It’s true that good things come to those who wait, and there are plenty of things in life worth waiting for. Wait for the sake of your purity. Wait for the next stage in life, making every effort to enjoy this one instead of wishing it away. Wait on the Lord, prayerfully, no matter what you are facing! There are, however, a number of areas in which waiting can be a great hindrance to your Christian service. So for these things, younger sisters, DON’T WAIT!
Don’t wait to be a generous giver. “When I’m rich, I’m going to support _________.” You may not have much, but even if your income is from a part-time job, allowance, or just birthday money -you are prospering (I Corinthians 16:2)! Yes, missionaries and a variety of worthy causes require a lot of money, but they also need smaller things! In addition to your weekly contribution, see if you can make or help purchase a birthday gift for a missionary’s child. If you train yourself to give when there is little, you will be much more willing to part with larger sums when there is abundance.
Don’t wait to prepare for the future. If you’re nearing graduation, a common question is, “What do you plan to do next?” While you’re making your immediate plans, I want to encourage you to keep in mind a few more “nexts” down the road. Speaking from a financial stewardship perspective, train yourself now to live below your means. Forego upgrading to the latest phone until the one you have breaks, and start saving for car repairs that aren’t yet needed. When you meet and marry that special Christian young man, sign the lease for a one-bedroom apartment that can easily be paid for instead of the two-bedroom that’s a stretch. Practice being frugal now so that if you are blessed with children and desire to stay at home with them (I hope you do) you’ll be well equipped to live on one income. Ultimately, it’s about disciplining yourself to say no to the materialism monster. While your plans for the future may not turn out just the way you envision, when you aren’t enslaved by the stress of debt and poor financial decisions, there is more freedom to give and serve liberally in the kingdom.
Don’t wait until you have more time. With each new stage in life comes more responsibility (college, job, marriage, children, etc.) and more responsibility means more demands on your time. It’s going to be a LONG time until you’re less busy! Find ways to make spiritual discipline (prayer, reading, meditation, study, service) part of your life now so that it becomes and stays a priority when things get busier. Set alarms to get up earlier or put down electronic devices to spend undistracted time in scripture. Get in the habit of praying more frequently than mealtimes or bedtime, like while you’re brushing your teeth. It may sound simple, but it is certainly not insignificant. The knowledge and wisdom you get from the word are directly related to the time you put into it!
Don’t wait to get involved. If you’ll be moving off to go to college or work soon, I’m confident that “Beyond the Foam” readers will be looking for a congregation of which to be a part. Place your membership and get involved with the college age or young professionals group, but don’t isolate yourself there. Don’t wait until you’re older to serve as a Bible class teacher/helper, on a visitation team, or any number of other areas where your time and talents can be used in the kingdom right now!
Don’t wait until you know more. Spiritual conversations can be nerve-wracking at any age. Yet, at this stage in life, perhaps more so than when you’re older, you have access to a wide variety of people, many of them non-Christians. Through school, sports, and other activities you’ve built relationships with these souls. You may not have all the answers, but you still won’t when you’re 40. Don’t wait to invite, to speak out, or to stand up. Older Christians need your help now to reach lost souls that are unique to your sphere of influence!
Waiting requires discipline and self-control, but so does not waiting! There is a sense of urgency emphasized in scripture when it comes to obeying the gospel (Acts 22:16), but our urgency as daughters of the King shouldn’t stop there. When it comes to giving, saving, growing, serving, and evangelizing – DON’T WAIT!
By Kathryn Baker