Wednesday, February 24, 2021

4-Waiting… and Waiting: Bible Survival

 The Big Idea: When it feels like God is not responding train your mind to worship, not worry.

Waiting with Worship: My Heart Protection Plan.

We do not wait well. We are used to microwaves, drive-through service and cell phone accessibility. Amazon can make sure you get what you order by mail in two days. We wait because of technological glitches or waiting on hold for customer service. We want what we want and we want it NOW!

God often says wait.

God always answers prayer, but it is like a traffic light. Sometimes He shows us "no" like a red light. At times He says "wait awhile", like a yellow light. Other times We have a "yes"! We get the green light!

Most of us don't wait well.

The truth is through the waiting He forms and shapes us to be more of whom He wants us to be. He  waits for us to cry to Him and grow in our faith. Some of my closest time with God was while in waiting mode. I didn't find it good at the time. Looking back, I see it as something special God and I went through together.

If I told you I am getting better at waiting, I would be lying. I've had a lot of practice (and I mean a lot of practice) but I still have sleepless nights and have had to coach myself through the worries.



We wait on God for little things and big things. I am referring especially to the big things when we wait for a long time. But littler waits can wrap us up in anxiety too.

  • Job/Career: Direction such as getting into a college, or an internship. Getting that stepping stone job. Hoping for a change of a new boss or wanting a different shift.
  • Mates: Direction to find the right mate. It could be the salvation of a mate. Seeing a habit broken.
  • Kids: Being about to have kids. Direction for a child. We watch them go through their own quests as if it were our own. And can't do much but pray for them. It could be acceptance into a program to help a special needs child, or one with an addiction.
  • Health/Cancer: That pathology report. Is it cancer or not? It could be waiting for a transplant. It might just be living with a broken body where there seems no end in sight.

There is much more but you get the picture.


I always hoped to marry a godly man with whom I could serve the Lord. In my mid-thirties I had not yet seriously dated anyone. I asked God numerous times to take away my desire. He often filled me with peace, but He did not take that desire away.  

A couple months before I met my husband to be, I was convinced a single missionary living nearby must be the man for me. If I ever married, I felt, it must be a missionary. And of course aside from friendship, this man never offered me any hope there would be anything more. Still I decided I could wait and see what God might do as I prayed about it.  The man invited me to attend an event. And he showed up with a date. Someone I knew. I was shocked. It seemed it had been far easier to wait when I was in Africa where I did not have an active social life.

I hated the way I let my heart be jerked around by my own wistfulness.

In reading the Bible, praying and journaling, I wrote down a plan to help me wait in the midst of my desires and anxiousness.  The key thought: waiting with worship. I knew I needed to fix my gaze on God continuously. But how? What would that look like?

I use the phrase, "Heart Protection Plan" and you might think it is only applicable for romance.  Our heart breaks for many reasons.  For not getting in the school you thought was perfect. For not getting that promotion you felt cut out for. For a wayward child messing up choices. For a looming divorce from one you thought would be yours forever. We need to guard our hearts and look to God for solace and guidance.

I wrote this plan in my journal. I used some alliteration to help me remember.


1. Focus on the CHARACTER of God

  • God loves me
  • God never changes (circumstances do)
  • God is my Creator who knows all and is all powerful
  • God is in control

The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NIV

2. Trust in God's CONTROL

  • Worship Him while you wait and remember His attributes
  • Express to Him your trust because you know He's not wringing His hands. He's got it.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV

3, Be honest and CONFESS frets

You can trust Him with your anxieties, mistakes, bad days, etc.

Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Psalm 25:16-17 NIV

He won't give up on you, exasperated.

4. Get busy and CONSTANTLY serve Him

  • Serve God with your whole heart
  • Don't seek to take matters into your own hands - Let God

Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the Lord. Romans 12:19 NIV

Be productive for spiritually good things

Do good.

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:16 NIV

5. You have value - COUNT on Counting

  • Remember you are loved by a great God, you are important to Him
  • Expect Him to direct in His time because He has a plan

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8 NIV

Ask Him to make your life a blessing

With all my heart I want your blessings. Be merciful as you promised. Psalm 119:58 NIV

Reflect that you are valuable to God and have a purpose for being in the Body of Christ

For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11


I mentioned putting this together a couple months before meeting my husband-to-be. You must be thinking, ah ha! Trust God and He will give you what you want! That was not how it played out. My husband to be was a new widower. And he was not a missionary. He was a chaplain. I did not see him as a viable future mate, and he did not see me as one either, for he never planned to remarry. As our friendship grew my heart was drawn to him. I could see us serving God together. But he had to move and reminded me we are just friends.

It was three years after meeting that we got married. Honestly I spent many prayer times going over this heart protection plan again so I could reaffirm that God loved me and would take care of me no matter what.

I needed to keep my focus on God, not any other human being.

It was good training. A few months into marriage we entered a devastating period waiting on God a lot. Having lost his first wife to breast cancer, I was diagnosed with the same disease. The journey was scary and arduous.

Of everything I hold dear, that which I value most is the very real presence of God. He cannot change. He has promised to be with us and He will be.

Train your heart to focus on God and trust Him. Keep honest with Him. Maintain a servant heart. And never forget, you matter to Him.

Up Next: Rock Bottom

Previous Post: Embracing Lent
Previous Post in Series: Sleepless in Cleveland


1. When have you had to wait on God? How did that go?

2. Which of the 5 parts of the plan do you think would be most meaningful to you? Why?

3. Could you think of a situation you are waiting on now and try applying these ways of focusing on God? Journal about it.

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