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.

The Courage to Take a Risk for Friendship – Ep. 50 Faith Over Fear

Many times, obedience is hard. Taking steps of faith will feel exponentially harder if we try to go it alone. We all need supportive, encouraging allies who understand our struggle, will point us to Christ, and, when necessary, speak hard truths. In order to develop relationships to the depth our souls need, we’ll have to risk being vulnerable. But the strength and courage we’ll receive in return will far outweigh the risks. Find Jennifer Slattery at: https://jenniferslatterylivesoutloud.com https://www.facebook.com/JenSlatte https://www.instagram.com/slatteryjennifer/ Find Shellie Arnold at: https://www.shelliearnold.com/ https://www.facebook.com/shellie.arnold.7 Find Wholly Loved, at: https://www.WhollyLoved.com Join the private Faith Over Fear Group Here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/442736966614671 Group Discussion Questions: 1. Share a time when you felt alone in your obedience or perhaps alone in general. How did your sense of aloneness impact your behavior? 2. Who in your life do you most gain support from? 3. Healthy relationships speak truth in love. How easy or difficult is it for you to receive constructive feedback? 4. When has someone you love challenged you to grow in an area, and how did you respond? 5. Strong relationships take effort and intentionality. Mary was willing to walk 80 miles for support. How readily do you embrace inconvenience in order to prioritize relationships? 6. Consider your current struggle or call. In what ways has God shown Himself faithful to support and prepare you? 7. When has a step of faith forced you to rely on someone else? What was the result, relationally? 8. Can you think of a time when God asked you to be an ally for someone? Did you obey? 9. Who might God be inviting you into deep friendship with? Episode Image Credit: Getty/Nuthawut Somsuk
  1. The Courage to Take a Risk for Friendship – Ep. 50
  2. The Courage to Fight for Others – Ep. 49
  3. Responding with Courage When Others Act Foolishly – Ep. 48
  4. The Courage to Shed False Identities – Ep. 47
  5. The Courage to Let Our Kids Fail – Ep. 46

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!

2 thoughts on “God Works in the Waiting

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