If I was to make a list of my least favorite things to do, it would include things like emptying the dishwasher, saying goodbye, and sweating (while in full hair and makeup. I don’t mind workout sweating). At the top of my least favorite things to do list, though, would be this: waiting. I’ve never been known for patience, which I guess is something the Lord gets a chuckle out of, because I have waited a lot in my life. I don’t think I’m special, though. No one loves to wait. Yet somehow, it seems like there is rarely a time of life that we’re not waiting for something.
As is often the case, I am once again in a waiting season, and it is truly not fun. Waiting, especially if it has been a long wait, wears on your heart and soul. I believe God hears me; I believe He is able to bring my waiting to an end. So, why won’t He? I can’t answer for God or pretend to understand His ways. But, I have found some helpful truths in my waiting. I hope they’ll encourage you if you’re in a similar season.
- Don’t give up on time alone with the Lord. It would be so easy to give Him the cold shoulder and stop showing up to meet with Him. But, if we do that, we miss the encouragement He often has for us while we wait. Many days, I cling for dear life to what He gives me in our time alone together.
- Ask Him for hope. This is something I did this very week. I told the Lord I needed hope that the thing I’m asking for will come to pass, and He gave it almost immediately. I love Romans 15:13: “And may the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” He is faithful to give hope when I’m feeling hopeless.
- Remember that we don’t wait alone. There are a few close people who know what I’m waiting for, and they pray and wait with me. It makes a huge difference to know that you aren’t alone in a struggle. Share with someone you trust and ask them to pray along with you as you wait.
- Read the Psalms. The Psalms are full of human emotion and people waiting on God for things. I love Psalm 18:28: “You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.”
The hardest part of waiting is wondering if the answer I’m waiting for will be no. I believe that God’s plan for my life is better than mine, and I believe that He is for me and is working for my good. This means I also believe that His answer to my request is His best for my life, even if it isn’t what I necessarily want or am asking for. Something I’ve learned in my years of walking with Jesus is that He has a way of turning my heart so that we want the same things. I’m praying He does that for me, and I know He can do it for you, too.
Corley Shumaker serves as Assistant Campus Minister at the Baptist Collegiate Ministry at Arkansas State University. She loves Red Wolves football, nail polish, and flowers. You can find her on Twitter at @corleycline.