Gifts are wrapped, and stockings are stuffed. Lights twinkle on the tree and candles flicker at candlelight services across the country. It’s Christmas Eve – one of my favorite days of the year. I love seeing little ones giddy with excitement for the coming morning. They’ve been waiting since before Thanksgiving when store shelves abruptly traded turkeys and leaves for Santa and snowflakes, and hope the wait will be worth it.
As children of God, we’re waiting too. Every one of us.
It’s why we celebrate Advent through the Christmas season.
Since the fall of man, the faithful in the Old Testament waited for the promised Messiah. They were waiting for a King. Their savior. Because many had their own ideas and assumptions of who He would be and what He would do, they missed the blessing. They failed to see Jesus as the Savior of the world and are still waiting for His first appearance. Now, as Christ-believers, we wait for our Savior to return and make all things new – forever bridging the gap between our sin and the glory of the Father. Oh, what a day that will be!
Because we live in a broken world until Christ’s second coming, we wait for earthly dreams or needs to be fulfilled as well.
As you read this, you’re likely waiting for something.
Waiting to feel known, waiting for a wayward child, waiting to experience love, waiting to be forgiven, waiting for healing, waiting for the fulfillment of a promise, waiting to be understood. The list is endless. And exhausting.
Waiting tries my patience and throws me into dependence. I can’t control the outcome in a waiting season and, to be completely honest, that’s the part I like the least. My fleshly desire is to meddle – to open closed doors and close the open ones – Rush through the wait to find answers and create quick solutions.
But what if we entered our time of waiting with a sense of eagerness instead of animosity? What if we leaned in with anticipation rather than anxiety? What if we waited with hope instead of despair?
What if we changed our perspective entirely, and began to see the wait as part of the promise instead of a means to the end?
What if we believed that God was up to something and that it was as good as He is?
If we trust that God is sovereign, we need to trust that the wait fulfills a purpose. The result may not look the way we wanted or prayed for, but the process itself can draw us into a deeper relationship with Christ, grow our faith, and refine us into something more beautiful than we imagined.
5 Things To Do While We Wait
Honest truth? I often don’t feel like reading the Bible, praying, or worshipping God in my waiting season, but these are imperative disciplines to growing our faith and, ultimately, glorifying God. If we want the wait to be productive, we need to be proactive. Setting healthy patterns and habits in our lives will ensure we are ready for the wait when it comes.
Here are things we can do in both preparation for a waiting season AND when we’re smack dab in the middle of it.
Meditate on the Word – 2 Timothy 3:16 tells us that “all Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” It’s ALL USEFUL. Read it, memorize it, meditate on it, sing it, study it. It will teach you, rebuke you, correct you, and train you in righteousness. It will focus your attention on the truths of heaven rather than the things of earth.
Commit to a Bible Study in your church or with friends and keep “Study my Bible” at the top of your “To Do” list. If you need a place to start in your waiting season, try the book of James (be sure to look into what it means to have true joy when reading the first chapter) or an Old Testament book like Exodus or Daniel that speak of God’s sovereignty. Use one of our favorite Bible Study methods such as the Inductive Study or the Swedish Method to understand the incredible depth and truth of Scripture.
Pray – Seek God with your requests and be honest about your struggle through the wait (He really can handle it), but also ask Him for an open mind and heart as you wrestle through the uncertainty. Be open to seeing things a different way and tell Him you trust Him with the process and the outcome.
Remember that the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness – He hears our groans and intercedes for us when can’t find the words to speak (Romans 8:26). My favorite prayer of all time is known as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ and can be found in Matthew 6:9-13. It gives all glory and rightful dominion to God while asking for His Kingdom to come and will to be done. It gives me peace and security during a time of waiting.
Worship – It’s easy for me to worship and praise when things are going well – A whole lot harder when they’re not. Go ahead and blast that music in the car and let the tears fall. Praise Him anyway.
I have absolutely been that lady at the red light with hands raised high and snot pouring out of my nose in worship. On one occasion I even rolled down my window to assure a concerned woman in a neighboring vehicle that I was indeed OK – Just praising God.
Here are some songs to sing during a time of waiting:
- 10,000 Reasons: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DXDGE_lRI0E
- I Exalt Thee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFRt6apaGuQ
- Living Hope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9f2FXxDVO6w
Talk to a Trusted Friend – Emphasis on the word trusted here. Choose people who are valiant prayer warriors and gifted secret keepers. Be candid about your wait and ask them to wage war with you. One word of caution, though – Be sure to meditate on the Word of God, spend time in prayer, and worship the Almighty God yourself instead of just asking others to do it for you. Preaching to myself here, friends. I’ve been guilty of calling or texting a friend to pray and then not even doing it myself. I’ve welcomed encouraging scriptures from sisters before seeking truth in my own study of His Word. Let’s just be sure to be women of discipline in the waiting season instead of idle women of chatter… Just sayin’.
Reflect – Use a journal or quiet time to remember what God has done in the past. These can be personal stories of His faithfulness through other waiting seasons, or ones that resonate from Bible study and meditation. If you’re a regular journal-keeper, spend time looking over past prayers/entries and look for the ways God blessed you in times of waiting or difficulty. Keeping a journal can be a beautiful way of accounting for the things you’re learning and giving Glory to God for His ongoing faithfulness.
Maybe you’ll wake up Christmas morning and find that everything you’ve been waiting for is right in front of you. But probably not.
And it’s OK. Transformative, even, if we allow the wait to mold us and make us into new creations for His great glory.
As followers of Christ, we can be assured that the wait WILL END.
In great glory.
Revelation 21 testifies to the abundance we’ll receive after Jesus returns to make all things new:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.”
Until then, my friends, wait well. It will all be worth it in the end.
With great expectation,
About the Author: Lisa DaSilva is a wife, mom of two teenagers, and advocate for women to love God with their heart, soul and mind as they engage in responsible study of His Word. She writes, speaks, and teaches the Bible to anyone who will read or listen.
Lisa is a teacher by trade and passion, voice for the marginalized, recovering striver, and lover of simplicity, authenticity, and all things pretty. She enjoys thrift store shopping and often has to convince people she’s an introvert. Just a loud one.
Loving Jesus and making Him known really is her everything.