September 04, 2019

A Season of Waiting by Susan Barclay


According to statistics provided by The Fact Site, the average person spends five years of her life waiting in lines, and roughly six months of that time is waiting at traffic lights. Those numbers don't include other types of waiting - things like waiting for your date at a prearranged location, waiting for a concert to begin, or waiting for your teen's brain develop.

Waiting in line
Waiting is hard. Just ask Noah and his family, who waited 40 days and nights for it to stop raining. Or Sarah, who was 90 or 91 before her son Isaac was born. Or the Israelites, who had to wait 40 years to enter the promised land. In the latter two examples, waiting was a consequence of sin - Sarah doubted God; the Israelites disobeyed Him. But waiting isn't always a result of God's punishment. His thoughts are higher than our thoughts; His ways are higher than our ways; His timing is perfect.

Still, waiting is hard. I know this because I'm currently in a waiting season. I'm waiting for my mom to regain her strength and get her health sorted out so she can move back into her own home if the Lord wills. I'm waiting for life to resume some semblance of normalcy and routine so I can get my writing back on track. Speaking of writing, I'm waiting to find out if I won or placed in a contest I entered back in the spring. 

I'm waiting for a construction project at my husband's work to wrap up so we can grab a week off for a much-needed break. I'm also waiting for a chance to go shopping for a new mattress and for an opportunity to "have at" decluttering in earnest. But the most important thing I'm waiting for is a change in prodigal hearts. That one is tough, as anyone who's been in my shoes can attest.

So, what is God asking me to do, and what is my response to Him in this season of waiting? I believe He's asking me to draw close, to pray and read His Word, to grow in trust and personal relationship, to hear His voice, to believe and know that He is good, to develop perseverance, to rejoice and give thanks. My response is yes, Lord, to all of the above! In that yes, He gives peace that passes understanding and proves Himself the God of all comfort. And because I know that He loves me, that He sees and He cares, I can rest in His promises. "He causes everything to work together
for the good of those who love [Him] and are called according to His purpose for them" (Romans 8:28, italics mine). 

Nothing I'm going through or waiting for is a surprise to Him. Therefore, "Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him" (Psalm 62:5).

Sleep well as you wait, friends. God is good, all the time.
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You can find out more about Susan Barclay's writing at www.susan-barclay.blogspot.com

17 comments:

  1. Since waiting is such an integral part of our lives -- five years' worth, I see from your fact check -- I sure do want to make better use of these times. Thankfully, I have learned to be more patient in the waiting room of life. Still, there are always new things to overcome, and so I thank you for this gentle reminder you've shared with us today. My husband has shown me by example how to be more patient waiting for the light to turn green (wink).

    One verse that I turned to over and over and over for a certain event in my life -- I was 40 before I met my husband -- were the words from Ps 37: 6. Commit your way to God, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. The day came when the waiting was over and, to my great joy and surprise, He brought it to pass in ways I could never have planned on my own.

    I'll join you in the waiting room... together we can take courage as we wait for those things still unfolding. Joy to you in this season...

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    1. Thanks for joining me, Brenda, and for the encouragement and scripture. God definitely orchestrates things in ways that show His amazing power and attention to who we are as individuals.

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  2. In this world of 'instant everything', having to wait is becoming less and less tolerated. Oh how we need to learn the lessons about patience and other things that waiting provides! Thank you for this thought provoking post, Susan.

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    1. We learn so much by waiting, Tracy. It's become something of a lost "art" that people need to reconnect with and benefit from, for sure.

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  3. Waiting is hard - when someone's health is challenging, it's even more difficult. Hope all goes well

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  4. Waiting is definitely a tough one, but Psalm 62:5 is a great reminder to rest in God. His timing is perfect.

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    1. Those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength and find that He is faithful and good. Thanks, Lynda.

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  5. No, nothing is surprising to Him! And you are waiting well, I'd say, especially keeping Psalm 62:5 in your heart and mind.

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    1. Thank you, Lynn. The joy of the Lord is indeed my strength.

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  6. Hi Susan! When I think of "waiting" I recall when I worked in healthcare as a chaplain. I sat with many families waiting by the bedside of a dying loved one. Such waiting has one's mind swirling all over the place. I think times like that are expressions of our love for others. Perhaps we may see such waiting as good for our souls.

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    1. It is well with my soul. Thanks, Alan.

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  7. Thanks for such a thoughtful blog on waiting, Susan. I especially liked your response to waiting when you wrote, "He's asking me to draw close, to pray and read His Word, to grow in trust and personal relationship, to hear His voice, to believe and know that He is good, to develop perseverance, to rejoice and give thanks."
    I remember one sermon in which the pastor called waiting a "ministry". While we don't usually think we're ministering to God, He is developing us in ways you mentioned. Sometimes He's preparing us for our greater purpose and mission in life (as in Joseph's story).

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    1. Thanks for sharing your pastor's reflection, Sandi. Pretty cool to think we can minister to God! I agree that our waiting may be preparing us for a greater purpose and mission. Waiting to see all that God has for us through this.

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  8. With a smile, I can relate to your line,"I'm also waiting for an opportunity to 'have at' decluttering in earnest. Something always gets in the way of tackling the downsizing with a good-sized broom. Then with a more serious eyes and heart, I read, "But the most important thing I'm waiting for is a change in prodigal hearts. That one is tough, as anyone who's been in my shoes can attest.” Alas, it is so. May God hear our earnest prayers for our children and, in our case, for our grandchildren too.

    Thanks for your relatable blog, Susan, and may God bless you and your family.

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    1. Thank you, Sharon. May God bless you and your family as well. May He answer our prayers for our unsaved and prodigal loved ones according to the desires of His own heart that none should perish or live apart from him.

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  9. Susan,
    Thanks for this fresh perspective on waiting. I think waiting is one of the hardest things we are called to do. Here in North America we are not very good at waiting. Our friends overseas spend more time waiting in lines than we do, and often do it with more grace and patience. May God continue to encourage your heart as you wait.

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