The last several weeks we have been looking at how to handle the times we are in God’s waiting room (click for “Waiting Through Perpetual Prayer” and “Waiting Through Study“). We have looked at Scriptures that will help us, how prayer can help us, and how in-depth Bible study can help us in those times when we are waiting for something major in our lives. While these are all excellent answers, they’re things we already know: we all know encouraging Scriptures, we all know that we need to pray, and we all know that we need to study our Bibles. Sometimes in the “real world,” when we are actually IN God’s waiting room, these very practical suggestions just don’t feel like enough. Sometimes the things we are waiting on are so critical to our lives that just praying and studying aren’t quite enough to keep our faith, our spirits, and our patience intact while we wait.
So what else can we do? Today’s article is simply some very practical, applicable tips to get us through our times of waiting, and grow our faith in the process!
- Form Your Team!
I think one of the most important things we should do as Christians is form our team. I am blessed with an INCREDIBLE “team” in my life that I depend on for comfort, advice, encouragement, and their example.
What do I mean by, a “team?” I mean a group of solid, Scripture-based Christian women that you can go to in your times of need. Of course, while obviously not a woman, my husband is the most vital member of my team (insert BIG push to marry a Christian for those of you who are not married yet) but other than him, my team is comprised of about 10 women of all different ages and backgrounds.
While I won’t embarrass them by naming them specifically, these women know who they are. They are the ones I go to when I feel lost and don’t know where to turn, or when I am REALLY struggling with something spiritual and need some guidance to get me through, when I need a shoulder to cry on, or when I am in God’s waiting room for a reason I just don’t understand. These are the women God has put into my life that bring me through these situations stronger, and better on the other side. I believe this is why we have Scriptures such as Galatians 6:2 which tells us to bear one another’s burdens and Titus 2:3-4 that tells women to be an example to and teach each other.
If you don’t know how to go about forming your team, elders,’ deacons,’ and preachers’ wives can be a great place to start! These men are living an exemplary life, and that fact should be indicative of the type of woman they are married to. Also, look around to the older women in your congregation. See who shows the Godly characteristics you want in your life and start visiting with them. Invite them to your house, take them out to eat, go visit them at their house. Believe me, they will be honored! If nothing else, the women affiliated with CFYC would love to be on your team; that’s what we’re here for!
- Make a List
A lot of the time when we find ourselves waiting on the Lord, it can be very easy to get tunnel vision. So often when we are waiting, it’s something MAJOR that we’re waiting on– something that will have a tremendous impact on our lives. That makes it really easy to overlook other, less pressing things that God is doing in our lives. If you don’t already, I challenge you to spend the next 6 months making a list EVERY DAY of the things you are praying for. You will be amazed at what all God is doing in your life! This list won’t change the fact that you’re waiting, but it definitely can give your faith the extra boost it needs to get you through.
- Seek to Serve
Once again, when we are waiting on the Lord, it can really take a toll on us! It is easy to become super-focused on the particular issue we are dealing with, & when that issue is a major one it is also easy, in turn, to become down, discouraged and depressed. The best cure I know of for depression is service! When you are truly reaching out to help another soul who is in need, it is impossible to wallow in doubt, fear, and pity!
This can be anything from making cookies for the local nursing home, to starting a card ministry, preparing meals for the elderly in your congregation, hospital visitations, mowing lawns for the elderly, cleaning someone’s house, or simply being on the team of someone else who is struggling, and stepping outside of your problem long enough to help them with theirs.
- Make a Joyful Noise!
James 5:13 tells us to sing when we are joyful. I would also say sing to BECOME joyful! Laura Warnes had an excellent article on this the other day. It is impossible to be consumed with doubt and fear while singing, “Great are you Lord, worthy of praise!” Or, in this instance especially, “Count your many blessings name them one by one.”
Singing is also an incredibly therapeutic way of dealing with the intense emotions that generally accompany waiting on the Lord. If you need a good cry sing, “Lamb of God” and REALLY focus on the words. Or if you need a good reminder of the journey we face as humans striving for the goal, try “All of Self, and None of Thee.”
Sisters, we may be Christians, but until Jesus calls us home, we all have to live in a world where Satan walks about like a roaring lion, seeking those whom he may devour, (I Peter 5:8). While we are waiting on the Lord is the perfect time for him to attack us! We need to recognize our vulnerable condition, and be ready! We need to be proactive to protect our faith in our time of weakness!
When we are waiting on the Lord, when we are going through those times of struggles, let us lean on our sisters for the wisdom, support, and encouragement! Let us make a physical list to remind us of all the ways God is blessing us every day! Let us seek to serve those around us! Let us make a joyful noise and sing our praise to our God and Father who will see us through it all!
I know it is hard right now. I am personally waiting on the Lord in my own life right now. But we can do it! We can persevere. God is there for us, and He loves us, and He WILL take care of us through everything we might face! Let us embrace our time of waiting as an opportunity to grow our faith and strengthen those around us, and let us come out stronger on the other side!
by Lacy Crowell
Lacy and her husband Jonathan are both graduates of the Bear Valley Bible Institute. They currently live in Coweta, Oklahoma, where Jonathan serves as an area evangelist, working with and strengthening area congregations. Lacy enjoys writing and speaking for ladies’ days. She spends her days at home caring for her husband and her three daughters and 1-year-old son.