When God Says “Wait”

I hate waiting. I hate ambiguity. I hate instability. I want to know what’s going on, and I want to make definitive plans. I want to pray for something and see the answer right away.

In many cases, I’d prefer a “no” to a “wait.” At least “no” is definite. I might be disappointed, but I can move on. Waiting prevents moving on.

Yesterday, in church and in family devotions, we studied the story of Hannah (I Samuel 1). Hannah prayed and begged and waited for a child. She was mocked for her childlessness and even for her faith that God would answer her prayers for a child. She was broken and desperate.

We know what Hannah didn’t – God had planned for her to have a child all along. That child would be a great man of God, remembered for thousands of years. We know that because we have the whole story. All Hannah knew, as she was praying, in tears, at the temple, was that her greatest desire was going unfulfilled.

Hannah wanted a child, prayed for a child, begged for a child; ultimately, she promised God that, should he give her a child, she would dedicate him wholly to God. When Samuel was weaned, she brought him to the temple and said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”

I got stuck on that aspect of the story. Had Hannah gotten pregnant right away, would she have given her child for God’s service? This is purely speculation, but my guess is no. I think if she’d had a child right away, she would not have let him go. I wonder if God delayed because he knew better than Hannah what she needed. He needed her to get to the point where she was willing to give even her deepest heart’s desire to Himself.

His plans were greater than her immediate desires, and the answer to her prayer was far greater than she could ever imagine.

I don’t know about you, but that encourages me. I am in a “waiting” phase right now. I know what I want, and I know God isn’t giving it to me. I have moments of frustration, moments of anger, moments of tears. But, through this story, I am reminded that God’s plans are far better than mine. That there are lessons to be learned in the waiting that I couldn’t learn if I got the quick “yes” or “no” that I think I want.

I reminded that, though I do not know the whole story, I do know the Author of the story, and I can trust Him with my fears and my future.

2 Comments

  1. Sarah
    May 13, 2014

    Thanks for sharing, Krista! I really needed to hear this. I’m waiting, too. Though for me, it isn’t so much that God has said, “wait” but that He hasn’t answered me, yet. So I’m waiting for Him to speak, or to show me what He has for me to do, where He wants me to go.
    I’m not really a generally patient person, though I’m learning. This is really testing that learning though. I have been waiting for 2 years, which may not sound long to those who have been waiting for 5+ years, but it seems like a lot, to me.
    I actually started this because I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your blog. God always uses something you post to speak to me. So, thank you.
    God bless,
    Sarah

  2. Rachel
    May 18, 2014

    I am currently doing an author study for my English class and tried to contact you last week through your contact page with some questions I need to ask. If you have a minute, would you please check to see if they came through? Thank you so much!

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