Waiting For a Sunrise
A few years ago, I started a habit of occasionally waking early to take in a sunrise and spend time listening for God’s voice – just me and Jesus.
Each night before one of these early risings, I would check the internet for the official time of sunrise the next morning, lay out my clothes, and ready the coffee pot so I could slip out quietly without disturbing my family.
One particular morning, I was greeted with a wall of gray skies and clouds. I was a little early for the sunrise show so I decided to wait it out. And I waited. And waited. Nothing. No light, no clouds parting, nothing. I checked my watch. Ten more minutes until the official sunrise time. So I waited some more. Nothing. Three minutes before official sunrise and there was no sign of a light show. I decided it wasn’t meant to be and turned to go inside. As I turned, I noticed three little birds sitting on the wire facing away from the sunrise and looking at me. I decided I would take a picture of these little guys that got up early to watch the silly human standing in her driveway, coffee in one hand and phone camera in the other.
When I put my phone down I noticed a small sliver of light coming from the clouds. I checked the time and it was officially sunrise time. Again, I decided to wait. As I watched, the sunlight slowly crept across the clouds illuminating them with a soft glow. I had not noticed before, but now I could see the clouds shifting and moving. In my spirit I heard God whisper, “Be patient. Wait.” I waited, shifting side to side from one leg to the other, fiddling with my pockets. And He whispered, “Be still. And wait.” I was reminded of Psalms 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” Ok, Lord. You have my attention. So I stood still and watched as the sun began to slowly rise and colors filled the clouds.
Here are 4 lessons I learned standing in my driveway that morning waiting for sunrise.
1: Sometimes you have to be willing to wait
That morning I would have missed the beautiful colors spread throughout the clouds, but I also would have missed out on what God wanted to speak to my heart if I hadn’t waited. And then waited some more.
I had been praying for several days about some important situations and I was feeling frustrated I had not heard from the Lord.
But this morning, as I stood in my driveway waiting for the sun to creep from behind the clouds, I heard the whisper, “Be patient. Wait on my timing. Don’t move until I say move. And while you are waiting, watch. Be still and wait.”
We can miss what God wants to do in our lives if we are not willing to wait on Him.
Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46:10 ESV
2: Don’t let your expectations cloud what God wants to do in your life
I expected the sunrise to be at a certain time and to put on a spectacular show and God wanted to do something small and quiet that would speak to my heart in His time.
Don’t let your expectations cloud what God wants to do in your life. Sometimes He will show up BIG. Other times He will whisper.
And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. 1 Kings 19:12 NLT
3: Focus your attention in the right place
Remember those little birds on the wire? They were more concerned about the lady dressed like a hobo in her front yard than they were on the sunrise. They had their back to the beauty God began to reveal in the sky.
Sometimes our focus isn’t where it should be. We aren’t looking for God’s goodness in our lives because we are too busy worrying about all. the. things.
We aren’t scanning the horizon for how He is moving on our behalf and we miss out on His answers to our prayers.
Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. Habakkuk 1:5 ESV
4: Let God be God
I am a planner by nature and that morning was no different. I had done everything within my power to make the morning go just right. But ultimately, God is the one in control. The sun rises and sets in His timing – not one second before or after.
Often we put a lot of planning and preparation into the things we want out of life, but we aren’t willing to wait for God to bring about the perfect timing. We frantically try to make things happen for ourselves, then give up in frustration and decide that it wasn’t meant to be.
There are circumstances in life we can not control. We have to cease striving, planning, and frantically manipulating situations to meet our expectations. As hard as that is sometimes, we have to just open our hands and let Him have control.
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8 ESV
1. Have you found yourself in a season of waiting? What is most difficult for you during this season? What has helped you in the past when you were in a season of waiting?
2. Are you struggling with circumstances that don’t look how you expected? Write out some ways you have seen God answer your prayer in the past. This will help you remember His faithfulness.
3. Is it hard for you to see how God is moving in your current situation? What are some Scriptures that will help you focus on His promises? Write them in a journal so you can read them often.
4. Are you a planner? Is it hard for you to give up control? Write down a few circumstances you are currently facing and then beside each one write, “Lord, I give you permission to have control in this situation.” When you’re tempted to control the situation again, take out your list and use it as a time of prayer and meditation, handing it back over to God again.
Lord, thank you for all the ways in which you have been faithful to me. Help me to wait well, listen to your voice, and allow you to have control of the circumstances I am facing. Help to keep my focus on you instead of my expectations. In Jesus name, Amen.
Stephanie K. Adams is a writer, speaker, and founder of Real Women Ministries, where she helps women understand God’s Word so they can find encouragement in the midst of real life. She is the author of In the Shadow of the Cross: Following Jesus Through His Last Days and contributing author to Bearing Fruit: Living Rooted in Christ. To join an online community where women gather to grow in relationship with each other and God through encouragement & accountability through studying the Bible and prayer, visit RealWomenMinistries.org or connect with Stephanie on Facebook & Instagram: @RealWomenMinistries