Waiting is the worst. Maybe not the worst, but it definitely isn’t fun.
A couple weeks ago, I decided to make a loaf of no-knead whole grain bread. I didn’t read through the whole recipe and realized after mixing all the ingredients together that I would have to wait almost 24 hours to eat the bread.
I wanted to enjoy crusty, fresh bread immediately not in 24 hours! Certain things just take time – the yeast and other ingredients need time to do their thing. I’m sure there is a technical term for all the chemical reactions happening.
It didn’t matter how much I wanted the bread to be ready. There was an appropriate and necessary waiting time before it was actually going to be ready. This is why waiting is the worst. There’s a massive disconnect between when I’m ready for something and when it’s actually ready for me.
One of my favorite verses in the Old Testament describes Hannah, a woman who couldn’t have children but God answers her prayers. In 1 Samuel 1:20 it says, “And in due time, Hannah conceived and bore a son.”
There is a due time for prayers to be answered, dreams to be fulfilled, seasons to change, breakthrough to happen.
Here’s the thing though, waiting isn’t passive. It’s standing firm in the knowledge that things will shift in due time. And until that due time arrives, we can shrink back and become disheartened or we can patiently wait, steadfastly hope, and stand firm.
It’s easy to get worked up and try to make things happen before their time. When Josh and I were looking for a house last spring, I remember asking God for specific things in a house. Here’s the thing. We saw 16 houses before we found the one that ticked all my boxes. It didn’t look like I expected, but it had all the things I wanted.
It was just a matter of waiting and actively looking without becoming anxious. Sounds easy, right? I felt God remind me of 2 Chronicles 20:17: “You will not need to fight in this battle. Stand firm, hold your position, and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf,”
There are times to get moving and put in some effort. This was not one of those times. It was time for me to stand firm, hold my position, and watch God move.
Whether you’re simply waiting for spring, like me and everyone else in Michigan, or waiting for God to move and answer a big or small prayer, it will come in due time. One of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, writes:
I’m ready for spring, but it hasn’t arrived.
Still I take my walk, looking for any
(“Walking to Indian River” from Felicity)
When we’re ready things to change and the waiting becomes agonizing, like those last few days before a baby is born, staying hopeful and expectantly looking without losing hope takes courage, strength, and faith. Whatever it is you’re waiting for and hoping for, it will come in due time. Until then, embrace the wait. In due time prayers will be answered, dreams will be fulfilled, seasons will change, breakthrough will happen.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
But when desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.