What Are You Waiting For?

Do any of us enjoy waiting? In shopping lines? In traffic? At the doctor’s office? Or for our prayers to be answered? This morning, the psalm I read during my quiet time said, “Each morning I bring my requests to You and wait expectantly” (Psalm 5:3). While it’s true that I wait expectantly for God to answer my prayers, I don’t always wait patiently.

At the moment, I’m waiting for several urgent prayers to be answered. A job opportunity for a loved one. My friends’ six-month-old granddaughter who needs a liver transplant. A friend’s husband who is battling cancer. For a friend awaiting a biopsy report. These are only a few of many. And don’t we all have similar lists?

Right now, winter has a solid grip on the area where I live. The Lake Michigan beach where my husband and I walk looks cold and desolate, locked in a deep freeze, waiting for renewed life. If I had no memory of the countless spring times and summer times that have followed winter in the past, I would sink into despair to imagine the world forever looking this way. But I do remember, and remembering gives me hope.

Hope also comes in the form of the prayer journal I keep so I can look back on the many prayers that God has answered in the past. Last year alone, a dear friend had successful back surgery. A young father I’d been praying for finally began an addiction program. My long-awaited granddaughter was born healthy and strong. Celebrating each of these answers gives me faith as I wait for God to answer the others. Slowly but surely, I’m learning to wait.

I waited eleven years from the time I first began to write fiction until my first novel was published. When my prayers were finally answered and I received my first book contract, I rejoiced. But during the long publishing process for that first book, my editor and I had a disagreement that brought me to my knees. Could I accept the changes she wanted to make, or would I have to cancel the contract and find a different publisher? I prayed while I waited for the publisher to respond to my concerns. I waited. Then I waited some more.

When my patience ran out, I picked up the telephone, intending to give someone a piece of my mind and end the agonizing wait. Seconds before dialing my editor, I happened to glance at my computer. The screen-saver was programmed to display random Bible verses, and this one read, “Wait for the Lord. Be strong, and take heart, and wait for the Lord.” I laughed and put down the phone. And waited some more. In the end, the disagreement was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. My books were in print.

I still don’t like waiting but I think I’m growing better at it. Like the psalmist, “Each morning, I bring my requests to God and wait expectantly.” And hopefully.

So, what are you waiting for?

5 comments

  1. I think I kind of needed this reminder today. (Kind of???). There are things that are pressing on me and have me sad, and confused and I’m feeling a little lost…but I have a God who is never pressed, who understands my sadness and confusion — but is never confused Himself and because He is my God I’m not really lost — it just feels that way a little bit — and He is always near. I need to remember to wait with expectation for Him to lead, to do His work and work out His plans and purposes in His best way. And that expectation is a waiting with patience, expecting Him to do what is always best. He hears, He knows, He answers…perfectly.

  2. Thank you for this wonderful reminder that God’s answer is not always going to fit into our self-designated time frame. Paitience is an integral component of the serenity and peace found in our Savior Jesus Christ.

  3. Reading your post this morning reminds me of what I have been puzzling about for a long time: why are so many of our prayers about the body/physical? I come home from ladies Bible study with a grocery list of aches and pains that my friends have asked for prayer over, and I have to say that sometimes, most of the time, I don’t pray too hard over them. I’ve come to the place where I think that when it comes to body/health prayers that God will do what God will do without my input for someone’s second cousin’s neighbor’s sister (for example!). I long for a prayer list or a prayer time deep into the Lord, not a list of concerns. I long to be in a group that prays for the Spirit to move in people’s lives, not just their health. I wish that I could say this better and sound so cynical about prayer, but I’ve never voiced/written this concern before. I know He answers prayers; I’ve seen it over and over. I’m just frustrated! Oh, but not by your books! I’m reading my first one, God and Kings. Now that books is filled with some powerful prayers!!

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