This Monday I was chatting with a dear friend who had been to a women's conference over the weekend. She told me about a great challenge she heard regarding waiting. I've been mulling it over and praying through it ever since then and I think it is definitely worth repeating.
The speaker said that there is a difference between waiting with expectancy and waiting expectantly. When you are waiting expectantly, you are full of expectations that you want God to fulfill. In other words, you will be trying to tell God what to do the whole time you are waiting. When you are waiting with expectancy you are in full trust of God's plan, and are waiting to see how his plan will unfold.
In Phillipians 4 vs. 6 and 7 we're told to present our requests to God with the promise that "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard [our] hearts and [our] minds in Christ Jesus" (ESV). So, here's the balancing part of it. How do I make sure that I am being honest with God, presenting my requests to him, but not making demands of him? It is a line that I am finding very hard to walk. I have a tendency to pester my requests to God.
I am sure that I have been waiting expectantly for quite some time. It's tiring. Praise God that he shows me over and over again that I do not know best. It seems like this is a message that I've been hearing many times, each in a different way. This challenge has been a helpful reminder that I need to constantly check my prayers to make sure I'm presenting my requests to God and not giving him a list of expectations.