Hardships - Blog

How To Trust God As You Wait

Sarah Martin

I am a terrible waiter.

Not the food service kind. The restless, impatient, I-can’t-believe-this-is-happening-to-me kind.

So, after waiting years to get married, I anticipated a great feeling of relief to characterize those early months of holy matrimony.

The waiting was over. Wasn’t it?

Instead, reality set in.

Another season of waiting met me in that next chapter.

It came in the form of my husband’s mysterious illness.

Waiting Means Hope Deferred

My husband visited doctor after doctor. We scoured the internet. We sought counsel.

Months kept passing. Nothing worked.

The words “God is sovereign” and “He is in control” escaped my lips, but, on the inside, I still obsessed about my husband’s baffling symptoms and tried to forge plan after plan that would appease my fearful worrying.

Isolation became my default, and anger bubbled beneath the surface.

We’re all well-acquainted with waiting. Ask anyone and you’ll hear about people waiting for jobs, to become parents, for companionship, healing, reconciliation, justice, direction. The list goes on and on.

All the while society encourages — even glorifies — instant gratification, express lanes, fast passes, next-day shipping, buy now, pay later.

On the outside, getting what I want when I want it sounds great.

But does that really match up with what I say I believe?

God is a perfect, sovereign, all-powerful Creator.

I have to believe He doesn’t make mistakes or forget or overlook. So that’s where I started in this time of hope deferred with the Author and Perfecter of my faith.

What God Says About Waiting

God, too, is a waiter.

Yet He intertwines waiting with His promises.

The prophet Isaiah wrote, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!” (Isaiah 30:18, New International Version ).

He continued, “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (40:31, NIV).

Pondering those words, I can’t help but notice a common theme: waiting for God.

Not just waiting for His return, but for Him. His character. His love. His grace.

Not the thing that I think I’m waiting for.

Having to wait requires me to feel the depth of my need and my inability to do things alone.

Having to wait exposes upon whom I trust and depend.

Having to wait allows for my growth, maturity and, sometimes, the opportunity to savor things I could only enjoy at that unique time.

God is unflinchingly committed to the process of what He is doing in and through me whether or not I realize it.

He knows what I need. He knows how I feel. And in His great love, He does not give in to my requests (OK, demands) when He knows the greatness of what He has in mind instead.

How To Trust God as You Wait

God asks me to look beyond myself. He asks me to wait for Him and His purposes in His timing because of who He is.

Even today, as my flesh demands answers (and a diagnosis), a deeper question awaits me: Do I trust God enough to wait for Him?

The all-powerful God who has overcome death and persevered generation after generation so that all might come to know Him invites me to embrace my unfulfilled longings, for better or worse, in the dark days, in the joy-filled days and in this current season of waiting.

Next Steps:

Do you feel like God is sometimes silent when you need direction? Check out “When God Is Silent, What Do You Do?” to read about what God could be telling you in the silence.

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