Grace in the wait

Patience is a virtue; it’s just not one of mine.

I’ve always hated to wait. As a little girl, the days and weeks before Christmas tortured me. My fifteenth birthday started the 365-day countdown to the day I received my driver’s license. I merely endured my senior year of college, longing for the day I’d enter the “real world.”

I’m sad to say it continues today.

I hate sitting in traffic. I avoid the bank drive-thru. Standing in line at the grocery store causes me to start my Lamaze breathing.

I don’t like my lack of patience, especially since Galatians 5:22-23 tells me I should be bearing it. It’s just that patience means waiting, and waiting feels unproductive. My Type-A personality likes productivity and efficiency, doing and accomplishing. Yet I go through seasons that don’t seem to be efficient or productive.

Seasons of waiting can feel like a perpetual holding pattern.

Nobody understood waits and holding patterns like the Israelites. Time and time again God spoke to them through His prophets, and the messages had a similar theme: do right while you wait. The words of Hosea also speak to our generation:

Therefore, return to your God, observe kindness and justice, and wait for God continually. Hosea 12:6

Return to your God.

It’s easy and natural to focus on the object of our waiting. We long for the day when change comes:

  • the new job is offered,
  • the conflict is resolved,
  • the manuscript is completed/accepted/published.

Like the church at Ephesus, we persevere and work hard, but we can lose our first love (Rev 2:1-7). As we wait, we make the conscious decision to lift our eyes from our frustrating situation and instead focus on the Lord.

Observe kindness and justice.

Waiting can make us impatient with ourselves, our situation, and with those around us. Instead, turning our focus to God puts us in a better position to corral our frustration and let grace and mercy reign in our demeanors.

Wait for God continually.

While getting that “observe kindness and justice” attitude in place, I’ve found a powerful prayer to breathe:

“Lord, I put my impatience under Your authority right now and
trust You to resolve this in Your perfect timing.
I let go of my frustration and wait for You to replace it with Your grace.”

I confess I rarely feel the instant relief of His presence washing over me, but it reminds me that He is in control. This period of waiting is being directed by Him, and I want to be a good steward during this waiting period.

Whether you’re waiting for God to restore a trying relationship, resolve a difficult job situation, relieve a physical hardship, or open the door for an opportunity that seems to always be just out of reach, this course of action is always right:

Voice your frustration and ask God for His grace in your wait.

Especially when the person ahead of you in the Express Checkout has more than 20 items.

Tweetable: Tired of waiting? @inspireafire shares 3 things to do while you wait.

Image Credit: (Photostock)

Susan Stilwell

Susan Stilwell consults, writes and speaks on a variety of topics. Her clients appreciate her technical expertise and attention to detail on their websites, projects, and social media strategies. Technical "how-tos" are Susan's favorite articles to write. You can find her working as a blog designer and contributing writer at Fistbump Media. Susan also serves as a hospital chaplain associate and is a voracious scripture memorizer. She's a conference speaker and passionate expositor of God’s Word, and active on Twitter, Facebook, and

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  1. Such a good post, Susan. I’m going to post on my writers group page because I just gave them the topic of Waiting for our annual flash writing contest. You’ll be a sure inspiration.

  2. Hi Susan,

    I was just talking to several close friends about this yesterday with my own feelings of becoming impatient in what I am doing to get to a goal I want to achieve. Thank you for this timely word. It confirmed some things that they said to me and what I felt the Lord saying in my spirit.


    1. I understand the first sentence but I’m not sure what the rest is saying. I’m suppose to be confident in God that he’s taking care of my problem? I know he is one way or another but I’m having trouble waiting now.

      1. Dianne,
        When we’re waiting on God, sometimes He IS taking care of the problem and may be working out details for something that will come in the future (i.e. a job, an opportunity, etc). Other times He’s working on our hearts, and that can be about any number of things–perseverance, trust, obedience, etc. In the case of the Israelites, God was working in both areas. I can testify that He’s done that in my life too!

        The point I was making is that no matter why we’re in a season of waiting, it’s always appropriate to keep our eyes on Him and behave in a way that honors Him.

        1. Susan, thank you for explaining this for me. Knowing this I will be able to wait patiently knowing that he’s working on me right now.

    2. Marcie,
      Thanks so much for taking time to read and comment. It’s discouraging when we feel like we’re not making progress toward a goal. Whether God calls us to press on or He wants us to stop and rest, He wants us to keep our eyes on Him.

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