Wait for It

Renee Groff

October 26, 2020

What is it about waiting that goes against the grain for us mere mortals?  Do any of us really enjoy waiting?  Not likely.  We moan and groan at the long lines in Walmart, a doctor who is behind schedule, delayed test results, a long storyteller, or a slow driver who pulls out in front of us.  We bite our lip, sigh heavily, beep our horns, shuffle our feet.  Our impatience may remain unspoken, but only with words, as our body language usually betrays us.

We are fast-paced, driven, convinced that our valuable time is being wasted, and afraid that we might be missing out on opportunities or life or convenience or ease or happiness.  We are frustrated and angry and impatient.  We hate feeling this way.

“Do I not matter?” we question, fearing that our needs are invisible and therefore will remain unmet.

How did we get like this?  I’m not really sure.  But for all the things I do better now that I’m “older and wiser,” waiting is surely not one of them. 

I wonder if the waiting is hard because it opens the door for our minds to entertain thoughts we’d rather not think.  You see, if the pace stays rapid and things fall into place as planned, there is no time to think, to feel, to worry, to ponder, to regret.  We just keep moving from one thing to the next.  Waiting becomes a hurdle to dread, an obstacle to overcome because we don’t know what on earth to do with the void.

We would just rather not.

So now we’re in a dilemma.  We are simultaneously struggling with the situation that feels beyond our control as well as struggling with our thoughts about it while we wait.

Ah, therein lies the problem.  We want to be in control.  We’ve convinced ourselves that with our superior knowledge and fortitude and wisdom and talent, we could work the thing out, if only we could take matters into our own hands.

Do you think that perhaps this is why we struggle with waiting on God?

Could this be why we wrestle with ourselves while we wrestle with Him over what feels like an eternity come to earth too soon?  We are waiting on Him to speak, waiting on Him to move, waiting on Him to provide, waiting on Him to reveal, waiting on Him to rescue.  We need things to change and we need it NOW, because from our limited earthly standpoint, NOW is always better than LATER.  Our spiritual journey becomes one long progression of delayed answers, and our hearts rail against Him because of it.

“Do I not matter?” we question, fearing that our needs are invisible and therefore will remain unmet.

Because the waiting opens the door for too many doubts and questions.

Can I trust Him?

What if this doesn’t turn out well?

Will God ever move or speak at all?

Will He be worth the wait?

And these questions are scary, because we hate that we are even asking them at all.  It reveals our weakness, our unbelief, our fears.  And so we feel vulnerable and exposed as we stand before Him, knowing that in His perfect omnipotence and sovereignty, He is always right, which means that, by default, our impatience puts us in the wrong.

Waiting on God seems to take us through several stages, at least for those of us willing to admit to the struggle.  We start out mildly scared and slightly hopeful, our hearts and minds not having set a course of direction just yet.  Too soon to tell where this thing is headed.  And then as the waiting grows longer, we find ourselves increasingly frightened by the possibilities of what this could mean, and increasingly frustrated by a God that could so quickly take care of it once and for all.  Why does He not want to check it off of His to-do list as desperately as I do?

And while I’m sure God is patient with our questions and understands our weakness, this is dangerous territory, mostly because our hearts often move toward offense, where we’re inclined to believe that He really has overlooked us and underestimated how badly we need Him, and it’s in this stage that the reality of what we’ve become is suddenly visible and evident to us.

And we loathe what we see in the mirror.

So we cry out and repent for our thoughts and actions.  We express our love and trust to God, and little by little, our joy and peace and hope are restored, bringing us to a place of resolve.  Where we’re committed to following Him wholeheartedly, no matter what.  Where the outcome and the timing fade in importance as we allow ourselves to fully and completely please Him with our faith.

Oh, nothing may have changed externally, but we have.  We are restored to our confidence that God’s love for us is undeniable, His timing will prove right, and His ways beyond what we could comprehend on this side of the situation.  We come full circle, right back to the heart of God, where He has always wanted us to abide.  It’s safe there, knowing we are loved, and within the confinement of that space, we continue to wait with a different kind of heart.

What if the gift is in the waiting and not the end result?  The thought makes me smile, because it shows me that God knew what He was up to all along, and that the pursuit of a relationship with us was always the higher goal.  He takes the opportunities presented to Him and uses them for our good and for His glory.  Every time.

Psalm 27:14 “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”

About the Author: Renee Groff

I’m Renee. Wife of one awesome husband and mom to two beautiful daughters and one terrific son-in-law. I like antiques. Old ones with original chipping, peeling paint. I like to rearrange my house and bake things like whoopie pies. I like making lists and checking things off of them. I like pretty napkins and warm vanilla sugar body lotion. I like Hershey Almond Bars, and I think they taste best frozen. I like to read and write and imagine the day someone might actually buy what I’ve written.

6 Comments

  1. Steve Sabol

    Great blog, Renee. No one enjoys the “waiting room,” but God does some of his best work in our lives while we’re in there. I appreciate the depth of your wisdom and the practicality of it.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thanks so much, Steve!

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    I do enjoy your blogs. I actually think you should make a whole book of them. Thanks for always sharing what God puts on your heart.

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, Donna!

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    I love this Renee! Waiting for opportunities and answers to prayers has really been on my heart lately. Thanks for the awesome encouragement! You are an amazing writer!!

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Thank you, Abigail! I’m so glad you found it encouraging!

      Reply

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