Wednesday, November 11, 2015


Before I met my husband Thomas, I had spent a number of years wondering and waiting and yearning for that time when I would meet the man who would be my partner in life.  And when the topic came up, people would always say, “It will happen when you least expect it."

I knew they were trying to be encouraging and helpful, but I never really heard this counsel as good news.  That was because I was always on the lookout for a potential suitor, never wanting to miss an opportunity for a “meet cute.”  So to me, it felt like it would never happen because there was never a time I wasn’t thinking about this desire of my heart.

As a result, this time of my life turned out to be one of the times when I grew in relationship with God the most, because I decided to spend the time I would have spent with a significant other journaling, praying, and going on day trips by myself instead.  And since I seemed to keep falling for a guy who didn’t return the affection, I told God that he would need to speak loud enough for me to hear when the time was actually right.  As it turns out, he did.  And every day I am grateful that God works despite, and in spite, of my limited understanding.

I’ve been thinking about all this in recent weeks because we have our house on the market, and for all I can tell, it seems as though nothing is happening and the process is going much slower than we expected.  And like they did in those days when I was so eager to meet my future husband, when people hear that we haven’t sold yet, they often respond, “It will happen when you least expect.”  Again, I know they are saying it to be encouraging, but part of me can’t help but think, “Not this again!”  But I know they are right.

Because the thing is, as I keep reminding myself, God’s timing is perfect.  And God promises to work all things together for good.  But as we all know, it is hindsight, not foresight, that often affirms that truth.  So when I find myself in a time of waiting—when whatever I am waiting for seems like it will never happen—the question becomes, how will I spend that time?  And maybe more importantly, how can I use it for good?

Personally, I haven’t found it useful to beat myself up for my lack of faith and trust.  Since God already knows what we are thinking, I don’t think God minds if we say the same prayer over, and over, and over.  But I have fallen back on my tried and true prayer: please work despite my limited understanding, God.  Speak loud enough for me to hear.”

And again I am reminded that when we find ourselves in a time of waiting, the invitation is to use that time as an opportunity to pray rather than fuss; trust rather than worry.  I’ve also found it helpful to use some of my waiting time to remind myself of other times in my life when God has acted, when a prayer has been answered, and when God’s timing did turn out to be perfect.

When I do that, peace almost always comes as a result.  And though it doesn’t completely take my mind off what I am thinking about or yearning for, it does help me stay centered in God as I wait, and as a result, it helps keep things in perspective: ““For I know the plans I have for you,” God speaks through the prophet Jeremiah.  “Plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”  Thanks be to God!

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