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Faith Column: On Waiting

I recently drove to Washington, D.C., for a business trip. The drive there was perfect. I felt relaxed. The weather was good, and there was very little traffic.

However, once I got into the city, everything changed. There was bumper-to-bumper traffic, people weaving from lane to lane, and the traffic stood at a standstill for 10 minutes at a time. My GPS said I was three minutes away from my destination. Yet, 45 minutes later, I was still three minutes away! I couldn’t do anything but wait and slowly inch my way through the traffic.

I don’t know about you, but I am not good with waiting. I tend to become impatient and frustrated and act like a 2-year-old saying, “I want what I want when I want it!”

The reality is that waiting is something we all have to do.

  • We wait in line at the grocery store.
  • We wait for the traffic light to turn green.
  • We reluctantly wait for the school bus to retract the stop sign.

In these examples, we have a problem with waiting because we feel like we are being inconvenienced. That isn’t real waiting. Real waiting has to do with matters of the heart and having our everyday needs met.

Just ask a newly diagnosed breast cancer patient who is waiting on healing. Or, consider the parents who just buried their teenage son due to a violent, senseless crime as they pray and wait for acceptance, peace and forgiveness. What about the person who has been looking for a job for the past 18 months with no prospects in sight? They also want the waiting to be over.

Waiting on a need to be met is challenging. Waiting on healing from an unwanted diagnosis is painful. Waiting for a broken relationship to be mended is heartbreaking. And let’s not forget waiting to hear the words, “I love you. You are important to me.” or “I am sorry.” That is real waiting and, for many of us, it makes life a little unbearable at times.

I am sure you are familiar with the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.” I believe that is true, depending on what we do while we wait. Oftentimes, while we are waiting on something, whatever that something may be, we tend to complain, get distracted and if we are not careful, we can become discouraged. It appears that in our waiting, nothing is happening to help or change our situation. So we wait grudgingly with a sour attitude and run the risk of becoming envious of others because they seem to have the very thing we are waiting for.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Good things can come our way if we learn how to work while we wait. Here are 10 things we can do while we wait to make certain that our waiting is not in vain:

  1. Speak life about your situation instead of complaining
  2. Keep believing that what you are in need of will come right on time
  3. Stay focused on what you are trying to achieve
  4. Help someone else who is in need and be an encouragement
  5. Be forgiving of others
  6. Learn a new skill
  7. Get rid of a bad habit
  8. Journal your feelings and experiences
  9. Always see the blessings that you have right now
  10. Trust that God is working all things out according to his perfect timing

Whatever you do, please don’t look at waiting as a bad thing; instead, live in trust that things are being worked out on your behalf behind the scenes. And understand that while we wait on God, he, too, is waiting on us. You see oftentimes in our waiting, God is beckoning us unto him. He is pursuing us and drawing us closer to him. Do not allow your waiting to push you further away; rather, pull in closer to him. Then your waiting will not be in vain.

Final thought: God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. You have everything you need to live for him today. I am a living witness that he will provide for your needs in his perfect timing. Will you wait on him? Will you trust him today?

~ Written by Natalie Rudd, who is on the ministerial staff at Antioch Baptist Church in Fairfax. Reach her at mindfuldiva@gmail.com.

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