Disappointed? Discouraged? Despairing?
Have you ever felt that way? How do you react when those words describe the condition of your heart? How do you maintain your hope during the discouraging times of waiting?
I don’t always have the best initial response during those crisis times. I have believed in God since I was a young child, yet there are times when my faith falters with respect to maintaining hope that my circumstances will work out in the end.
Our lives are largely about waiting:
- waiting to get into college,
- waiting to get our degree,
- waiting to get married, waiting to have children,
- waiting until the children start school,
- waiting until our children marry and have children,
- waiting until retirement
But even in the day to day, we find ourselves waiting:
- waiting for the paycheck to come in
- waiting for the replacement appliance to arrive
- waiting for a telephone call to be returned
- waiting for the weekend to catch up on errands or rest
Even spiritually, we often find ourselves waiting:
- waiting for God to answer our prayers
- waiting for God to work out adverse situations
- waiting to know His will for our lives
Times of crisis seem to punctuate the waiting times.
The wait often seems harder, longer, or even less do-able. Those situations can test our faith. Do we believe the circumstances we are in, or do we hold strong and believe God’s truth?
Even the Bible heroes had to wait.
We don’t know for sure, but if I put myself in Noah’s shoes (I know, a dangerous thing to do since I’m not a Bible great), how hard must that have been to build an ark and wait for the rains to come while not ever having experienced rain and being laughed at by all his peers?
I wonder how I might have responded if I had been Moses or one of his people wandering around waiting for my ticket to enter the Promise Land?
And what about Abraham and Sarah who waited for decades before God entrusted them with a son?
Job must have wondered how long he would wait until he was rescued from the pit of his despair, when every time he turned around he was being told of how another part of his life was facing ruin.
How would you handle those times of waiting? Do you maintain your hope or do you get discouraged?
Sometimes my vision is near-sighted and I react based only on what I can see in the near future. That’s what contributes to feelings of discouragement or despair. It’s a bit like giving up on the expectation that Christmas will come on December 25th, when all it’s June and all I can see is July 4th and possibly the Labor Day holiday.
When I choose to believe God’s truth, despite my near-sighted view of my circumstances, I can rest in His promise that He knows the plans that He has for me, which are plans to prosper me and not to harm me, and plans for a future and a hope.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 TLB
What are you waiting for today? Where is your hope?