Waiting Patiently

by Crystal Bowman

Several years ago, my son and daughter-in-law found themselves in a cold and sterile infertility clinic 1500 miles away from home. They desperately wanted a baby, but things didn’t happen the way they had planned. After all attempts to conceive had failed, they flew home with shattered dreams and lost hope. Their story is heart wrenching, and it’s shared by more than 6 million couples in the U.S. who just want to have a child.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life” (ESV). Whether it is hoping for a child, a career promotion, or that special someone to share our life, it’s only human to want things to fall into place. We pray and plead and weep, wondering if God hears us. Our well-meaning friends quote Bible verses for us. We read and reread God’s promises. But when what we hope for is deferred, it truly does make the heart sick.

During a season of waiting, bitterness can take root and hopelessness can overwhelm us. We ask questions and wonder why, but the answers don’t always come. In Psalm 40, King David says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God” (40:1, 3 NIV). Waited patiently. Two words that tell us what David did in his time of distress, and that God heard his cry. But I wonder how long David had to wait before God responded—one week, two years, or a decade?  The Bible doesn’t say.

Waiting patiently for something our hearts long for is physically and emotionally exhausting. It consumes our thoughts and can make us feel weak as we attempt to go on with our daily lives. The prophet Isaiah offers encouragement with these words: “Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV). When our hope is in God, rather than in doctors or bosses or dating websites, he renews our strength. His love and grace and mercy are great enough to cover our shattered dreams, heal our broken hearts, and restore us to wholeness.

My son and daughter-in-law were finally blessed with baby boy, and three years later a baby girl. They now have a noisy home with scattered toys on the floor and fingerprints on the windows. Of course, not every desire or hope we have will be fulfilled the way we want, and only God knows how each person’s story will be written. But while we wait patiently for his plan to unfold, we can soar with the eagles knowing that God will answer our prayers in his time and in his way.

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.  Psalm 130:5 NIV

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The struggle and the hope of waiting patiently – Crystal Bowman on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

Crystal BowmanAbout the author: Crystal Bowman is an award winning, best-selling author of more than 100 books for children including Our Daily Bread for Kids, M is for Manger, and Does God Take Naps? She is a mentor for MOPS and teaches at writers’ conferences. She is a contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine and writes lyrics for children’s piano music. Her latest release, co-authored with her daughter-in-law, is Mothers in Waiting, Healing and Hope for Those with Empty Arms. She lives in both Florida and Michigan (wherever the weather is best), and travels often to get hugs from her grandchildren.

Join the conversation: For what are you waiting?

Hope Comes in the Breaking

by Joy Anisa

I uttered a heartbroken plea to my Heavenly Father asking Him for a pretty bow to go on His very messy gift. My life was unraveling faster than I could comprehend, and I was beginning to accept that what was being allowed to pass through my Father’s hands had come with purpose. Nevertheless, it did not lessen my pain. The whole matter was just messy and ugly.

I did not share that prayer with anyone. His answer was divinely orchestrated weeks later. But while my kind, gentle Heavenly Father had allowed the discomfort, in the end, He used my distress to reveal Himself in an up-close and personal way. And that, I knew, was my bow.

Satan wants to convince us that we should handle things on our own. He lures us into hiding our mess, so everyone will continue to think well of us. But God has better things in mind.

“…We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.  Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5, NKJV). Four powerful words of truth, “hope does not disappoint”!

Our hope does not come from anything we have or could do. Our hope is in Christ alone.

Hope entered a broken world. Hope hung on a cross to cover us with grace and mercy. Hope continues to grow us into perfectly reflecting His character. Hope is birthed from a love that is perfect and pursues our soul at all cost.

When we think of gifts, we think perfect and beautiful. Sometimes God’s gift to us is not what we had in mind. But our mess and ugly circumstances can be an unexpected gift. What if we changed our perspective and trusted in His divine purpose in the middle of the chaos?  What if we believed Solomon when he wrote “He has made everything beautiful in its time”?  Ecclesiastes 3:11a NIV

When you find yourself thinking that you cannot take much more, you are in the perfect place for finding hope outside yourself. God places the seed of hope in the dark and dismal, because it is there we realize we need Him. Hope quietly whispers, “Rest in Me, I will carry you and light your path.” And holds us with a grip that will not let go.

“I wait for the Lord, my soul does wait, And in His word do I hope.” Psalm 130:5 NASB

joy anisaAbout the author: Joy Anisa speaks for women’s retreats, MOPS, and Single Mom conferences. Her book, Identity Crisis: Moving from Crisis to Credibility,  offers an invitation to hope in the God who loves deeply, heals wounds, and offers His joy when life around us crumbles. You can find Joy on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. Joy lives with her husband, Jeff and their son, Caid, in Conyers, GA.

Free Book Contest!  Arise Daily will use a random number generator to pick a winner from today’s comments. To enter our contest for Joy’s book, Identity Crisis: Moving From Crisis to Credibility,  please comment below.  By posting in our comments, you are giving us permission to share your name if you win!  If you have an outside the US mailing address, your prize could be substituted with an e-book of our choice.

Join the conversation: How have you placed your hope in the Lord?