“Wait for the Lord; be strong and courageous. Wait for the Lord.” - Psalm 27:14
Most coaches and athletes are highly driven people. They set goals, have a purpose and do what it takes to achieve their desired results. That’s one reason why feeling as though life is not progressing as planned is sometimes difficult for them to accept.
I like to think of myself as a patient person. I accept that training for a marathon is going to take months of hard work, so I develop a training schedule and follow it. I have even learned the importance of margin—allowing room for unexpected things to happen in my training. This allows me to not feel derailed when I miss a run due to circumstances beyond my control. But in life, things don’t always work out so neat and tidy like they do in my training schedule.
At times in my life I feel like I pray and hear nothing but silence in return. These moments in life, when I don’t seem to be making any progress, I refer to as “static.” Static means to lack in movement, action or change in a way that is usually viewed as undesirable. It can also refer to that crackling or hissing noise on your radio. No matter how I look at it, though, the static is a barrier between where I am and where I want to be.
If I’m able to set my frustrations and agenda aside, I can see that life is never really static—God is always doing something. But it’s up to me to seek Him in these times and find out what’s going on and how I should respond. From relationships, to sports, to my carrier goals, I’m learning to see the positive aspects of these moments and learn how to handle them in the future.
One thing I’ve found that causes static is not spending enough time with God. If we think about any of our healthy relationships, we know that they function best when we invest time in the other people. If we only called on them when we were in need and we neglected them the rest of the time, the relationship would be very one-sided. Yet how often do we do this with God? Throughout Scripture we find verse after verse about how relational God is and that, through Jesus Christ, we have access to the His throne. But if we come to Him only when we need something we miss out on something amazing. We miss out on His transformational power in our lives.
You see, God doesn't just want to change our circumstances, He wants to change us. He pursues us and when we don't respond, we shouldn’t be surprised when everything else seems to stop. These static moments should serve as a flag that lets us know we need to get to the source of everything.
Of course the devil doesn't want us to rest in the assurance that God is still with us and still moving. He’ll make us think that we need to do things in our own power to change our situation because, as he says, God isn’t moving. But if we do this, we’ll lose our peace, disrupt others, forget to be thankful and disconnect from God. To avoid this kind of trap, we need to develop some strategies to implement while we wait for the static to clear. For example, we can try to find different ways to connect with God, such as journaling. Not only will this be therapeutic, it also will give us a way to look back on our situation and see how God worked it out.
The bottom line is that static isn’t the end of the world. If we’re seeking God and surrendering to Him, we can know He will work on our behalf in all things (Romans 8:28). We just need to seek Him in the midst and know that there is always more to life than what we perceive.
In what areas are you experiencing static?
What are you learning about God or yourself through this time of waiting?
How has your attitude been while you’re waiting?