I will admit—I’m not a fan of waiting. I’m guessing you probably aren’t either. Who enjoys waiting in line at the grocery store? Who gets up in the morning and is excited about waiting in traffic? Waiting stinks.
And yet God does some of His best work in us during the waiting seasons of life.
I woke up this morning feeling stuck in a season of waiting. Once again, my timing apparently isn’t God’s timing. Funny how that happens. I’ve told Him when things need to happen, and He seemingly responds in silence. My heart knows God is at work, yet I can’t see progress. It’s discouraging. It’s a season of self-doubt. It’s a season of unknowns. It’s a season that honestly stinks.
Maybe as a leader, you are in a season of waiting. Maybe you are frustrated because someone else got chosen for the position you desired. Maybe you want to go back to school and there just doesn’t seem to be enough money. Maybe you are in a season with your family that prevents you from taking a leadership responsibility. Maybe you are waiting for God to bring you a husband. What do you do with the weight of the wait?
As I opened my Bible this morning, I was reminded of Hannah in 1 Samuel 1. Hannah was deeply grieved because of her infertility. She understood the difficulty in waiting. She desperately wanted a child, yet the Lord had not fulfilled her desire. As leaders, there are several things we learn from her season of waiting.
1. It’s okay to pour out your heart to the Lord. Verse 10 says, “Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears.” If you are in a season of waiting, take your concern to the Lord. Pour your heart out to Him. Instead of whining to others about your unfilled desires, take your concern to the One who created you and gave you those desires. He cares about your wait and wants to hear your heart. He can handle our doubts and our honesty. In verse 16, Hannah tells Eli, “I’ve been praying from the depth of my anguish and resentment.”
2. You must come to a point of trust. Verse 18 says, “Then Hannah went on her way; she ate and no longer looked despondent.” Do you have faith that God is at work, even while you wait? After sharing her story with Eli, the prophet encourages her. He says, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant the request you’ve made of him.” Hannah makes the shift from doubting God’s timing to having peace. A season of waiting is not a season of God’s inactivity.
3. When the wait is over, you still have to give it back to the Lord. Verse 27, “I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked him for, I now give the boy to the Lord.” Hannah’s wait was over but her story wasn’t. In fact, it was just the beginning of God putting into motion the life of Samuel being used in God’s bigger story. God’s answer to your wait may not come in the way you thought it would, but He will answer your request. He is not a genie in a bottle who grants our wishes for our comfort, but for His bigger story.
Take heart, dear leader. Be faithful in the small things. Waiting isn’t easy, but it’s worth it when you know you are following the One who can make the weight of waiting seem light.
Psalm 27:14: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart be courageous. Wait for the Lord.”
Kelly King is the Women’s Ministry Specialist for LifeWay Christian Resources and oversees the YOU Lead events. Join her this year and get to know her heart for ministry leaders. Follow her on Twitter @kellydking.