Left Hanging—Learning to Wait in Faith

by Kathy Howard @KathyHHoward

The day was clear and crisp, just perfect for spring skiing. When we arrived at the slope, we purchased our lift tickets, quickly donned our skis, and got in line for the lift. So excited to have a full day of skiing ahead of us.

Four of our group sat together on the quad chair – me, Wayne, our oldest daughter, Kelley, and our friend Connie. About a quarter of the way up the hill the chair lift came to an abrupt halt. That happens fairly often – usually to wait for someone who has fallen getting on or off – so we weren’t concerned. But then minutes ticked by and we remained stopped.

For the next two hours we alternated between long stretches of stillness and brief forward movement. The first time the chair began to move we cheered, but after just a few feet we stopped again. After that, each time we moved we held our collective breaths. But alas, we only moved a short distance.

It was a warm day for April in the Canadian Rockies, but when you’re hanging off the ground in the wind with the weight of your skis and boots pulling on your dangling legs, a chill can set in quickly. The four of us huddled close for warmth and told stories to pass the time.

After about two hours I started eyeing the ground. If I dropped my skis would it be close enough to jump? Then I checked to see how far it was to the closest support tower. Is it possible to shimmy across the cable?

 But just before I made rash decision to act dangerously, someone shouted at us over a bullhorn. “We’ve been working to get the motor going, but it won’t stay running. We’ll try one more time. If that doesn’t work we will get you down another way.”

Another way? Seriously?! What does that mean? Fork lift? Helicopter? Giant eagle?

 Just as I was taking another look at the ground, we started moving. All four of us were praying. Fifty feet to the end. Forty. Thirty. Twenty. Ten. Now, stand up and put your skis on the ground!

After more than two hours, no feeling remained in our legs but we managed to get out of the chair and move away from the lift.  The resort paid for our lunch and refunded our lift passes. After eating and warming up in the lodge, we spent the afternoon skiing for free.

For the majority of those two hours we felt like the ski resort had simply left us hanging. We didn’t see any activity on our behalf. We saw very little forward progress. But as we learned later, an entire team of mechanics was working frantically to get us down to safety.

Sometimes life feels like that. Sometimes we may feel like God has “left us hanging.” Sometimes we might think He’s not doing anything while we struggle. But Scripture teaches us the truth:

  • God is always working (John 5:17).
  • God cares about every aspect of our lives (Matthew 6:25-34).
  • God is all-powerful and always in control (Jeremiah 32:17).
  • God is with us in our trials (Isaiah 43:2).
  • God is good, loving, and faithful (Psalm 145:17).

When you doubt God is working, when you wonder if He cares about you and your situation, remind yourself of the truth. Even if you can’t see it, He is working. Even if you don’t feel it, He loves you.

Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.  Matthew 10:29-31 NASB

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Left Hanging—Learning to Wait in #Faith – @KathyHHoward on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Kathy HowardAbout the author: This post is adapted from Kathy Howard’s Bible study. Lavish Grace: Poured Out, Poured Through, and Overflowing. Lavish Grace is a 9-week journey with the apostle Paul that helps readers discover God’s abundant grace for their daily lives and relationships. You can find out more about Kathy, her speaking and writing, and find free resources at www.KathyHoward.org.

Join the conversation: Has there ever been a time you felt like God “left you hanging?” In retrospect, how was He working?

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4 thoughts on “Left Hanging—Learning to Wait in Faith

  1. What a great illustration, Kathy! At 63 years old, I have often felt “left hanging” by God. It surely built patience and faith! Sheri

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  2. Kathy, I’ve been on a ski lift when it suddenly stops. I’m glad to say I’ve never waited 2 hours and I’m sad you had to, but many times I have felt like God forgot I was hanging there! Right now I’m wondering what will happen in a challenging relationship. Lots of unknowns. I reflected on James 1:2-3: “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” Hanging here is supposed to bring me joy and steadfastness, Lord? I’m glad joy is different than happiness; it’s a settled confidence in God’s goodness, love, etc. Well, enough preaching, but that’s how your thoughts helped me, Kathy. Thank you.

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