My kids wait to be allowed to eat the candy off their newly constructed gingerbread houses.
I wait in car pool lines and at bus stops. I wait at the DMV, the grocery store check out aisle, and the garage. I wait at the dentist’s office and at baseball practices. I wait for the ham to defrost, the bread to rise, the paycheck to come in, and the trash to go out.
I’ve waited for babies and dreams and a rental house that doesn’t have faux bricks falling off its kitchen walls.
I’ve waited years in between my visits home to South Africa.
I’ve waited for writing opportunities, a job that didn’t require 2 hours of commuting each way and for the last of my three kids to graduate from the potty to the toilet. I’m still waiting for my daughter to be able to wipe herself without an assist.
Waiting can be boring.
Waiting can hurt. It can be confusing.
When we’re waiting for a diagnosis, an end to bedtime battles, a love that understands us in the deepest part of our gut. Waiting can feel empty and desperately lonely.
It can feel worthless.
Being the one who is always waiting can defeat you from the inside.
We are quick to dismiss waiting as a waste of time. We want to be doing.
Today is December 2nd. The second day of Advent. The season of waiting.
Here’s the thing — we are not actually alone in our waiting. Waiting is as intrinsic to the human condition as our DNA. The whole world and God’s own Holy Spirit are waiting with us.
The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it’s not only around us; it’s within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We’re also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.
Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.
Romans 8:22-28 (The Message).
Advent is the season of active waiting.
Advent sets our eyes on the Savior who has promised an end to waiting, to death, to sorrow.
Advent waits for the arrival of the answer to all our unasked questions of hope and doubt and despair.
Advent is the promise: There will be an answer, and the answer is already there.
His name is Jesus.
Written with love from Lisa-Jo – a girl who’s spent most of her life waiting in between countries, callings and kids.Leave a Comment
Bev Duncan @ Walking Well With God says
Sometimes I think I’ve spent so much of my 53 years waiting…and in reality I probably have. I don’t know that I’m necessarily better at waiting, but my life experiences have taught me that “though weeping may endure for the night, joy comes in the morning.” Sometimes the wait has been relatively short and sometimes it has gone on for many years. I still pray and wait for my son to come back to the fold. I am thankful, though, for the times of waiting because in them I felt the hand and breath of God so distinctly and clearly. He has always been there for me in the waiting even when I couldn’t “feel” it too. It’s in our waiting that we walk in closest union with Him. Thanks for a beautiful reminder this morning as we wait expectantly on Jesus during this Advent season.
Hi there Bev,
Yes waiting is such holy ground. Such hard and holy ground. I’m so grateful that we don’t wait alone.
much love to you today
Although I have a desktop daily devotional, I also enjoy reading the (in)courage devotionals. Sadly, life has gotten the best of me lately and I have not taken time to read (in)courage every day. I awoke this morning and immediately had a yearning for more than my usual daily desktop devotional which is ,ironically, named “Jesus Calling.” I felt God calling me in the most profound way not only to his word, but also to the experiences of others along this journey of waiting. I turned to (in)courage and your post resounded loudly with me. My family has been waiting to hear about a possible visa that would allow a father to be present in the US for his son’s birth, the birth of my first grandchild. My daughter chose to give birth in the US and had no idea how difficult getting him here legally would be. We are waiting! Waiting becomes more excruciating with each day as her due date quickly approaches. Even though my own life experiences help me understand the role and importance of waiting, I still feel its anxiety and pain. Chances are that I will not receive the answer to my prayers that I desire yet I wait with faith and hope that the Lord knows better than me! During this season of waiting I thank God for sending me words like yours to calm my anxiety, ease my pain, and lead me closer to HIM! It never ceases to amaze me how God draws us close when we are open, aware, and listen to his call. Your words have been placed along my path and I thank our God for you! Thank you and peace be with you!
As I faithfully wait,
Hi there Melanie,
Oh that’s hard. Waiting is a hard place and a hard calling. Praying that the Holy Spirit feels so close to you in this season.
Thank you and peace be with you!
Lisa-Jo, I think waiting has been one of the hardest parts of my Christian walk. I walked through 9 excruciating years of losing my dad to early onset Alzheimer’s, waiting ang praying for God to show up and heal my pain and to heal my dad. Only to lose him at 62 years old. I struggled with why God didn’t choose to heal him, after all those years of sorrow and grief; only to have God sweetly show me that he did indeed heal my sweet daddy the day he took him home to be with Jesus. Three months after my dad died, my then 18 year-old daughter walked out on our family, halfway thru her Sr. year in highschool, with no job, no home, and no transportation. That first year after she left was filled with one traumatic thing after another, each a result of poor choices she made. Little did I know that her leaving was the beginning of another season of waiting. That was three years ago that my girl left, and we’re still waiting for reconciliation and restoration. In this season of waiting though, I am resting in the assurance that God is in this, and that he’s using it to refine me and make me more like him. While the waiting is often painful, Jesus is so worth the weight.
Oh Patty!~ Just praying this one over you today:
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” Romans 8:26
Patty, Your story, with regards to your daughter, sounds so much like mine. She left home right after graduating high school and is living with ‘friends’, has no income or goals and has seen her share of troubles due to bad choices. It’s been over three years of waiting for us too. Reading your post made me feel that I am not the only Mother dealing with situations like this. I am trusting the good Lord to take care of her and heal what’s broken in her…in His time. Praying for you and your daughter too.
Wow! Thank you Lord! All I could say before I head to work now, that your posting on waiting and others’ comments on it filled my heart with courage, comforted me on this cold morning where I started with swirling thoughts in my head, worrying about my teenage son, who’s entering a “no” stage, refusing to do home work and being active. It seems Ive waiting for so long to have a “break” from problems and challenges, but His ways are not my ways and I pray for his strength, claiming the verse, “sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof” and come unto me all that labor and heavy laden and I will give you rest.
Thank you for sharing your inner most that others get comforted and in this case, Im one of them. Thanks dear sister and may the Lord bless you and continue to make you a blessing. May the Lord comfort each one and may we comfort others with the comfort we are comforted with.
Catherine – praying courage for you along with these other sisters who ache in the waiting.
Thank you for sharing your insights and The Truth about waiting. I know for me and others with chronic illness that drags on for years, you can feel like your waiting for life to “unpause”. But God is never paused and He is moving and working. He has always been more concerned with our BEING, than our DOING. May he grant us to wait with Grace and Joy! Good things come from the Father of Lights. Waiting on Him with expectation is a privilege!
“But God is never paused” — what a great word, Kenda. Thank you for that.
Jenni DeWitt says
And as soon as the waiting is over, the worry starts to kick in, “Okay, here we go. Oh gosh, what did I forget? What if I can’t do this? What if…” It can get to be a cycle, a worry-wait cycle. But I’ve learned that intentionally inviting Jesus in when I’m worrying helps to squash my nerves. Now you’ve given me an idea – I can intentionally invite Jesus into the waiting. That would definitely make it more pleasant. (And maybe it would make ME more pleasant too. I’m not a very patient person!) Thanks for the nudge, Lisa.
Yes, intentionally inviting Jesus into the waiting – that is the key isn’t it, Jenni. Thanks for sharing.
Lisa Herbstreit says
Grateful for fresh perspective…on Thanksgiving Day last week, a close friend replied back to my morning text that her mother-in-law’s cancer had returned and the decision had been made to for go treatment this time. She was at home with hospice care and given about three weeks to live. This same friend lost both her parents to cancer – Mom in 2004 & and Dad in 2006 so my heart immediately ached for her family. My devo had reminded me that very morning that God allows blessings and God allows pain yet I wondered why leave this family with the memory of waiting for Mom to die at Christmas time…then, I read your message about the season of waiting and it occurred to me that every one of our days is lived waiting for Jesus’ return or the glorious day we will meet him face to face. And there it is…hope…in the storm. Praise God for leaving His Spirit to wait with us.
Jenni DeWitt says
Oh that is so beautiful. Yes we are all waiting. I just discovered on The RunaMuck blog a video series called “For the Life of the World.” The series talks about waiting in our exile here on earth until the day we get to go be with Jesus. It paints such a vivid picture.
Amen to this beautiful word, thank you Lisa.
Sarah H says
“That is why waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother.” I love that.
“Advent is the promise: There will be an answer, and the answer is already there.
His name is Jesus.”
We wait with Him and in Him and He in us. Thank you, thank you for this reminder. I find myself waiting, waiting impatiently. I want now.
But you’re right, it reminds me of that Hebrew word Qavah translated ‘wait’ in Isaiah 40:31, qavah literally means ‘to bind together like a cord’. Like a rope twisted from many strands we are bound up in God and He in us as we wait upon Him. We find strength in waiting for His advent.
I need to remember everyday. xx
This is beautiful and couldn’t be more timely. I needed a reminder that He is in the waiting just as much as He is in the miracle.
Kim j says
Kendra, I like what you said about waiting with chronic illness, just this morning I was thinking to myself ” Here’s another day of not feeling well.” I feel like each day is a constant reminder to wait upon The Lord, but oh how hard that can be. There is hope in our waiting, and for that I am truly grateful. Sometimes the trials and constant illness feel like a burden to heavy to bear, but I am sure that Jesus felt the same way when he died for us. He took it all upon himself so that we could one day live free of sickness, sorrow, and pain. Just as there was joy at his birth, there was such grief and sorrow at his death, and such is life for us, we will have many times of great joy and sorrow and He is there in all of it and has experienced it all too. He sees our impatience in the waiting and I believe he uses them to make our hearts long even more for home.
Thank you. This spoke to my heart this morning. With our three children grown and gone from home, I often long with rose-colored glasses for those “fun” days of the past…but they were long and pregnant with waiting just as these days are as I wait for different things. You have brought me to a place of truth this morning…that the longing in my heart for things to be made “right” is programmed into me by God so that I will long for His return…thank you for putting waiting in perspective. I want to be one who waits well. <3
Amber Miller says
Thanks so much for the encouragement! Waiting is not my strength, but God has been teaching me how much he works through that time — even if we can’t see him working during the wait.
This Advent I’m really trying to focus on waiting for God.
Sandy Renaud says
Your message gives me renewed hope!
“Advent sets our eyes on the Savior who has promised an end to waiting, to death, to sorrow.”
Just one more reason we call it “Good News.”
Thanks for your words.
Waiting is hard for me too and being patient doesn’t come easy. Waiting for God to heal my body and protect me from having a 2nd surgery just within 3 months. Doctor injured me during hysterectomy surgery and now I have a ureter and kidney problems and urologist insisted it will have to be open surgery again longer cut and more tubes in me. I have a test tomorrow with radiologist I m thanking God already for my healing. Waiting for release of my love one and reconciliation with my step daughter. Most of all salvation for all my loved ones and friends who are not saved yet.
Be blessed – Jesus teaches us to wait on HIS timing. I listened Charles Stanley sermon on Sunday waiting on Gods timing it was an great encouragement to me.
I’m exhausted with waiting. This year I’ve tried to trust but still i’m on my own and cant seem to catch a break getting a new job. I find it hard not to look around and see how easy others seem to have all their desires met. My desire to be a wife and mother is godly. But in the waiting I feel like things are getting worse.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Lisa-Jo, thanks for the reminder that waiting is never a waste, nor is it stagnant. I’m (slowly) learning to wait with purpose, with anticipation for what God will do and is doing behind the scenes. It’s not always easy, but when I can wait with this mindset, it opens the door to hope.
Loved your post. It’s so timely.
Kathy @ In Quiet Places says
I love the idea of active waiting because waiting has a purpose.
Susan Gruener says
This was for me today. God has shown me He sees me in my ‘waiting’, and is right there with me.
Thank you for hearing God today.
May you be blessed as you bless others.
Amen Susan to your response.
My sister you are not alone. I’m right there with you. Yes, God has me in the season of waiting.
Thank you Lisa for your encouraging us today as we wait.
Thank you God for being with each of us in our waiting. Thank God that You work while we wait even when we can’t see what You doing. Father You are always orchestrating the events of heaven and earth to accomplish Your purposes for our life. Help us Lord to trust in Your unfailing love. The same love that moved You to send us a Savior from heaven to restore and rescue us. In Jesus name amen.
God’s plan for our life will not be thwarted. So my sisters let us wait patiently, knowing that waiting is never wasted when we are waiting on God.
Katie Reid says
Active waiting- I love that! Thank you for these words that point us to the hope of the Savior who came at just the right time.
Oh, my heart needed this today! Thank you!!! I like the idea of intentional waiting. The waiting has a purpose. I think for me, God is asking me to trust Him and draw closer to Him in prayer.
Beth Williams says
Patience is a virtue but waiting stinks! I am not a patient person in any way. Like Bev and many others I feel I have waited my life away. One thing I do know is that some of the waiting was well worth it. God sent me a most wonderful, loving hubby. He has been there for me through thick and thin.
Also like you Lisa-Jo I have waited for many things. Waited two years for God to call my mom home from dementia & sundowner’s, waited to find a great church family. Sadly I find myself waiting once again–this time for a different job.
God is constantly with us in our waiting. During our waiting I believe He is transforming us and bringing us closer and closer to Him. Making us lean more on Him and His love.
Waiting is soo hard! Louise– I feel for you. Sometimes as we are trusting God, we can also keep in mind that the one who faithfully waits on The Lord will have a reward worth many times the wait. It is hard to wrap our minds around that sometimes when we feel the worldly push to have everything together but maybe God wants you to learn something thru this current struggle? It’s so hard but we have to truly let go of our burden and give it up to God. Because we cannot fix it. We simply do not have the power to change our own lives. It is out of complete and utter need of The Lord that we can try to look beyond our self will and ask for Gods will. He wants us to have peace and to glorify Him in all things. Even as we wait. He will answer our prayers. It just may not be how we think it should be… Cuz if it was it wouldn’t be God-breathed.
Praying God gives you insight to His will as you wait..:)
Dear Lisa-Jo, this resonates with my groans today & I can feel Him really close in the waiting & the loss. I’ve just had another early miscarriage & time is not on my side but it’s amazing how strong the pull is to worship him in spite of the circumstances. THAT is making me expectant in the waiting, that something will be birthed even if not a baby…
Nancy Ruegg says
“Active waiting.” I like that, Lisa-Jo. Waiting doesn’t have to be passive! I can be actively involved by asserting my faith, praying with trust, expressing contentment in where I am currently, praising God for the blessings I enjoy, and taking comfort in his promises. Thank you, Lisa-Jo!
Thanks so much for this timely post, Lisa-Jo! “The moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along.” I need to refer back to this verse whenever I find myself losing hope or getting impatient.
I am smack dab in the middle of a season of waiting and God has been drawing me nearer to Him and I am learning to rely solely on Him. Waiting can make us bitter and angry if we allow it, but I am trying my best to trust in the Lord because He knows what’s best for me.
I just finished reading Max Lucado’s “You’ll Get Through This” and I highly recommend it to everyone. In the chapter, “Wait While God Works” he says:
“To wait, biblically speaking, is not to assume the worst, worry, fret, make demands, or take control. Nor is waiting inactivity. Waiting is a sustained effort to stay focused on God through prayer and belief. To wait is to “rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;. . . not fret” (Psalm 37:7).
As we keep our focus on God and pray without ceasing and wait, He works and He is waiting right alongside us.
Such a beautiful promise.:)