Waiting (and waiting!) on God's promises
By Jessica Brodie
Tom Petty wasn’t wrong when he sang, “The waiting is the hardest part.” It can be agonizing sometimes when you desire something you’re dead-certain God wants for your life—a job, a marriage, a career path—and then having to wait what feels like forever for it to come to fruition. Every ounce of your heart and soul is tied into it, and you can think about nothing else in the world except that one crucial thing until it occurs.
And yet sometimes, the waiting is the whole point. The lesson comes in the waiting. The critical choices happen then, too.
In fact, when I look back on my life and think about the times I endured horrible, frustrating, excruciating, unbearable periods of waiting, those are the times I think I gained the most character … and also when I made key choices—choices I later learned were the catalyst for every pivotal epiphany I’ve experienced.
Take childbearing for instance. I just knew God wanted me to be a mom. I knew it was part of my life’s purpose, knew it would be good for my soul, knew I’d make a good parent. And yet I struggled for what felt like ages with unexplained infertility. It was only after I surrendered fully to God one night and committed my not-yet-conceived child to Him that I became pregnant. I know now God was waiting on me to make the right choice before He allowed me to become a mom—and I’m so grateful He did. The waiting made it sweeter, yes. But most importantly, it ensured I would raise my child in a Christ-infused home with a specific, unbreakable covenant: this child would belong to God.
Then there was that time I was certain I needed to leave journalism to be teach low-income children. I set my mind on it, waited and waited for that job to come my way, waited so long in fact that I ended up experiencing a season of total self-reflection and did a complete one-eighty… and ultimately realized it wasn’t a different career path I needed but rather a way to use my writing gifts in a more meaningful and spiritual way. That understanding led me to my role as editor of a Christian newspaper, something that turned out to be the perfect fit for me and my family (gee, I guess God does know what He’s doing, doesn’t he!).
The list goes on, and I know I’m not alone. I hear stories from so many of my friends who’ve experienced the same sort of thing. The waiting isn’t just something we have to endure to get the prize.
Maybe I need to stop calling them the “waiting” times but rather the “choice” times. And when those times occur, instead of spending all those wasted moments lamenting how long it’s taking, maybe I need to be training myself to look inward immediately—and consider what choice He needs me to make in order for it to come to fruition (or not).
I guess the waiting isn’t the hardest part. The waiting is the point.