Times of waiting can certainly transpire into some of life’s greatest challenges. Waiting can involve joyful expectation or overwhelming grief. It may encompass the most puzzling of times, involving seasons of questioning God’s plans for your life and even His faithfulness. Waiting sometimes feels lonely and incomprehensible. You may have the sense that this trial will never end.
You could be waiting for a new baby to arrive or for a lingering loved one to step into heaven. Waiting often involves a longing heart - yearning for a spouse, a child, a good marriage, a better job, a healthy body, a prodigal son or daughter to return, freedom from bondage . . . Thankfully, it has been my experience in life that God always meets me in the waiting; He is there.
It was a LONG time that Martin and I waited, hoping to add to our family; we
wondered if we would ever be blessed with children. During that time, God revealed to me that HE REALLY is MORE THAN ENOUGH, even than our most dearly treasured dreams. It has been one of His greatest gifts in my life that I now KNOW that in the depths of my soul I truly trust and desire His will more than my own. God and I settled that long ago!
Martin and I have also waited and held on through rough patches in our marriage and God has been at work, even when we didn’t see or feel it. He has always come through, led us forward, grown us to be more like Christ, taught us lessons about ourselves and each other, and best of all, He Himself has increased our love. The waiting, pursuing God, and actively listening and obeying has been so worth it! God is ALWAYS at work behind the scenes as we place our trust in Him.
For the last few years, our son Ryan, has been waiting to see how God would put his life together after college, baseball, and the Kanakuk Institute. He has had several times of severe testing and setbacks. I admit that for myself, this path has included times of tears, doubt, and questioning; yet through it all God has been with us and my faith in Him has been my comfort and yes, even my PEACE! God is coming out the victor in a hard-fought battle with fear on my part and thankfully, He has made me STRONGER in my faith than ever. His peace TRULY does surpass all comprehension . . . PRAISE GOD for the many ways He has worked in Ryan's life over the past few years. Here is a sweet picture of him and his soon-to-be-wife Heather...
Right now, our clan is waiting on the arrival of our new little grand-daughter. Matt and Erin are waiting through intermittent daily contractions and are very ready to welcome Elisabeth Joy into the world. If we were choosing, she would come TODAY! Yet it is much more wonderful to understand that God is in every detail of when she arrives, what nurse will be on call, what doctor will deliver her, who will be here for her arrival, when people will travel in to see her. . . What an opportunity to dedicate the details of her life to our Lord before she even officially arrives!
It is AWESOME to have a Good Shepherd who knows exactly how to care for his sheep,which pasture He wants us in, when to move us, and what path will be best to travel in order to reach His planned destination and fulfill the plans He has for us.
Trusting and praising God in the waiting has made ALL the difference in my hanging on to God during life’s hard trials. In those places where hopes, dreams, and expectations do not APPEAR to be coming to fruition, here are some ways I have found to keep from falling into doubt and despair, but rather, to take one step closer to God:
- Memorize Scriptures of praise, thanksgiving, and God’s faithfulness
- Read inspiring books that expand your faith horizons (biographies on heroes of the faith, great Christian authors, delve deeper into learning more about issues that you are dealing with)
- Listen to encouraging sermons or podcasts
- Develop a new playlist of Christian music that lifts your spirit
- Serve someone else
- Get together a prayer/praise team (a group who consistently prays for one another’s requests)
- Mentor someone younger in their walk with Christ, and/or find someone that is farther along in their faith walk to mentor you
- Take a step towards better physical health (eat healthier, sleep longer, exercise…)
- Join or start a Bible study
Food for meditation/memorization in the waiting:
“For we through the Spirit, by faith, are waiting for the hope of righteousness” (Galatians 5:5).
“Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at my doorposts” (Proverbs 8:34).
“Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life” (Jude 1:21).
“Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed” (Psalms 25:3).
“Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for You” (Psalms 25:21).
“I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, and I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones” (Psalms 52:9).
“My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation” (Psalms 62:1).
Praise be to our God who is always there to meet us IN THE WAITING!