How do you keep despair from settling in when the doors you’re knocking on quickly shut or don’t open? How do you remain hopeful when you keep hearing “no?” Harder still, how do you continue looking forward when you don’t hear any response at all?
I realize as I’ve been hanging out in this place that feels like endless waiting and unanswered prayers, I’m not the ideal model of patience. I turn into this agitated, irritable, crazy woman who barks orders at others to “clean the house” and “pick up their things” just so I feel in control of something. Let me tell you, I’m a real peach to be around! You, too? (Oh good, I thought it was just me!)
The thing is, the longer I walk with Jesus, the more waiting I seem to encounter.
Psalm 27:14 says, “Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
What does it look like to wait for the Lord, and how long does the waiting last? How long do I continue crying out my frustrations and worries and hopes and dreams? What’s with the delay anyway? And why do all these questions just add to the turmoil?
After many restless nights and cry sessions in my car, I knew I had to figure this thing out – or at least identify some steps to help me along the way. Although not always easy to practice, here is what I discovered:
Praise –Remember what God has done in the past. Recall the time(s) God rescued you, redeemed you, reestablished you, and praise Him for it. Click To Tweet If it’s difficult to remember these times for yourself, recall His character in Scripture and the promises He fulfilled through Jesus. Praise Him for Who He is and all He has done! Praise Him as if you have already seen His answer!
Prepare – Prepare your heart to hear His response – regardless of what it is or when it comes. Click To TweetRelease what you thought you could control and trust Him with it. This is why I start with praising; when I focus on Him, my soul finds peace and my perspective on my circumstances shifts. Somehow, my recognition of who God is, and who I am not, reminds me His timing is best for me. I might be petitioning for something better, but He is preparing me for His best.
Pray - With a thankful heart present your requests to God (Phil. 4:6-7). Click To Tweet Believe that He is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will. If you are holding onto truth from Scripture, a particular Bible verse, speak it out loud. Pour out everything before Him – even the things you don’t want to admit to anyone else. Tell Him about it. He really does care about every detail because He cares about you!
Play – Once you’ve placed every angst at the feet of Jesus, leave it there and go play. Click To TweetTrust Him to take care of it. He always does and He always will. Don’t let worry, anxiety, or fear steal the joy of this day He has for you! Go and live your life to the full – trusting and believing the best is yet to come.
I’m still in a season of waiting. I still lose my mind from time to time (as my family can attest), but as my patience grows, so does my excitement. I know God is doing a greater work in me because I see it in the peace transpiring from within. Even though it’s hard, I know in the end He’s making me to look more and more like Himself. And that, my friends, is worth waiting for.
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