Tag Archives: patience

The Importance of Waiting


Packets of wildflower seeds had made their way into my home, unaware of what they were in for. All of them had been given to me at one time or another and I was determined this time to let them live out their purpose and create some extra beauty in our world.

I carefully scooped the soil out of the bag from Home Depot and into each of the 50 spots in our seed-starter tray. I nestled each seed into the cool, damp dirt hoping each one was comfy cozy as they started off on their journey. Each day, I checked the tray for progress. Each day I proudly announced the count of how many plant babies we were watching grow.

It amazed me. A few hours would pass and I noticed how some were already taller than they were earlier in the day, or I would see a new plant baby that seemed to appear out of nowhere. They grow up so fast.

The final count was 36 plant babies! I checked the directions to see what next step needed to be taken for these beauties. I decided it was time for some sunshine in the real outdoors. Technically the directions said they should get direct sunlight from inside and after they were strong enough, gradually putting them outside would help to harden them. I figured it had been long enough.

The day wasn’t super hot, but it was super sunny. I set the tray on our uncovered patio table and we left home for a few hours that day. When we made it back, I was heartbroken. My 36 plant babies were limp and scraggly. The soil was parched. I had fried my darlings.

It turns out they weren’t ready for what I had been sure they could handle. I guess it is possible for me to be wrong. It’s just so hard to wait.

Waiting has a purpose. For my seedlings, they needed to develop strength; waiting would have helped that. That might be the purpose in my waiting as well.

There are things I feel God leading me toward, and sometimes I want to make it happen immediately, without listening for God’s answer about whether I am ready for it or not. But sometimes He makes me wait.

If you are like me and struggling with waiting, whether it’s waiting for things to get back to normal, or waiting for your next step in what God’s calling you to do, let’s agree to use our time for good. Waiting can help us strengthen our relationship with Him. Spending extra time with Him in prayer, reading about Him in Scripture, paying attention to the ways He shows us He is still listening to us and wanting what’s best for us, and looking for the opportunities He does send our way right now are all ways we can grow stronger in our faith.

I don’t want the hopes and dreams God has put on our hearts to end up dry and destroyed due to our impatience. Let’s trust His timing. We can wait.  

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength…” Isaiah 40:31 (ESV)

Remaining Hopeful in the Waiting



“If we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”
II Timothy 2:13

This has been a weird year. Last year about this time, Shawn made a New Year resolution to play more basketball. He loves it and it gives him some exercise in the process, so it’s a win-win. But the first game he played in January resulted in knee surgery, a new-used ACL and a meniscus repair, followed by 3 months of physical therapy. (His resolution the year before was not to wear pants… Neither lasted very long).

The year trudged on, with me going back to work some, difficult times at church that have brought me to a time of what feels like grieving, and a writer’s block that would leave me sitting at my computer with no words to spill out on my screen.

I’ve stared at the blank page far too many times to count. There was nothing to say that could benefit anyone who might read it. I prayed for words, but felt nothing.

I am not a patient person, and it’s hard for me not to get answers right away (and, by the way, they need to be the answers I want). And while it hasn’t been a terrible year at all (many good things have happened – Noah likes high school, I like my job, our family got away for a weekend trip to Tennessee, and God has faithfully provided), it has felt like a year of chipping.

A bit of chipping away at our self-sufficiency, when so many friends and family have given and blessed us in ways we never would have asked. A bit of chipping away at my selfishness of my time, time I was wasting and didn’t realize it until I had to fill those hours up with working. Some chipping away at my comfort, seeing that new or different isn’t always worse, even if it hurts a little.

And I’m learning some patience. If God has words for me to write, first I must spend more time with Him to hear what that is. If He wants me to wait on His words, and not just fill up a screen because I need another blog that week, that’s okay too.

But the waiting is hard.

I was reading in Luke this week, and in chapter one, Zechariah gets big news. He is old, and so is his wife. While we don’t know exactly how old, “well along in years” doesn’t sound like something you would say to a 40-year-old. But Zechariah gets a visit from Gabriel, telling him, “Your prayer has been heard.” He and Elizabeth are gonna have a baby! And not only that, but a baby who will do great things for God’s people, and who will be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from birth. Now that’s an answer to prayer.

But it made me wonder, how long did Zechariah pray for this? How long did he go month after month, waiting to see God bless them with a child, only to find out that again, it hasn’t happened? Did his prayers lose their punch, as months and then years start to add up, without seeing any result?

Did daily prayers to God turn into weekly, then monthly, then an occasional, “Please God,” when he saw another new baby in the neighborhood? Until at some point, he just resolved that it was too late.

In verse 18, he questions Gabriel, saying, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” That didn’t sound like a guy who had just faithfully prayed that morning for a bouncing baby boy. And Gabriel responded with a bit of a punishment – he will be silent for the remainder of the pregnancy, “because you did not believe my words, which will come true at their proper time.”

God’s proper time is rarely what we want and hope for it to be. We are really like toddlers, wanting it now, sometimes throwing in a tantrum to show we mean it (just me?). But God is a good Father, and He knows far better than we do what we need, and when we need it. He knew Zechariah’s baby was going to be special. John would bring many people of Israel back to their God. He paved the path for the ministry of Jesus, then was blessed to baptize Him himself. God knew when this needed to happen. He knows best. He always does.

Don’t lose hope. Our prayers aren’t always answered in the way that we want, nor in the time frame we want, and sometimes it seems like they haven’t been answered at all. But we can trust our Father.

Remind yourself of God’s faithfulness in the past, and His faithfulness to others around you. He is a good Father.

Don’t lose hope in the waiting. There is always hope.