Saturday, January 31, 2015

Encouragement for the Waiting: What Are You Waiting For?

Waiting is hard.

It hit me the other day the majority of my life has been spent waiting for one thing or another. Sometimes I bewail the fact that life seems like one big wait.

Of course this isn't true. There are plenty of projects and trials and answered prayers along the way. Looking at it from inside the brackets of a waiting period, though, waiting seems like the worst thing in the world. On the other hand, think how dull life would be without a little anticipation for what's to come?

"Do not fear or resent the waiting periods in your life. These are the very gardens where the seeds of faith blossom." -- from Lady In Waiting by Jackie Kendall and Debbie Jones.

A friend of mine recently toughed out a waiting period regarding family relationships. In the midst of her pain she said to me, “Waiting is one of the hardest things in this life.” She is in her sixties. 

Our lives, in every season, will always involve waiting. Waiting for a job opportunity, a relationship, recovery of health . . . Even when we were little and always had something to get into, we had to wait for Christmas and birthdays. Boy, did THAT seem to take for-EV-er!

Every person ever created has had to wait at some point in his/her life. Even our heroes of the faith had to wait:

- Elijah waited on God for food when fed by ravens at the brook Cherith.
--  Noah and his family waited on God to release them from the ark.
--  Hannah, Samuel’s mother, waited on God for a baby.
--  Israel waited long years for the Messiah.
--  Jesus himself is now waiting on God to signal that He can come get His bride.

When we come to these waiting periods, there are four things we should know deep in our hearts:  
  • What We’re Waiting On 
  • Who We’re Waiting On 
  • Where We’re Waiting Spiritually 
  • What to Do While We’re Waiting

We’ll look at these items in 9 mini e-blasts over the next few months, the last one being broken down into six items.

The first thing we need to know is . . .

  1. What we’re waiting on:
What is the one thing you want most right now? It's important we learn to identify the underlying desire and fulfill it by going to God.

What we need vs. what we want:

Psalms 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

I always liked this verse growing up, because in my mind, the “NBV” or "Natalie’s Brain Version”, it read, “Serve Jesus with a cheerful spirit, and He’ll give you whatever you want.” Well--that’s not exactly what it’s saying. The verse says He’ll give you the desires of your heart. There is a difference . . .

“Usually, what we call ‘the desire of my heart’ is really a secondary desire orbiting around the true desire. Usually, what we think we desire is really the way we have imagined the true desire will be met. . . . We think we are asking for the desire of our hearts, but we are really asking for the desire of the moment. Often, in order to give you the desire of your heart, God will withhold the desire of the moment. He only says no as a prelude to a higher yes.” -- from Live a Praying Life by Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Praying for a financial windfall? The underlying desire may be freedom or security.

Praying for a romantic relationship? The underlying desire may be closeness or value.

Praying for a promotion? The underlying desire may be approval.

Once we have these true desires identified, we’ll probably still want the tangible request met. But in the meantime, we should seek fulfillment for the underlying need in God. Study your Bible on the topic of your specific need. Read devotionals on the subject. Listen to uplifting music that speaks of God’s ability and willingness to meet your need. (I love using Spotify for this. ;) )

We should also be careful to not overlook the blessings we already have. Learning contentment plays a big part here. Count your blessings. Thank God for them. Thankfulness and contentment go hand in hand.

“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you hoped for.” -- Unknown

“Wherever you are, be all there.” -- Jim Elliot

“Never let the things you want make you forget the things you have.” -- Unknown

Phil. 4:11 I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

I Tim. 6:6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.

Many times we pray and ask God to show us the answer He’ll provide, so we can wait “patiently and contentedly” and “trust” that He will take care of it. If we require a guaranteed solution before we decide to trust, it is not trust at all.

Rom 8:24b  But hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

What about you? Are you in a waiting period in your life?

What could be the underlying desire?

I challenge you to do a Bible word search and look up scriptures about that soul-deep desire. Bask in the One Who can meet those needs better than anyone/anything else.

P. S. Valentine's Day is coming up. To all my fellow single ladies flying solo over the holiday, I'm sending a warm invite to next Saturday's post about My Valentine's Day Date With the King. I'll be sharing an incredible Bible Study I found that addresses every woman's heart desire for a mate. Don't miss it! (The link will go live at 12 a.m. on Saturday, February 7.)

P. P. S. The winner of last week's giveaway of The Covered Deep by Brandy Vallance is Ashley. Congrats! I'll be getting that out to you soon!


  1. Deep stuff here, Natalie. I'm in a waiting period too, as you well know, and that can be discouraging. But then I remember that verse--I think it's in Isaiah--about our thoughts not being His thoughts and His ways not being our ways.

    Whether I feel like it or not, the Lord does want to mold me into the woman I need to be.

    Thanks for the encouragement. :)

  2. Well-written, Natalie. I've had many waiting periods in my life (six decades) and I'm with you cheering women on to listen to their hearts, listen some more, and embrace the waiting times.


  3. Prayers for you, Courtney! Hang in there! Love that verse. I know God has big plans for you! Glad you found some encouragement here!

  4. Thank you for your kind words, Gail!

  5. Awesome post Natalie! Super encouraging. :)

  6. Hi, Heather!!! So glad this post encouraged you, girl! :)


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