It Can Wait
Early in my faith walk, I was blessed to be taken in by a group of ladies who studied the Bible on a weekly basis. Their love for the Lord and His Word established a firm foundation for my infant faith.
We were studying together on a Tuesday morning when I first heard of the men of Issachar. It was during a Beth Moore study, though I don’t recall which one.
1 Chronicles 12:32 says the men of Issachar were men who “…understood the times and knew what Israel should do.” I marveled at that characteristic—knowing what to do, when—and I wanted it for myself.
In a moment, the concept dropped into the soil of my heart, but it didn’t actually sprout until much later.
I’m not a doctor but I occasionally try to act like one.
At least 10 years ago, I informally diagnosed myself with Attention Deficit Disorder and/or a significant lack of impulse control. More than once, my kids have said to me, “Mom, focus!”
I also recognize in myself a desire to be an information-distributor. As a writer, this can be a benefit. As a human in relationship, it can be a liability.
For far too long, my two “conditions” meant I received news, then I blurted it, with very little time passing between. I could wreck a party, a weekend, or a vacation in 10 seconds flat.
But God, in his infinite and omniscient goodness, did a work in me.
Over time, not only did He tend the men-of-Issachar seed inside me, he also nurtured his gift to me, the Fruits of the Spirit, specifically self-control.
And finally, there was fruit. I learned to wait until Monday to deliver difficult news. Why spoil a weekend? I disciplined myself to not reveal a disappointment during vacation. Why ruin our family’s once-a-year time away from our normal routine? When my husband travels for business, I rarely text him about a crisis on the home front. A thousand miles away, what can he do about it?
More often than not, hard news can wait.
Let your family enjoy the beach. Smile through a birthday party or Thanksgiving weekend. Wait until after your child takes final exams to drop a negative newsflash.
If you’re unsure whether to speak up or not, ask yourself these questions:
- Is there a better time to inform people of this situation?
- Am I definitely the person who should divulge these facts?
For all the lessons they taught me, I am grateful for the ladies of Bible study and the men of Issachar.
- Breaking Up (with a friend) is Hard to Do - August 29, 2018
- Prescription for Peace - June 20, 2018
- Fast Dogs - March 7, 2018
So glad to see God’s loving work in you! I relate to the process. You and I are making good strides, dependent on Him for wisdom and patience, like never before. And we trust Him while we wait. Thankful for the groups He keeps blessing me with, you being in many of them (fellow-Morgantownian; writers, essayists and travelers) is very cool. We can witness each other’s progress. Thanks for sharing and for your generosity to me as a writer.
This is hard stuff, man! Good for you to be able to see the issue and work on fixing it. And there is another side to this, too. I have a tendency to hold onto information because I don’t want to rock the boat, but sometimes it needs to be said. So I’m going to try to be a man of Issachar. Thanks for the lesson!!
OMGosh! This is so timely, as I’ve been thinking of this, and how God has been shutting my mouth more often than usual, and I am ok with it. Say what? This question ‘Am I definitely the person who should divulge these facts?’ is the one that I am constantly exploring as I find no words worth saying sometimes, even though my head is saying ‘blurt it out, let them know.’ It’s so confusing sometimes, but so encouraging to me that others have been going through this as well. Love this community!
Hey gals: Thanks for reading and responding. I’m glad if you gleaned a nugget from my post.
I forgot to say that to me, this feels tied to the Fruit of the Spirit: self-control. For a few years now, I’ve been calling the Holy Spirit my “editor.”
For me, this more about timing, the WHEN to tell, than it is about NOT telling. But yes, the question of whether the “news” needs to come from ME is also part of the picture.
Oops! I just reread my post and see that I DID mention Fruit of the Spirit, self-control:()
Excellent! To know what to do and when… What a helpful gift! I’m loving this theme of ‘waiting’.
And I can’t “wait” to see what you write, Cole Smith, when you join our team!!
“I also recognize in myself a desire to be an information-distributor. As a writer, this can be a benefit. As a human in relationship, it can be a liability.”
Hello. My name is Gretchen, and I’m an information-distributor.” OY. This is the best of times and the worst of times. I’m a speech pathologist and a writer and a volunteer who passes on prayer requests to our prayer team at church. All good things…they all use my gifts. But self-control? Not as big a gift. Place and time? I’m learning.
In addition to your example, I also think of dear Esther, and her timing/presentation with the information she shared with King Xerxes about the evil Haman. If she had timed things any differently, the Jews might have been annihilated.
Thank you for this practical post, friend.