Finding God in Life’s Waiting Room

The Gospel Coalition | 9/15/2019 | Alicia Akins
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“You have a plan for me.”

Each day I wake to these words, the opening lyrics to a worship song I set as my alarm some rejections ago. If I’m untroubled, I stop the song there and start my day. Other mornings, when my pillow is still damp from the previous night’s cry or my heart worn from waiting—35 years for a spouse, 15 months for a job, indefinitely for the resurrection of friendships lost—I let the whole thing play. Battling waves of envy, frustration, and shame I wait, echoing the psalmist’s heavenward cry: “My eyes fail, looking for your promise” (Ps. 119:82).

Delay - Burden - Seasons - Vain - Answers

Delay can often feel like a burden. I used to squander such seasons, longing in vain for timely answers to tired prayers. I’d launch a countdown to God’s yes—and withhold praise until it arrived. Sadly, I knew nothing of the power that could transform a seemingly fallow, horizonless wait into one of lush, redemptive possibility. My eyes failed, looking not for Christ but for escape.

Waiting isn’t the wasted space around the greatest blessings of our lives; it’s their incubator. It tutors us in the way of faith, that divine vision beyond human sight (2 Cor. 5:7). It forces us to confront our insecurities and cross-examine our doubts. Above all, waiting invites us to retrace the well-worn paths of grace back to a bloody cross and empty tomb.

God - Questions - Will - Will - Unemployment

Weary and impatient, I’ve pelted God with questions: Will I ever be loved? Will unemployment ruin me? When will you reconcile this? However I articulate them, though, I’m convinced my questions sound to his ear more like, Are you really in control here? Are you trustworthy? Are you . . . enough?

Yet with patience, God has accompanied me through valleys of acute need. Along that terrain, he’s revealed his character in three profound...
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