waiting

Recently I was talking with a friend of mine about life and her dreams and desires that have yet to be fulfilled. I was reminded how agonizing waiting can be.

Waiting slows life down to a crawl. It drags our emotions through the dust. It pushes us to frustration and despondency. It causes us to believe that God has forgotten us or that he doesn’t care or that he’s checked out of our lives and moved on.

Waiting for years and years for a longing to be fulfilled can cause us to become bitter and angry and cynical and caustic.

It can also move us to make choices and get things rolling in our own effort, in our own way, often with disastrous results.

I’m reminded of people I know who have married someone they knew wasn’t a good match, but in their desperation to escape singleness, went ahead with it – only to be heart-broken and devastated, emotionally and financially bankrupt.

We read about movie stars who want to be pregnant and have children but don’t want to be married, so they are inseminated by some male’s donated sperm and they selfishly get what they want, without ever thinking what’s in the best interest of that new life. The child is a commodity, like a purse or pair of shoes.

As a person who believes that Christ is the way to life and the world’s only hope, the One who forgives my sins and gives me a clean start and a reason for living, I also believe in his words, (the Bible), and choose to obey them, to live by them. I’ve learned about waiting, both by reading the Bible and by my own life experience.

Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.” Waiting takes stamina. It takes strength. Waiting is not a passive activity. You need to keep your focus, encourage yourself and be emotionally strong. Waiting is work, hard work.

Part of waiting is taking heart. That means to encourage and strengthen your resolve by reminding yourself of why you are waiting, and who you are waiting on. It helps to know the life stories of others who have waited well and have finally seen their longing fulfilled. Often, it doesn’t look like they expected, but amazingly, it’s even better than they could have imagined.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1

“I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Psalm 130:5

There are people who see God as a cosmic kill-joy. They see him craning his neck, peering over the edge of heaven, watching every move so that he can zap any fun out of their lives and destroy their plans. That just isn’t God’s nature.

Isaiah 30:18 tells us, “Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.”

There is waiting involved in just about everything in life. A farmer plants seeds. There is a long time of waiting for the plants to grow and bear fruit. Investors wait and hope that they will see dividends, but there are many ups and downs in the waiting process. A husband and wife wait for the miracle of pregnancy and spend the better part of 9 months dreaming and anticipating and longing for their baby to come. We wait for the mail, we wait for the cake to bake, we wait in line at the grocery and for lengthy periods of time in the doctor’s office! We wait for a loan to come through and for weekends to come. Waiting is just a part of life. Why do we behave as though it is unexpected, unnecessary, unwelcome?

Some people are better at waiting than others. Some people are action-oriented and see waiting as unacceptable. There are times for action and for finding another route. But there are times when there is absolutely nothing we can do but wait.

During those times, it is helpful to quiet our heart and choose to listen for the whisper, the nearly imperceptible voice of God.

I love reading the Psalms. I am encouraged that the writer poured out his true feelings to God. He didn’t over- spiritualize his emotions. He didn’t pretend that everything was ‘Wonderful, Praise God!’ He was raw and authentic and desperate for God to take action. He was ecstatic at times and at others he was cursing his enemies and lamenting his woes.

Psalm 142:1-7 says,”I cry out to the LORD; I plead for the LORD’s mercy. I pour out my complaints before him and tell him all my troubles. When I am overwhelmed you alone know the way I should turn. Wherever I go, my enemies have set traps for me. I look for someone to come and help me, but no one gives me a passing thought! No one will help me; no one cares a bit what happens to me. Then I pray to you, O LORD. I say, ‘You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life. Hear my cry, for I am very low . . . .'”

You are all I really want in life. Wow. How many people say that?

When I was in the midst of chemotherapy, and sick and dizzy and miserable and despondent, I got to that place. I remember listening to a song, the words of which expressed that thought: “All I want is you, Lord, is you, Lord, all I want is you . . .”

Sometimes waiting is the best thing for us. It forces us to look at life with a new perspective and alter our expectations and values. When we are desperate for God to move on our behalf, we come to understand that all we really need is God. When we are at a place that medicine has done all it can do and it’s still not enough, we need God to intervene. We are right where we need to be. For the first time all the clutter of life and action and thought gets shaken down and we are left with the stark reality that all we have and all we need is God. If he chooses to rescue us, that’s ideal, but if not, we’re finished. Our earthly life is over. Every breath is from him. Every heart beat.

I can remember saying to God, “You are my only hope. You are my life-giver. You hold me in your hand. Please rescue me.”

Life is so much easier when we’re in control, otherwise we feel vulnerable and helpless. But feeling like we are in control of our lives is really an illusion. We really are dependent on God for every breath and every heart beat, whether we know it or not! So getting to a place of vulnerability and helplessness is actually not a bad thing. It feels awful sometimes, (okay, most of the time!) But it’s a good thing! When we feel helpless, we are prompted to think about God more. Then we cry out to God in earnest, and that’s often when he moves.  It’s too bad that it takes a tragedy or disease to open our eyes to the reality that we live in vulnerability every day. We are so very fragile, every one of us.

God knows we ‘are but dust,’ yet he “longs to be gracious to [us]; he rises to show [us] compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him.” (Isa. 30:18)  Wow, we are blessed because we actively wait for him!

Be encouraged, my friend, knowing that you aren’t the first to wait on God, and you won’t be the last. We don’t understand his timetable, but we know that he is faithful and gracious.

It’s difficult to wait and to be patient. Take heart. Be strong. Don’t give up. Tell God you’re waiting on him and that you know you are completely dependent on him. Breathe out your stress and anxiety that comes from fear and trying to make things happen, and slowly breathe in his peace that comes as we trust him.

God is our source, our answer, our provider, not the president, nor the economy nor our employer, not the doctor or our our medicine or anything else other than the Maker and Sustainer of Life.

Like King David, let’s say to ourselves, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again – my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:11)

Tags: , , , , ,

19 Responses to “waiting”

  1. Heather Clapsaddle Says:

    Kris:
    Thank you so much for sharing your heart and journey with us! I have read this particular blog a few times now. I am in a moment of waiting. I have been in a season, but this is a different kind of waiting moment. The Lord asked me to leave my last job; it was time. Now He is asking me to wait on Him to provide the next place I need to be rather then actively running around trying to find something. Not saying that way of job searching is bad, it’s just that when I’ve started to go that way, His peace lessens and He gently corrects my focus. I’m 95% sure I’ve heard Him, but of course doubt never gives it a rest and keeps trying to make me doubt. 😉 Any way, I’m rambling…one really tough day I came across your blog and I needed to hear what the Lord was saying through you. I continue to need to hear it since life is getting “tight” in the waiting. (Did I mention my #1 Strength is Activator?!) Any hoo, thanks again for your timely words and encouragement!

    Much love your way,

    Heather

  2. Kate Says:

    Thank you Kris for such encouragement! The waiting is hard, but the blessing after the waiting is – as you said – better than we can ever imagine!

  3. Susan Says:

    What a tremendous posting. I am thankful you are open to God’s leading and are writing /sharing with us. Your blog and the subsequent replies have inspired me to start a special journal on “waiting”…. we’ll see where God takes me! Thanks for getting me started!!!!

  4. Kim Bachman Says:

    Amazing, truly a blessing…thanks my friend!

  5. Tracy Says:

    Wow, so many things that came to mind while I was reading this. I’ve always struggled with waiting patiently for anything. I used to work as a consultant, and would travel M-F, usually with 2 flights every Monday and Friday. I’d get so impatient to get back home. I’d get frustrated with any delays…with people slow to get seated on the plane, with the mere fact that I had to spend so long on the plane before I could get home.

    Looking back, I had such beautiful views – of the grand canyon, of mountains, of lush farmland…things I never could have seen from the ground.

    Sometimes, the wait isn’t just about the wait, but about the experiences we have along the way. Close up, we don’t see it – but the view from God’s level? Maybe breathtaking! Who knows what He has set in motion while we wait.

  6. Stephanie McConachie Says:

    I couldn’t read this without the tears coming. I’ve been putting everything in his hands almost 24/7 lately. He knows what he is doing, but some days are more painful than others. Today really hurts. I”m really glad God loves me and I’m also glad I know you Kris! Thank you!

  7. Sherry Says:

    Thank You Chris for reminding us of God graciousness during our times of waiting. I am reminded of something I read today…

    My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, But God remains the strength of my heart; He is mine forever. Psalm 73:26

  8. debby martin Says:

    Hello Kris just want to tell you how much I love what you are doing with your blog…such a ministry to take what ‘life has given, where you are and share from the inside out where God is in all of it! His view, His thoughts, and His purposes are so life filled, hope filled and real to the very core of our being. You are a truth bearer~ one that brings the Truth into circumstances, then testifies of it. What a ministry~ I love it. Blessings to you and yours. debby

  9. Teresa Setzer Says:

    Thank you Kris… This is a very good question you asked…
    Waiting is just a part of life. Why do we behave as though it is unexpected, unnecessary, unwelcome?
    We parish for the lack of knowledge… I hear some people say “Don’t pray for patience cause if you do…you will go through something bad!”
    The truth is if we have been born of the Spirit…then we already have the fruit of patience, right?
    Now, we get to let patience have her perfect way.
    The only way to know that we have the fruit is to allow it to be picked from us.

    “Patience is waiting. Not passively waiting. That is laziness. But to keep going when the going is hard and slow – that is patience.”
    Our Master, Jesus Christ teaches us that there is a precise purpose in those long hours, days of even years of waiting. “And not only so, but let us have joy in our troubles: in the knowledge that trouble gives us the power of waiting. And waiting gives experience; and experience, hope: and hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:4-5
    Your husband prayed for me and my husband and said these words that have followed me everywhere I go… he said “BE before you DO”
    Those words along w/ your writing on waiting today has caused me to dig deep into the word of God…
    Just want to say thanks guys you are such faithful servants of the Lord ❤

  10. Karen Says:

    Your message could not have come at better time. We are going thru
    some waiting, and at times we think that we know better, only to be reminder that God is in control not us. Waiting…I have been waiting
    in dr’s office, mri offices, and then again dr’s office these past six weeks
    waiting to see how my knee and calf muscle is mending. So being
    patience and waiting has not been easy. But reading your blog it gave me hope that I can endure. Thank you so much for sharing.

  11. Carol Fender Givans Says:

    I am reminded today after this reading that He is our strength and the faith building jouney we are all on as we wait on God for the answer we might not understand but by faith we know that it is from our heavenly Father and that the answer is on time always and in our best interest always! Thanks Kris my first visit to your site was wonderful I will return! Carol Fender Givans

  12. Kris Says:

    Ren, you are so welcome! I’m so glad it could encourage you!

  13. Ren Says:

    This post couldn’t have come at a better time for me.. Thank you..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: