I wish I could push a button and make all the world’s hurt and suffering magically go away. I used to think I could pray and ask God to push a Grand Magic Button and that would make everything better. Life has shown me (and you, I’m sure) that hurt and pain, brokenness and frustration, sadness and trauma are always going to be with us. Yet, I still ask God for mercy, reprieves, rescue, saving.
But most of us are stuck in the waiting room— Waiting for circumstances to change. Waiting for people to change. Waiting for a job to change. Waiting for health to change. Waiting for the world to change. Waiting for God. How long do we have to wait? And what can we do while we wait?
How Can We Wait With Hope?
• By Developing Patience
Some say we’re the most impatient people to ever live—we always have to be checking our phones, etc. I don’t believe that to be true, even though I check my phone all the time! I believe impatience has always been something people have struggled with, we just see it manifesting differently these days. Patience is listed as one of the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22, which implies it isn’t a trait that naturally occurs in us! (kind of a relief to hear that!) And Isaiah 40:31 is an awesome verse about waiting with patience, and developing endurance. We can all use a bit more patience—and the best way to develop it is by waiting. Even though it might feel like your circumstances will never change, I’ll remind you that the only thing you can be certain of is…yep, change.
• By Offering Help
It’s easy to feel helpless when there is just sooooo much horrible stuff going on all around the world. You know what helps? Doing something. It doesn’t have to be grandiose or showy, it can be something as simple as looking the person working at the grocery store register in the eyes and saying hello or thank you for your help today. You know how many people don’t do that? Most! What about offering your time at a local food shelter? Or sending money to a reputable refugee crisis organization? If you’re wondering if there’s something you can do to offer hope into the world but you’re not sure how, think about what breaks your heart. And figure out a way to move in the direction of bringing light and love into that area.
• By Anticipating God
My Christian faith informs my hope and my waiting. It’s undergirded with trust that God is at work, even when I can’t see it. We’re only seeing a part of the story; a very limited perspective that we oftentimes take as the complete truth. One of the best ways to anticipate God’s working in the present circumstances is by recalling how God has been faithful to work in the past. I love living with anticipation for what might happen today. Romans 8:15 says, “This resurrection life you received from God is not a timid, grave-tending life. It’s adventurously expectant, greeting God with a childlike ‘What’s next, Papa?’” (MSG)
Where does this hope-filled waiting lead me? I’m grateful and filled with optimism about what the future holds. But more than anything, the joy and the beauty of this present, unpredictable moment fill me with great hope, inspiring me to do whatever I can to make a difference in this world. Will you join me?
Great is Thy faithfulness
Great is Thy faithfulness
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me
I hope this post is an encouragement to you or maybe someone you know. Thank you for reading and sharing your comments when you can.
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If you’d like to read more, I wrote about waiting back in December at the start of Advent.
This is so encouraging. I can wait patiently knowing God is in control. It's always good to have reminders though!
Thank you Mark, this was exactly what I needed to hear today. Patience takes practice and I appreciate your comment that we know change is always certain. Our circumstances will change and you have encouraged me to be optimistic for the future. Thank you!