5 Things to do in the Waiting
Written by Jaelynn Woullard
You might be wondering what type of waiting we are talking about. Are you waiting in line for a ride at Disney? Waiting in the line to check out at the grocery store? Waiting to hear from a friend? Waiting in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru for your 12-count chicken nuggets and medium fries with Chick-Fil-A sauce? There are so many different things that we wait for daily that we usually try to get through quickly. But what can you do when you are waiting on God? I am going to tell you about 5 things that I often do when I am in a period of waiting for God.
- Remember that God is in control. Proverbs 16:9 says, “The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” There are many things that we plan out for our lives. We think that it will all work out the way that we would like it to, such as what we do on our career path, going to college, getting married, and going into the workforce. Before I started the internship, I had started my first year of college at Southeastern University. I thought that I would go into the medical field as a nurse, but then I felt like God wanted me to go into counseling. I also did a whole year of Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) thinking that I might want to go into the service. But, after much prayer, I knew that God was leading me to the CBM National Internship and going into ministry. As you can see, what we want and what God wants for us doesn’t always fit together the way we think it should.
- Trust His timing. Proverbs 3:5 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” Sometimes this can be difficult because we want everything to happen on our time. Many people keep a day planner, so that they can have their timing right for things to get done in a day. I’m not saying that is a bad thing but, more often than not, plans change and we have to be okay with God’s timing, as well as with things He wants us to accomplish in a day, and not be so worried or upset when things don’t work out in our timing.
- Pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” Especially when you are worried about the outcome of something, the best thing you can do is ask God to comfort you and help you to have patience during this time of waiting. Just talking to God about the situation and how you’re feeling about it can help ease the anxiety that comes with the waiting. Sometimes it helps to write down your prayers, keeping them in a journal. That way you can look back to see how God helped you through the waiting period and how you were able to grow during that time. God always wants to hear from us, no matter what the method is. He wants us to bring our worries and concerns to Him, but He also wants to hear about the good things that you learned or thought of during the waiting.
- Believe what Scripture says. Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” All through the Bible, we read about people that go through periods of waiting and trials. We also see how God brought them through it and what they learned during that time. When we are in the moment, we are likely to think that there is no end to the waiting period. But when we read these stories, they can be really encouraging to help you through that time. And we know that God will work everything out because we’ve seen it happen time and time again.
- Find ways to occupy your time and serve others. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” Being a steward, according to the Holman Bible Dictionary means “utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.” Serving others can take different forms, whether it’s spending time with someone and allowing them to express how they are feeling in a time of waiting or doing some work projects that need to be done. Personally, when I am waiting for an answer about something, I try to find different activities to distract myself so I’m not constantly worrying about the outcome of the answer I’m waiting for. While at CBM Headquarters there are so many projects that we can do, it’s easy to take my mind off the waiting and the feelings that come with that. Sometimes, when you are busy working, you can forget what you have been waiting for and suddenly the emotions come back when you realize you are about to get your answer. In times like that, the worry can creep back up on you, but you need to remember to stay calm and just breathe. It may not be the answer that you were hoping for, but we just have to accept whatever the outcome may be. It may take time to be okay with the outcome, but that’s okay too. Just as I’ve said before everything works out in God’s timing.
You may find these examples that I have found to be useful in times of waiting helpful for you, too, or you may be able to find your own ideas that are more effective for you. These five things can be useful no matter what you are waiting for in life, whether it is waiting on God or waiting for an answer from another person. If you are not struggling during a waiting period, you can share these ideas with another person who might not know what to do in the waiting. Just remember these 5 things: God is in control, Trust His timing, Pray, Believe what Scripture says, & Find ways to occupy your time and serve others. Waiting can often be scary, but God will be there through it all, guiding you and helping you.
Jaelynn is a part of the CBM Internship program, which exists to encourage young people to experience missions! To learn more about the CBM Internship program click HERE [www.childrensbibleministries.net/internships].