words on waiting

Of all the things that I could spend my time doing, waiting tends to be one of my least favorite options. As it seems, it’s also proven itself to be a consistent pattern in my life.

While walking through seasons of waiting, I’ve struggled many times, mostly because I want what I want when I want it, and so I’ve wasted countless opportunities to learn patience. But God, good as He is, continually brings me situations to learn what I haven’t grasped yet.

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There is no way to learn to wait patiently other than by waiting patiently. 

If there was a quick easy fix, there wouldn’t be patience, after all: that steady acceptance of delay without growing flustered or upset.

When God calls us to wait, He is giving us the opportunity to trust Him with one of our most valuables assets in life, our time. We don’t get to decide how much time we have, nor is there anything we can do to increase the allotted amount of life time that God has designated for us. Waiting on something questions whether I am willing to trust God with the use of my time. Sure, it feels more productive to me if I don’t have to wait. But then the question has to be asked: Which is more profitable: to get busy doing things right away (never having to wait) or growing as a person (becoming patient by waiting). If I want to be a patient person, I must wait. There isn’t any other way to learn.

Patience makes the heart grow stronger. 

I congratulated myself last week for going on a spur of the moment run. Granted it was only about five minutes, but who cares, since I ran just because I felt like it. (That hardly ever happens.) Everything that sounds inspiring about running is just hard and painful when I actually run. I’m weak and easily tire out, but I’ll never grow stronger by sitting in front of my laptop. Growing strong calls for runs that don’t feel in the least bit exhilarating and continuing on when I want nothing better than to give up.

Patience is the same way. It won’t feel great or look impressive, but it will make your heart stronger. It will intensify your trust in God, and as time goes by, you’ll learn to wait for longer periods without feeling so desperate and flustered.

God is working in seasons of waiting. 

Considering that God is patient and desires His people to be adorned with the same characteristic by His Spirit in our lives, when He calls us to wait for any reason, we can trust that He is working in our lives.

Have you ever looked back on a difficult situation and recognized in hindsight that God was trying to teach you something, but you were mostly missing the lesson? I’ve felt that sense of regret: “I wish I had been more thankful and eager to learn. That could have been such a growing time in my life!” I don’t want to miss the lessons of waiting. In fact, rather than praying for things to happen faster or for waiting to go away, instead I want to thank God for blessing me with a lesson in patience.

Waiting is built into life, so what should we do? Well, it’s pretty straightforward: wait. Don’t scheme and plan for a way to get out of that waiting. Don’t mope around or complain about it. Just wait, plain and simple, and thank God that you get to. The waiting will end, and your heart will be all the stronger for having endured patiently.

“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.”  -Psalm 27:14

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10 thoughts on “words on waiting

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  1. So good. Exactly what God taught me last year. I only just read that verse this morning too. :)

  2. I feel like this post was written for me. =P Your last point, that God is working in seasons of waiting, really hit home. As you know, I just had to make the sudden transition from what I thought was going to potentially be a shorter period of waiting (which was still going to be hard), to a much more significant, totally different kind of waiting, with no specific end in sight. And I’m being given the grace to see it clearly as a work of God on my heart — both as testing and refining. It’s forcing me to cling to Him, as I always should be, and it’s changing me, exactly what a trial should do. But, man… waiting is hard. And making that big of a jump so suddenly in the amount of time I’ll be having to wait is even more hard.

    You’re so right, though. The best way to learn to cope with it is just to discipline myself in learning how to wait… by waiting. And it will become easier as time goes on. And then I’ll learn to love it. And so I’ll learn to love God more for forcing me to wait. And I’ll be able to look back and see that I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. That’s what I have to remember when the waiting is hard.

    So anyway, thank you so much for writing this. Couldn’t have been timed more appropriately, at least for me. Your posts are a blessing! =)

    1. You know, I wrote this post for myself because it’s the things I’m trying to learn right now. I’m glad it was helpful for you, too. Sounds like you’re allowing God to do His work in your heart each day as you wait, and that’s a really great thing. Keep it up. :)

      Oh, and I scribbled this down for myself the other night- “Sometimes I may wait a long time and not end up getting what I want. Hint: God’s ways are always better and wiser than my own.”

  3. Hello Amy,
    I have chosen to focus on the word: Patience, for 2016. Your post is just along those lines of what I have been thinking about. I have learned that each day I have to surrender my wants and desires to the Lord. I used to think it was a “one time” thing, but I was wrong. His timing and way of doing things is the best way.

    Also, thank you for stopping by my blog. I hope that my posts can be of some encouragement to others. I agree that Philippians chapter 2 is a good chapter. :)

    Keep looking up!

    1. Hi Elizabeth! Thanks for stopping by my blog! That’s neat that you have a focus word for 2016–my sister does a similar thing each year. :) You’re definitely correct that surrendering our plans and desires to the Lord is a continual thing, not a one time decision. It’s a wonderful thing as we begin to see more clearly how good and wise God is, and He helps us to love His plans much more than our own.

  4. Thank you, Amy, for this excellent post. It is so encouraging to think that we can entrust the use of our time to God just as we trust Him with anything else, and that He will deal as faithfully and lovingly with it just as He would with anything else. I will be meditating on this post for a long time. It reminds me of a verse from one of my favorite hymns of Isaac Watts’: “Why do we then indulge our fears, / Suspicions and complaints? / Is He a God, and shall His grace / Grow weary of His saints?” (The answer is no, it doesn’t; and just like you said, He is patient and desires us to be, too.)

    1. You are welcome, Katie! I’m glad that it could be an encouragement to you! I don’t think I’d heard that hymn by Isaac Watts before- those are wonderful words! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

      1. I’m glad you liked Watts’ hymn, Amy! Here is the full text in case you are interested: http://www.hymnary.org/text/now_shall_my_inward_joys_arise_and_burst
        We usually just sing the first three verses, and I especially like verse one. My family and I sing it to the tune “Africa” by William Billings, and the music is very fitting for the second line of that verse; all four parts sound like they are “bursting into a song.” :)

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