The Art of Waiting Well

Everyone is waiting for something. Whether you are waiting to hear back on a new job opportunity, an injury to heal or a baby to be born, there are things every day that we have to wait for. At Abstinence Clearinghouse, we talk a lot about waiting to have sexual intimacy until marriage. While waiting is often hard or annoying, it is also good; it provides us an opportunity to build virtue.

Jackie Johnson wrote an article giving some advice on learning to wait well:

1. Know on whom you wait. As you wait, learn to trust God. He is good, and He is sovereign over the whole world. "My soul, wait in silence for God only, for my hope is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken." (Psalm 62:5-6).

2. Wait with hope. While you cannot always choose your circumstances, you can choose your attitude: to fret or have faith. Ask God to help you with your outlook. Only He can do what we cannot do. As you wait, God is building in you strength, courage, fortitude and stamina. "I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope." (Psalm 130:5).

3. Pray and obey. Waiting is not a time to do  nothing. It's the time to pray and to act--to be about the Father's business as He leads you. Share your disappointment and frustrations with the Lord as you pray. Follow His lead. We wait in hope, believing even when we cannot see.

4. Surrender and hold on. Appreciate where you are in the process, even if you are at the start of a new venture. There is hope ahead. Small beginnings can yield large results. Even when we cannot see what God is doing, He is working in amazing ways.

5. Remember what God has done in the past. As you begin to let go of your grasp on things you wish would turn out the way you think they should be, peace comes. Fear subsides as you look back on what God has done in the past with His mighty power and miracles for those in the Bible, for others, and for you. Remind yourself that God has worked, is working, and will continue to be at work in the future.

6. Live in the now. Where is your focus? Are you looking so far into the future that you're dropping the ball on what's happening today? Hope with future eyes, but keep your hands on what you are doing and who you are becoming in the present.