- Grace B-P Contributor
Dear God, I'm Tired of Waiting
Dear God, I’m Tired of Waiting
Waiting for God to act can be excruciating. But it is not pointless— deepening our dependence, refining our character, and revealing His.
By Eliza Tan
Growing in Communion with God
In her Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transforms Us, Adele Ahlberg Calhoun includes waiting as a spiritual discipline. She writes:
God’s people learn to wait with God in the present moment. Because that is the only place God is found. The past with its regrets is irretrievably gone. The future with its what-ifs is out of our control. But now, right now, it is possible to be with God.
I often approach waiting like an impertinent child on a tour bus. Overeager to arrive, every ten minutes I ask, “Are we there yet?” and neglect the scenery outside, the experience of the journey, and the company of the One who matters the most.
He is with me as I wait. To wait is to keep an eye not on the clock, but on Him who moves.
Part of learning to wait is letting go of the expectation that life should conform to our timeline. On this, author Samuel Enyia writes: “God does not depend on our time. Our time is chronological and linear but God . . . is timeless. He will act at the fullness of His time.”
Also, part of waiting is praying, as Jesus taught His disciples through the parable of the persistent widow (Luke 18:1).
As we pray, pray, and pray again for our needs, we learn to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). As with any other relationship, our closeness to God depends on communication with Him—“doing life” in His presence and strength.
If we’re honest, we rarely trust wholeheartedly in Him during easy times when we have everything we desire. Often, it’s only when God delays His answers that we draw closer and learn to depend on Him.
It was once when I was lamenting to God about all my waiting that I asked myself: What if I was as invested in my relationship with God and prioritised it instead? As I prayed that God would enable me to love and fear Him more, I felt a sense of freedom that I had not experienced before.
God didn’t directly answer my prayers but helped me change my focus through prayer. And, as I like to think, God appreciates my honesty as well.
Growing in Character
God uses our waiting not only to refine our faith, but also to develop our character.
Our faith is most sorely tested when we feel God is silent, but such testing is not in vain (James 1:2-4). Often, these trials show how impatient we are and how much we think God should act according to our plans.
As our flaws come to light, our prayers change. We begin asking not only for relief from our circumstances, but for God to correct our self-centredness. And when we do this, we pray in line with God’s will: not just for our happiness, but our holiness.
Waiting for God’s timing is not cowardly or irresponsible. When David exhorted believers and himself to “be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14; emphasis added), he was likely on the move, actively fleeing from King Saul to preserve his own life.
Waiting for God is thus not a convenient excuse to sit around and do nothing. In fact, psychological research tells us that aimless waiting makes the process even more painful.
My friend Elaine hasn’t been twiddling her thumbs waiting for a life partner. She’s downloaded an app to get to know people. She’s also talked with close friends about how to discern who to engage and what boundaries to set.
More importantly, she continues to steward her responsibilities. She leads a small group in church, teaching and caring for young believers. She hopes to pursue vocational training for professional advancement. She is there for family and friends. She doesn’t wait for a time when all things are perfect so that she can “finally live”.
When God delays, said pastor and evangelist F. B. Meyer, He is “educating human spirits to the finest temper of which they are capable.”
Through waiting, we develop the quieter virtues—submission, humility, patience, joyful endurance, persistence in doing good.
Some ten years ago, my care group sat in silence as a sister pushing 40 confessed her sadness for still being single. She sadly related her broken dreams of being a mother. “I don’t want to become bitter and resentful. Please pray for me,” she pleaded.
And we did. We grieved with her over the prospect of an empty womb. We supported one another as sisters and friends, encouraging her as she furthered her studies, meditating on God’s Word together in Bible study class, and showing up when her elderly parents passed away.
God has used her love for children through her service in Sunday school over the years. Dozens of my peers’ children have learnt more about God through her lessons and continue to acknowledge her after finishing Sunday school.
I see someone who has embraced the meaningful, fulfilling, and abundant life we all can have in Christ, regardless of our station in life. She has no less faithfulness, joy, or love.
Waiting is bittersweet—bitter, for longings yet unfulfilled; sweet, for greater trust in God’s timing and His goodness in our lives.
God Waits, Too
Perhaps it was during his 15-year wait that David wrote Psalm 13, where he lamented, “How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” (v. 1).
We all cry out at some point: “How long, Lord?” Even now, questions and doubts may circle within your mind: Has God forgotten me? Have I done something wrong? Why won’t He answer my prayers? Why do others receive blessings but not me?
Some of these questions may never be answered. That’s the mystery of God’s inscrutable wisdom and will.
Even He waits—He knows whom He has called, yet waits patiently for us to repent and return.
What seems to us like God’s slowness in coming is really His patience in waiting (2 Peter 3:9).
On this side of the cross, all of us exist in the liminal space between Christ’s first and second coming. We look forward to the time when His kingdom will fully be established, when everything will be made right.
Till then, we wait.
Republished with permission from Our Daily Bread Ministries Singapore. For more articles that relate faith to life, visit odb.sg/faith-and-life