Move, Wait or Get Out of the Way

I’m a “get-it-done” kind of girl. (You’re learning all kinds of things about me this week, aren’t you?)

If I know something needs fixing, I want to fix it now. Whether its the washing machine broken down or a relationship that needs mending, I don’t like living in limbo. Uncomfortable and often agitated, getting things in place and corrected seems to be the only answer to restoring calm and peace in my heart.

Which is exactly why I need to take a lesson or two from Joseph. He and Mary, and most likely their entire families, had worked out a plan. They were going to get married. Then the big news is dropped from heaven: Mary is carrying the Savior.

Now what is a person suppose to do with news like that? 

This is where I see the wisdom of Joseph:

“But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.” Matthew 1:20 (NIV)

Do you see it too? The interrupter word? But.

Wisdom comes after that word: “but after he had considered this …” The word translated “considered” in the original Greek means “to weigh in the mind, to revolve in mind, ponder, to think; to deliberate.”

Joseph didn’t perceive a problem with his plan and jump to fix it. Instead, he waited; he weighed it.

Can I just tell you how hard it is for me to do what Joseph did?

Ponder, think or deliberate over a situation? I just want it fixed and I want it fixed now. But, I’m learning, all too often, that is not how God moves. In fact, most often, when I feel rushed or pressured, its not His voice at all. That need to hurry, to get it over with, is just my own uneasiness speaking; the urgency I feel to fix it.

Here, in this place where Joseph slowed down to deliberate, he made a space for God to speak. Here he could hear if he was to move, wait or get out of God’s way.

God did speak.

He sent an angel in a dream, giving Joseph his next steps. Steps that were the opposite of what Joseph had planned  to do. “…he had in mind to divorce her quietly.” Matthew 1:19b. But God said, “…take Mary home as your wife…” vs. 20

There are many ways I learn and one of them is watching others, seeing what they’ve done right and modeling my life after their’s. I want to learn from Joseph. When life is going a direction I didn’t expect, in fact a direction I don’t want, I will stop and consider. I will deliberate; consulting God’s word for wisdom before making my move. Here, in these motionless moments, I will wait and give God time to speak. And I step out in faith on the direction I have been given, it makes room for God’s continued wisdom to step in.




  1. Lynn I’m having to learn these lessons as well. I am praying for patients and patients to wait for the patients. I’m wanting my writing career to take off faster than God wants it to. I started my blog finally and as a blind person it has been quite a journey. But now that it’s live, I want it to go from non-existant to 5000 followers like, overnight. Yikes. Thank You for the words to let me know I’m not the only one who doesn’t like things to be settled and in perfect order. Blessings.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      The main thing is that you have taken the first step, Cyndi! Keep writing! The more you write, the more prolific you’ll become.

  2. I enjoyed this- I am living in that space right now. I have learned over the years to step back and let God do His thing. He is God and doesn’t need my “help” LOL. Like you, I’m a doer, a fixer, a don’t-just-stand-there kinda girl. But there have been times where I was waiting for some BIG answers to prayer and I just sensed the Spirit telling me to cool my jets and be still. I felt like I was procrastinating, but no. That was the Lord at work. I’m in that space waiting for God to do some big things in my life. I’m doing my part, but I’m stepping back and letting Him do His work. Thanks for this reminder and confirmation!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      I loved how you said it, Beth! Sometimes we do just have to “cool our jets”.

  3. It’s been hard for me at times to wait patiently for God but I’m try and learning daily it’s worth the wait. I have learned that whatever heartache or trouble I’m going through, there is a reason for it. God has a plan and he will never leave me. I just need to wait and he will answer my prayers. Maybe not in the way I want but in the way that will benefit me and his kingdom the most.

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Good word, Jean “…and his kingdom the most.”

  4. Thanks for this Lynn. Such a good word. Your last few posts have spoken to me personally in where I am at this season with God. Sometimes it’s a certain phrase or couple of words or even one word that jumps out at me…and I know it’s His Holy Spirit saying “pay attention to this”. So thank you for always hearing the voice of God and writing His words! I am taking notes! 😉
    Bless you and Merry Christmas!

    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Thank you so much for your encouragement, Susan! It is so helpful to know it is helping someone!

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