I am not a patient person. By design, God has chosen to make me more aware of his presence when I am impatient. In my mind, I see things from 30,000 feet. I enjoy the forest and sweeping mountains of what God has laid on my heart. I know because of God’s past faithfulness, what has been laid on my heart will come to fruition. The problem is that I usually want the forest to spring up; now!
The discomfort in waiting though has been a very, very good thing in my life. What do I mean? Discomfort makes you ‘painfully” aware that there is something just not right in life. You have to take a pause, do an assessment and then figure out what is the best course of action to address the discomfort. Leaders need to know and embrace the discomfort that comes in their sphere of influence.
The discomfort cannot be confused with the actual problem. The goal is to address what is causing the discomfort. The discomfort is a signal, a warning sign, a “Hey you!” So discomfort is good for a leader of people because you will need to take a pause, execute an assessment of yourself or those around you. It reminds you that the most valuable resource that you have been given to steward is your own life and the lives of others.
The discomfort that occurs in leadership extends to what we desire to accomplish as well. Let’s be real. God lays visions and dreams on the hearts of his people and I believe this is for the purpose of extending his kingdom. Look around the world. Look at all the various expressions of church life, books and ministries. Are all of them solid? No. We are still men and women clothed in flesh yet even in our weaknesses, God is assured to get glory in our accomplishments.
The journeys to those accomplishments though are full of discomforting experiences. We will see our plans challenged, frustrated and even stalled. Doubt will surely erupt in the mind of the leader who believes so earnestly that what they have set out to do is just as important as the air they breathe. We echo the words of that man who said to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief.”
This has been the great tension in my own life. Each day I see more clearly this road I am on. I open up my toolbox of skills and get to work. Then the tension comes, the discomfort arise when those one or two things obscure the beautiful picture that God has placed on my heart. Simultaneously I am eager and restless. Believing and doubting.
Can I get an “Amen?”
Here is my encouragement for all of you that lead in a local church, a school, small business or any other vocation. The discomfort you experience today as a leader is meant to lead you to a greater appreciation of the rest that will come when the goal is accomplished.
In the midst of the discomfort and trouble which arise from lives or frustrated processes, God is there to lead you to rest. When you arrive at that goal, when the mission is accomplished, you will have a greater appreciation for the goal. You will look back at all the discomforting events and see that God was always there. Bonhoeffer wrote, “It is so peculiar...we so often encounter God’s footprints in the world together with the footprints of human suffering, of the cross on Golgotha.”
Maybe you will rejoice in tears, maybe in a shout or maybe in utter silence. However you choose to express that appreciation, express it with gladness. And I can tell you from experience, that I am thankful for the impatience because when that specific discomfort rises; God is there and will be there when the forest and mountains are seen in real time.