I don’t like to wait. Like a stubborn toddler, I want what I want NOW! This applies to waiting in line at the store, for a delayed flight to be rescheduled, or the doctor to finally appear to discuss my medical situation. Over time I have had to agree with the adage that the best way to kill time is to work it to death. Hence, I can work to solve the problem by studying options, asking questions, or getting in a different check-out line. When I’ve done what I can to speed up the solution, if I have a good book, a game of Sudoku, or a friend with a listening ear, I find I can endure the wait with better grace and patience. It also helps to know that the wait won’t be permanent—eventually I’ll make my purchase, get on that flight, or talk to the doctor.
Even for women of faith the most daunting challenge can be waiting on the Lord. When it seems like you’ve been in a holding pattern forever while others zip through their lives like first-class passengers boarding a flight, it’s difficult not to revert to those toddler-like feelings. However, remembering the strategies that work for everyday waiting are very helpful when you feel you simply can’t wait any longer for God to hear you and help you solve the problems and challenges in your life. Let’s see what that might look like.
First, as you trust in God’s mercy and timing, keep working to see what you can do to help Him help you. Are there things you should do that you’re not? Are there things you shouldn’t do that you’re doing? Are there friends, family members, or professionals who could shine light on your struggles and guide you to find solutions? As part of this process, look for worthy ways to fill your time while you wait for His perfect assistance. Like reading a book in the doctor’s office, fill your life with other things that bring you joy and fulfillment while in the waiting room of life.
Second, and likely more important, have faith that you are known by God and that in His perfect wisdom and timing, one day you will reap the fruits of your patient faith. The bible teaches this truth in Psalms 130:5: I wait for the Lord, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
Here are some examples of this faithful waiting I’ve experienced or have observed in the lives of others:
- A broken-hearted teenage girl who was cut from the school’s cheerleading squad, which led to having the health and time to realize her dream of playing the lead in the school musical.
- A devoted mother who never gave up on her son who struggles with mental illness by combining God’s love for him with her motherly love through many years and tears until he returned to his faith and found hope and happiness in God’s promises.
- A couple who struggled with infertility, signing up to be foster parents while waiting until the opportunity came to adopt a beautiful daughter who is the perfect completion of their family.
- A woman injured in a car accident who spent the rest of her life in bed, declaring, “God is good,” and holding no ill feelings toward the driver who caused her injuries.
- A single mom who was devastated when she didn’t qualify for what she believed was the perfect apartment for her family but rejoiced in God’s better plan when He led her to an apartment in a small home with a yard for her children.
- Our global sisters sharing their faith and hope at a recent all-cottage meeting. While recognizing the severity of their challenges, they expressed determination to start by using what they have and trusting God to multiply their “drop” into oceans of blessings and change.
I end with a favorite quote that illustrates strategies of working and trusting while waiting on the Lord. This man looked back on his struggles as a young father and had this advice for himself: Don’t give up, boy. Don’t you quit. You keep walking. You keep trying. There is help and happiness ahead…. You keep your chin up. It will be all right in the end. Trust God and believe in good things to come.