Tuesday, September 25, 2012

something to do while waiting on the lord

in my last post i illustrated how jumping ahead of god's timing doesn't work out best for us.
i received a few comments and emails from people asking "...but what do i do while waiting...?"

well. i'm really glad you asked, because i struggle here as well. 
certainly, it will take more than one post to cover this topic. 
some day i hope to write more, but for now, just a few important points off the top of my head.
i won't pretend to have all the answers, but i'm eager to share how 
the lord has encouraged me, to avoid despair in the waiting.

times of waiting are not always dark, maybe just annoying. but if we're not careful, our annoyance leads 
to impatience, and that can lead to melancholy and despairing hopeless thoughts mighty quickly. 
we need to avoid getting caught up in that temptation to lose our joy and hope in christ.

that quote is from this book. you can even read it for free online! and it rocked me the first time i read it.

too often, i find myself at a stand still "waiting on god".
i'm either frustrated that i'm waiting in the first place, or just plain depressed. 
you'd think i'd get it right by now, all the waiting i've done. 
thankfully, the lord is unfailing in his love and patience toward me and my constant return to my own way. 

this is the greatest thing i've learned about waiting. do something.

"i have known grievous, despairing melancholy cured and turned into a life of godly cheerfulness,
principally by setting upon constancy and diligence in the business of families and callings."

richard baxter wrote that over three hundred years ago. and today, i know it's legit.

the greatest remedy for my despair in waiting, or even avoiding temptation for other sin, is action.

actions like...giving thanks to the lord, make lists of what you're grateful for
even blog those lists, i sure do! make a craft, bake cupcakes, dust the ceiling fans, 
prepare a meal for a friend or another in need, cleaning the house or church nursery, 
organizing holiday decor in your storage closet...doing something. this is great for two reasons.
taking your mind of the wait, and honoring the lord with your actions. blessing your family and others.

spending time in service to our families and others and giving thanks to the lord stirs us to joy.

sometimes we don't feel like doing anything while we wait, 
so is it hypocritical to act when our heart doesn't feel the right way?

if we are hiding sin in our hearts, even the sin of not trusting jesus and worrying while we wait, 
then i think yes. it's hypocritical. but. if we are repentant that we are not counting it all joy in god, 
and seeking him to restore that in us...this is not what a hypocrite wants, 
this is how a christian fights for joy.

"your aim in loosing your tongue with words of gratitude 
is that god would be merciful and fill your words with the emotion of true gratitude...
you are not hiding the hardness of ingratitude, but hoping for the inbreaking of the spirit." 

when we don't "feel it in our hearts", the gratitude or the joy, we fight for it.
we sing anyway. we plead for him to bring it back.

in times of waiting, aching for the lord to move. we must not be idle and mope.
try it. try acting, try getting busy, and pray all the while.
ask the lord to give you strength and joy. asking him to help you trust him.
stay close with him and trust him to have your complete good as his purpose.

our soul waits for the lord;
he is our help and our shield.
 for our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
let your steadfast love, o lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.
{psalm 33:20-22}

what would you add to all this rambling? have you learned how to wait well on the lord?
i'm still learning and would love to hear from you!


  1. THIS is what I needed to hear today!! Thank you for the encouragement. I'm definitely in that season of (annoyed) waiting and I hate when I get like that! This was a really good reminder. And I'm off to check out that book! Love John Piper!!

  2. Great post!! You know that song, "While I'm Waiting," by John Waller? That song has helped me tons of times over the years to help "get over the waiting." It makes me realize that I have to keep serving God, worshiping God, and running the race even while I'm waiting.

    Here's a link to the You Tube video if you haven't heard it yet. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb7TSGptd3Y

  3. Well, haven't you just hit the nail squarely on the head today? I've been flat on my back since June 8 with two knee surgeries. As you might remember, I rarely slow down..much less come to a screeching halt! But HALT I have. When you can't walk you really begin to appreciate extremely simple things. Things like being able to "DO" for yourself, make a cup of coffee AND walk with it to your room, not hurt every time you move...I must admit that I was in pretty good spirits June, July...In August I began to whine, by the first of September, I was so down that I couldn't see any light at the end of the tunnel. I needed to read this today...thank you. I need to ask for forgiveness and request patience and a renewed HOPE.
    Love to you, my Friend,


  4. this is chalk full of wisdom, my dear. you must do the Deuteronomy study after Mercy Triumphs. it talks a lot about this.

  5. What a wonderfully encouraging post. Loved hearing your thoughts on this! You offered a new perspective for me in what the "doing" means while waiting. Such a blessing Hannah :)

  6. First, I've been searching for a book to study... thinking When the Darkness Will Not Lift will be it. Second, thank you. I know I was one of the ones that asked this question, and it's a huge struggle of mine. I'm terrified I will waste productive time just sitting around being grumpy. Third, I'm a little jealous that Flat Laura is hanging out with you... that she is actually AT your house and I'm here in NE. ;)

  7. Girlfriend, this is a GREAT post. One I really needed to read. I am NOT good about waiting on the Lord. Like not at all. But I love how you talk about doing it even when you don't want to. Or to bake/organize/clean something! I've been doing a LOT of that lately, and it is clearly helping me along the way:)
    Thanks for sharing this!

  8. great post hannah.
    obviously i need this.

    and i love the idea of writing a list of things i'm thankful for.
    i'm adding doing that to my to do list ;)

  9. Oh how very encouraging indeed...and *right* where I'm at. xox Thank you friend.

  10. thank you thank you. i 've been wondering what to do about something and decided i have to wait it out. now at least i know what to do while waiting. and i will try to fight for the joy. thanks so much for the pep talk!

  11. This is gooooood stuff here, sweet lady. I'm going back to read it again....so the words soak in a bit more.

  12. so true, we will strengthen the rise while we wait upon the Lord.
    nice encouragement.