God Works in the Waiting

When God doesn’t seem to answer my prayers as I like or according to my timetable, I can become anxious, discouraged, and frustrated. I’ve had times when I’ve become disillusioned. I can easily forget that He is always, always working out His glorious, life-woman standing against wall with quote from postgiving plan, whether I see His hand or not. He works as powerfully through our waiting and periods of divine silence as He does through His miraculous acts.

As Christmas approaches, which I know will be hard, maybe even disappointing, for many this year, I’ve been contemplating all that occurred prior to Jesus’s birth. The longing, the waiting, and the loving, sovereign hand of God that worked through it all.

The nativity story begins with a faithful, older couple named Elizabeth and Zechariah. Luke 1:6-7 tells us “Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.”

These two verses, sitting back to back, really hit me. Elizabeth and Zechariah honored God, despite the deep ache they must have felt, despite their decades’ long unanswered prayers. And I’m certain both—the fact that they remained faithful to God and barren, provided such comfort to so many others in their community. Those who were pleading with God, perhaps for children of their own, maybe for healing, or that opportunity that never seemed to come, and were beginning to wonder if they’d perhaps done something wrong. If God’s delay or decline revealed His lack of favor or came from the result of some sin.

In those moments when negative thinking threatened to consume their minds, did they pause and reflect on the unanswered prayers of this well-known, well-respected, godly couple? And in their reflection, did they find the strength to wait just a little longer, and to trust that God saw them, heard them, loved them, and was working in their waiting, just winter sunrise with words of Ps. 103 verse 6as, I believe, He worked in Zechariah and Elizabeth’s?

If you’ve read the full story, you know God did answer Zechariah and Elizabeth’s prayers in an awe-inspiring way. After decades of barrenness, He planted a mighty man of God in Elizabeth’s womb, the one who came in the power and spirit of Elijah to prepare the way for our Savior. I love that part of the story. I love seeing those miraculous, only God could, moments. But today, let’s sit in the waiting, that place we’re sometimes tempted to rush through, remembering that God is working, even there. He is with us, even there.

If you’re currently in a season of waiting, may you will sense God’s presence and His love. You aren’t forgotten.

How might God be using your waiting period for something glorious and life-giving?

Speaking of waiting, and waiting well, you might find encouragement in our latest Faith Over Fear podcast episode on fighting our anxiety and finding peace by resting, intentionally, with Christ.

Trusting in the God Who Heals Our Sins (Jehovah-Rapha) – Ep. 65 Faith Over Fear

Do you ever feel like you’re God’s “problem child?” The one who never seems to be getting any better and who continues to struggle with the same sins and setbacks? Do you fear you’re simply too broken or irreparable? When we focus on our weaknesses and failings, we can easily feel overwhelmed and overpowered by sin. But God encourages us to raise our gazes onto Him, the God who heals. He is El Rapha, who heals us from our greatest disease, sin, and empowers us to live fully free. Find Jennifer Slattery: On her website at http://jenniferSlatteryLivesoutLoud On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte On Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ Find their ministry at: https://whollyloved.com/ Find Shellie Arnold: On her website at https://www.shelliearnold.com/ On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/shellie.arnold.7 And at: https://www.facebook.com/YOURMarriageresources Group Discussion Questions: 1. What most encouraged you in today’s episode? 2. Why might Scripture equate sin to a sickness or disease? 3. In what ways can you relate to Shellie’s story? 4. What is your greatest battle in living as Christ desires? 5. Why is it important we focus on Christ in us as we grow in spiritual maturity? 6. What does it mean to you that God is El Rapha, the God who heals? 7. Why is it important to remember that spiritual healing and growth take time? 8. What is one way you can rest more fully in Christ today? 9. Is there a step Christ is asking you to take, and if so, what is that? Episode Image Credit: Getty/Yelyzaveta-Matiushenko
  1. Trusting in the God Who Heals Our Sins (Jehovah-Rapha) – Ep. 65
  2. Resting in the God Who Provides (Jehovah-Jireh) – Ep. 64
  3. Finding Peace in the God of Heaven’s Armies (Jehovah-Sabaoth) – Ep. 63
  4. Trusting Adonai (Our Savior) to Be Our Lord – Ep. 62
  5. Confident of Salvation (el Shaddai) – Ep. 61

For those who find waiting raises their anxiety level, here’s one of the most effective ways I’ve found to battle anxious thinking …

And don’t forget, Giving Tuesday is almost here!

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