Faith, Perspective, Waiting

Waiting: When the Waiting is Hard

A white grouping of trees on an overcast, snowy day.

@JeanneTakenaka

Many years ago, our oldest wouldn’t wake up one morning. It wasn’t stubbornness on his part. He was feverish, lethargic, and simply couldn’t stay awake. I let him sleep. But as the clock ticked toward noon and I couldn’t rouse him even for a drink of water, my mama’s heart revved as worry dug in deep.

God allowed us to get a same-day appointment with our doctor. I hefted my unconscious boy into his office. Long story short, he thought it would be best to take Peter to the ER. 

A snowy road lined with barren tress and fog

Yeah, my heart picked up its pace even more at those words. With a quick call to Hubs to come pick up Edmund, I drove as quickly as was safe toward the hospital nearest our home. 

Once in the waiting room, trying to fill out paperwork with our oldest on my lap, and our youngest trying to figure out what was going on, I couldn’t breathe deep. I turned in the clipboard with my scrawled answers on the papers.

And we waited.

Waiting rooms can be depressing places. Everyone is lost in their own set of troubling circumstances. The news blares into a somber room as people sit in uncomfortable plastic chairs. Isolation seems to be the companion of each person/group in that place.

Each person/party waits to be called back to be seen by a cadre of medical personnel. To move forward in “making it better.”

A large trees with branches drooping low due to heavy snow

In the waiting that afternoon, I prayed, a lot. I texted friends and family to pray. And something in sharing our uncertain struggle snapped the sense of isolation. Comfort enveloped me knowing others lifted us up to our Father. 

Isn’t life like that sometimes? We’re in life’s waiting room. 

I feel like I’m in the waiting room right now. I’m not waiting because of difficult circumstances . . . this time. I’m wrapping up a writing project and preparing to wait for others to make a decision about this book.

Meme: "Psalm 27:14—'Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!' (NKJV)" on a backdrop of trees silhouetted by a sunset.

This verse is one I continually come back to. Often, I’m impatiently waiting for God to do something. To heal a loved one or a relationship. To answer prayers for heart desires. To change something in my life.

Waiting always seems hard. But as I read this verse recently, I kept thinking about the waiting—the pause—before another person speaks. I’m waiting to hear what the Lord wants to tell me. I’m waiting with anticipation to know more of His plan. 

Isn’t that how life’s waiting room is sometimes? We’re waiting, but do we anticipate hearing our Father’s words for us? Sometimes when we’re trying to fill our time or to stay busy so we don’t think about the thing we’re waiting for, we just need to pause. 

A large barren tree highlighted with white snow

To be still and listen. 

I sense that God wants me to be more attuned to His voice, His thoughts. Those pauses can be hard. I want to move, to act, to do something—anything—to move forward. But often, God pauses before He speaks, before He moves in our lives. 

There will probably be times this year where I will have to choose courage while waiting for Him to act. There will be times when I’ll be tempted to lose heart. It’s in those times when our faith finds feet as we wait for Him to act on our behalf…when we choose to trust that He WILL act. 

There will be times this year—for each of us—when we must wait through hard situations . . . whether they be in hospital waiting rooms, for a new job, a new child (or grandchild), a change in circumstance, or even those hard things like a diagnosis.

A budding tree silhouetted by sunrise clouds

No matter what we’re waiting for, we don’t wait alone. As we sit in life’s waiting room, God’s there with us, holding our hand, reassuring us with His quiet, steadfast presence.

When we turn to Him, He can quiet our hearts—our thoughts—with His presence and His peace. He never promises to remove the waiting periods in our lives. It’s in those places where we truly learn how to draw in close to Him and find all that we need in Him. Comfort. Peace. Reassurance. Strength. 

As for our Peter . . . he spent three days in the hospital healing from some unknown virus. When he came home, he needed time to recover. I looked back at how God met us in that waiting room on the first day and in the ensuing days.

A close up of a tree branch with dead leaves growing amid new green buds

When we find ourselves in life’s waiting room this year, let’s choose to have hearts that anticipate our Lord’s words spoken just for us. Let’s pause to remember He loves us and He’s working in the waiting. 

What about you? What have you learned about God in life’s waiting room? When have you seen God meet you in the waiting times?

Click to Tweet: It’s in the waiting places where we truly learn how to draw in close to Him.

I’m linking up with #TellHisStory and #RaRaLinkup

32 thoughts on “Waiting: When the Waiting is Hard”

  1. Waiting for the fever-break,
    waiting for the train.
    Waiting for unfrozen lakes,
    waiting for the rain.
    Wait that the balloon goes up,
    time for the attack,
    waiting while we cannot sup;
    how many will come back?
    Waiting for tomorrow
    but tomorrow never comes;
    just horses lined in sorrow,
    empty saddles, muffled drums.
    Drinking now to kill the pain
    until, my friends, we meet again.

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    1. Awww, Andrew. Thank you for sharing your words. I’m so sorry things are so tough for you right now. It seems like there are different kinds of waiting. As you walk through your days, I’m praying for you, my friend.

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  2. Thank you, Jeanne, for this. Waiting brings out so much, doesn’t it. It presses us into God’s heart and teaches us to rest in His ability. I will be praying for the success of your writing, friend!

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    1. You’re right, Heidi. Waiting does bring out so much of what’s inside us. And I love what you said about how it has the capacity to press into God’s heart and teaches us to rest in His ability. Thanks for those prayers. 🙂

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  3. Those frozen winter scenes you shared are a perfect accompaniment to the experience of waiting. It’s a true test of our belief in the goodness of God, and I know in my case, the lesson keeps circling back around because I STILL need it.

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    1. Michele, you’re right. Waiting does test our belief in God’s goodness, especially when the waiting is painful and involves those we love. I guess, as in most things, it’s those seasons of waiting that force us to choose what we really believe about our Father. And if it makes you feel any better, I still have to circle back around to those waiting lessons. 😉

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  4. Jeanne, you were speaking to me with this post. I am impatient. Waiting is hard. I am often unsure whether I am hearing God speaking to me or my own voice inside my head. God does not promise to fulfill all of our wishes; we will have chaos and anguish in our lives. He does promise to be with us through the bad times, though. The Psalm you chose to go with this post was perfect. We do need courage to wait on the Lord. He promises to give our hearts the courage to be patient.

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    1. Laurie, in our fast-paced society, impatience seems to be second-nature for most of us (including me). You shared so much truth in your comment. I’m so thankful our Father is with us in every season, and He makes His presence known when we seek Him. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom here, friend.

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  5. Jeanne, your photos stunningly press home the point of how difficult it is to wait. Waiting can be cold and hard, but there is a beauty which can be seen and experienced if we but are still before Him. Beautiful post!

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  6. Hoping for good news on your book you are waiting on! Yes, so often it is hard to wait and in our business to fill the waiting, we often don’t listen to hear God or even expect him to speak. We forget about him as we try and control and brave the waiting. May we listen more as we wait on him.

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    1. Theresa, isn’t it hard to listen to God sometimes when we’re in the middle of the pause? My first instinct is to get busy, to DO rather than to wait and still myself. I guess, sometimes, the braver thing in a waiting season is to simply be still and listen. I’ll join you in your desire to listen more as we wait on Him. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. Beautiful pictures and poignant thoughts, dear Jeanne. Nothing tests our serenity as much as concerns for our children do. Yes, I’m learning things in the waiting rooms of my life. I’m learning to find and focus on the bits of beauty found in the middle of it all. It helps me ponder and praise the beauty of our Lord too.
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

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    1. Wendy, you are a master at finding the beauty in your daily life. I love your photos, and they always leave me a bit in awe of how you capture God’s creativity. I like that you focus on bits of beauty in the middle of the waiting and the other seasons in life. Thanks so much for stopping by, friend!

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  8. I’m glad your son healed, Jeanne. Waiting can be so hard. “We’re waiting, but do we anticipate hearing our Father’s words for us?” Such a good question to ask ourselves. With you, I long to be still and be more attuned to our Father’s voice! Love and blessings to you!

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  9. I’m glad Peter was ok in the end. Those times of waiting are definitely not easy – in fact, I don’t think I find any time of waiting easy. I’m definitely seeing that God can use the waiting though. For the last couple of months I’ve been waiting to get started on something new, and I’ve really valued the time I’ve been able to spend praying and reflecting. Although I’m keen to get started I think this time has been helpful preparation. Praying for you as you wait to hear about the next step with your book.

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    1. Lesley agreed! I rarely, if ever find waiting times, “easy.” I have found them to be filled with growth though. Getting ready to start something new can be an anticipatory time, can’t it? Praying over it and reflecting and seeking the Lord can never steer us wrong. Thanks for your prayers. 🙂

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    1. Eva, waiting IS hard sometimes! I’ve Like you, I’ve learned to trust God more in those seasons too. He works so many different things in our hearts in waiting times, doesn’t He?

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  10. Oh, Jeanne … I hear you about life’s waiting rooms. I love how you’ve illustrated this post with the snowy photos, and also how you frame waiting to hear from God as that pause before another person speaks. It reminds me of certain loved ones who take their time before talking because they are formulating their thoughts. 🙂 God obviously doesn’t have to take time to formulate thoughts, but His timing definitely affects when He responds, doesn’t it? I’m so glad your son was eventually OK, and I will be praying for you as you wrap up your writing project and wait to hear back from those who will be reviewing it.

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  11. That’s exciting to be at this stage with a book Jeanne! Congratulations. While reading your post, its come to me that I am in a waiting period currently. Your words “It’s in those times when our faith finds feet as we wait for Him to act on our behalf…when we choose to trust that He WILL act.” I’ve been lethargic instead of expectant. I’ve been down instead of looking up. Thanks for your timely words!

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    1. Bethany, I’m waaaaay too good at distracting myself when I’m waiting. I am learning to pause to listen, but it’s not always my first response. I’m thankful for a patient Father as I grow in this area. 🙂 I’m so glad you stopped by!

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    1. Awww, Anita. Waiting doesn’t come easily for me either. I guess God knows what He needs to do to refine our characters, doesn’t He? 😉 I’m with you, choosing to remember God is always with me…especially in the waiting times. 😉 Thanks so much for stopping by!

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