Do you know what it’s like to wait for something? My friend, Author Janet Thompson, lends some encouragement that will help you be brave during the waiting. And if you leave a comment at the end of her blog post, along with the U.S. state in which you live, you could win a copy of her newest book, Everyday Brave: Living Courageously as a Woman of Faith. (U.S. mailing addresses or APO Boxes only please).
Here’s Janet with how you can be everyday brave:
It’s difficult waiting for anything—a medical test result, school grades, an acceptance letter, a prodigal returning, the sale of a home, a move, a job offer, a baby, family arriving safely on a wintery night, a phone call, a predicted storm, restored health, Christmas, or a birthday. I know you can think of more waits that are difficult. I’ve had them too.
When I was writing Everyday Brave and asked women to share the bravest thing God ever asked them to do, many answered “wait” and “trust God.” Who hasn’t waited and trusted God to answer a prayer request, but how many of us considered waiting as brave or courageous, even though there are many verses like,“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be braveand courageous” (Ps. 27:14, NLT).
We’ve all experienced times in our lives when it took sheer grit to wait on the Lord patiently, without impatiently taking matters into our own hands. Some women mentioned surrendering their will to God’s will as the bravest thing God ever asked them to do.
Waiting on God’s Timing
When we put our concerns and requests before God, we never know for sure how or when He is going to answer. It’s easy to say, “Trust in the Lord,” but when you’re on the waiting side of things it’s not so easy. Waiting requires stalwart courage and bravery to trust in the Lord’s perfect timing.
Waiting can fill us with anxiety, apprehension, angst, anger, and worry—or anticipation, awe, expectation, eagerness, hope, and trust. Depending on our personality, we might experience a combination of those emotions. I know I do. I don’t like waiting. I want answers now. The only way I calm my anxious heart is to pray about the situation, and then go about daily activities keeping my mind focused on other things, trying not to dwell on the looming object of my wait.
Don’t get me wrong, calm doesn’t come easy for me. I actually chose “calm” as my word to focus on one year. My husband laughed when I told him my annual word because I’m not naturally a calm person. Descriptions more appropriate of my personality are excitable, energetic, eager, and enthusiastic—anything but calm!
Trusting God with the Wait
It’s hard to trust God to take care of everything for us while we wait, even though Jesus reminds us: “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes”(Matt. 6:34, The Message).
Elisabeth Elliot wrote about brave waiting in her book, Passion and Purity: “I do know that waiting on God requires the willingness to bear uncertainty to carry within oneself the unanswered question, lifting the heart to God about it whenever it intrudes upon one’s thoughts.”
Still, we’ve all been there. Sometimes we feel brave and courageous and can flow with whatever the future brings. Other times, we feel weak and weepy like Hannah in the Bible when she waited to have a child. But when we read Hannah’s story, we see she was distraught before she gave her burden to God, and then she seemed willing to bravely accept whatever He decided was best for her, whether it was a child or not. She became peaceful and content in God’s waiting room. (1 Samuel 1:1-2:11)
Hannah trusted God and waited on Him to decide whether she would become a mother.
We’re all waiting for something every day.
When you prayerfully and patiently wait on God, you’re braver than you know.
What helps you be brave in times of waiting? Let us know in the comment section below (and also indicate the U.S. state where you live) and we will choose one winner to receive a free copy of Janet’s new book, Everyday Brave, compliments of Leafwood Publishers.
Janet Thompson is an international speaker, freelance editor, and award-winning author of 20 books including her newest, Everyday Brave: Living Courageously as a Woman of Faith. Her passion is mentoring women in sharing their life experiences and God’s faithfulness. Visit Janet and sign up for her weekly blog and free online newsletter at womantowomanmentoring.com.