait to meet you in December at the workshop you and Vonda teach! Celeste
I have know Eddie for a couple of years and have been blessed by her life experiences and lessons. She has inspired me in many ways and has a lot to offer anyone who will listen. God gives each of us our unique experiences to mold us into the person He wants us to be. He also gives us these experiences so that we can help others develop their own God-intended potential. I have longed to write for many years, but did not do so until Eddie invited me to join a writers’ group. Her patience experience rings very true in my life.
From the looks of all these responses, it appears Eddie has touched many deeply. A life well lived in humble submission to Christ is better than any devotion ever written! Eddie, I am very blessed to have you on my site and I look forward to getting to know you more. Your legacy, it appears, has already blossomed and will continue to bloom. 🙂
Edie is a wonderful information specialist. She easily gets right to the heart of the subject. I’m blessed to call her friend.
What a great book for you to write and at such a time as this. I can’t wait to read what comes from your heart. It’s amazing to see how God uses our experiences for His glory.
I’m thrilled we will soon be able to read your book. Your reminder not to charge ahead of God is needful. Thanks.
Edie, Thanks for sharing. Your words encourage me to share my journey with others. It’s been a tough year for me, losing my mom, moving and being uprooted from my church family. I’m sitting alone in a house trying to edit a novel while the family’s gone during the day. Calling out to God comforts me, but I need to also share my journey with others.
First, I apologize for calling you Eddie in my first post. my happy fingers hit the “d” one too many times:-) Second, I am very thankful that you persisted in inviting me to join the “Upstate Fellowship of Christian Writers.” You, First Baptist Church of Simpsonville and the writers’ group have motivated me to look beyond my human limitations, trust God, and finally start the writing I have longed to do but was afraid to pursue. (Rhyme not intended.) The Irony of my situation is that God is the one who has been patient with me. And now, thanks to you, the writers’ group, and the Music Ministry of First Baptist Church of Simpsonville, I am finally listening to God and writing what He wants me to write, and enjoying every minute of it. Your article on patience could not be more timely in my life. I truly believe that the timing of my awareness of your article is another sign from God that the time has come for me to follow the desire He implanted in me many years ago. I also believe that had I started sooner it would have been too soon, even though I wished I had started writing several years ago. It is now clear that NOW is the time He intended for me to begin my writing career. I thank God for the Holy Spirit who held me back until I was ready, and for putting you in my life to encourage me at the right time.
This post spoke to my heart. Waiting for God’s perfect timing is truly difficult for me. Thanks for the encouraging words Edie! I love your writing. 🙂