My wife and I were traveling to another centre to teach an Ellel course. The journey involved travelling by car, bus, plane, two trains and a car again and normally took about 7 hours to complete. However on this occasion a strike by air traffic controllers in another country caused a delay in our plane departing from the UK. As a result the plane missed its ‘slot’ and others became wrongly located around the world. Although the strike was over by the time of our scheduled departure, we were delayed in the airport by over 4 hours, whilst other flights scheduled after ours took off with only a small disruption to their schedules. Some passengers became very angry with the airport personnel, but we had to just sit and wait.
The journey however continued to be challenging, as we missed our intended train and had to take another route, only to discover that engineering works on the line meant that part of the journey was being replaced by a long bus ride before we could get our final train. To avoid that bus ride we took another 2 trains and waited on platforms again, but still arrived at our destination at nearly midnight, almost 13 hours after we had left home. Praise God we didn’t have to teach first thing in the morning!
In all this God was testing our patience and our trust in Him. Interestingly the course we were to teach was called ‘Dealing with stress anxiety and burnout’! I was reminded of God’s Word that we are to ‘Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord’ (Psalm 27:14). We could so easily have given in to the stress and frustration of the circumstances, and, whilst there was a little anxiety around, we decided to trust God with the outcome. We realised that worrying wouldn’t change the situation, and even though God could do so, He chose to protect us and get us there eventually with no real mishap.
Waiting on the Lord won’t necessarily bring a miraculous resolution to our problems, but it will take out the stress and anxiety that we might naturally experience. Someone once said that God ‘gives grace for the place’ and I believe that is true. It takes grace to sit in the airport without anxiety when the plane is delayed, and it takes grace to walk through life’s crises when they occur without there being an apparent easier solution. And the way to receive that grace is to wait on the Lord.
This may not come easily to many of us, but when we do then the stress factor diminishes significantly. The prophet Isaiah reminds us that ‘those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength’ (Isaiah 41:10), so rather than becoming exhausted with anxiety we would do much better to wait on the Lord and be strengthened in Him.
Prayer: Lord, many of us are not very patient people by nature, and we can get worked up when things go wrong. Help us instead to wait on You in those times and to receive Your Grace for the place, so we don’t get stressed out by the everyday crises of life. Amen.
Please feel free to use this devotional to send on to your friends or share with your church fellowship. Provided full acknowledgement is made to Seeds of the Kingdom as the source, you are also welcome to use it in a non-commercial way and reproduce it in magazines or other Christian websites. The copyright for any commercial use of the material remains with Ellel Ministries International.