Long ago, I noticed a figurine—a young woman smelling a flower while perched upon a rock. A butterfly rested in her hand. The expression on her face seemed pleasant and peaceful, as if she might be daydreaming.
Something about that make-believe setting nudged me. I wasn’t (and still am not) the knickknack collecting type. To my surprise I was compelled to pick it up and study it. It wasn’t a Lladro. In fact, it was more like a mass-produced plastic piece, and cheap. No fine details and uneven paint lines. It wasn’t anything to be excited about, yet the sight of it was profound.
YOU need to look more like that! At peace!
It was a time in my life when I wanted a mate, but didn’t have one. It was also a time when business deals weren’t going as I had hoped and health challenges were starting to rise up—nothing major, but enough to be pesky. It was a time when other things were not going as I had planned, leaving me rattled more than calm.
I couldn’t leave the figurine on the shelf. The price was right and the message was perfect—peace. I placed “her” on my shelf at home and rested a message at her feet: “Waiting on the Lord…”
I don’t remember why I wrote that message. I wish I could say it was because I was strong in my faith, but I don’t think I was very strong in my faith at all. I think I had simply resigned to the fact that if a planner can’t always “make things happen” perhaps it is a greater power …and that could only be God!
I took the mindset of learning, watching, and trying to get comfortable with waiting.
Sometimes I read the figurine’s message in passing, “Waiting on the Lord…”, and then there were times I had to study the make-believe setting and ask myself,
“Why am I not at peace like this?”
I would meet people who resembled my figurine—gentle curves of the face with few worry lines and unhurried in their disposition—and I was amazed by how they were very productive and sometimes had fewer resources than me.
Why don’t they seem wound up? How could they be doing so much? How?
I studied Holy Scriptures and found many clues about why I still struggled. I definitely wasn’t eagerly or quietly waiting for the Lord, nor had I left room in my plans for Him to step in.
“Umm…Did you notice the opportunity is over at 4:00pm, Lord?”
I still jumped the gun or dragged my feet too slowly—both caused more friction and anxiety. It finally entered my heart to turn Bible pages and read what God says about waiting on Him. In doing so…I began to find more peace!
It is difficult to explain how it happened, but I began to learn how to slow down, speed up, and …wait! I also realized that His plans were always bigger than mine (if He decided something should even come to pass).
Now, it doesn’t mean I don’t get rattled, but I do make myself smell the flowers, appreciate nature, go about the work that I know I must do and then sit, rest, and wait. My training (I am still learning) has moved up a notch and I am getting lessons on enduring and waiting through tough times. Not times mistaken as tough, but tough times.
Now, when I wait on news that could change my life my thoughts sometimes turn back to my figurine. I am not sure where she rests—in a box or tucked away on a shelf–but I know it is because of God’s work in me that I no longer need her visible. He has made me more peaceful like the make-believe setting I had imagined. I have even gotten better at waiting with a friend.
When life’s uncertainties result in too many anxious moments, check your desire for peace. Sometimes we need to consult God’s word and see where we’re falling short—temperament, attitude, issues with control and maybe even doubt. You might not need a figurine as a reminder; maybe you can picture the level of peace you’d like to reach.
Only my friends can say whether they see me resting like the woman on my figurine. As for me, I think I have become a bit more statuesque…even in a storm.
Thanks be to God!