None of us are strangers to waiting. And whether it’s waiting for the stoplight to turn green or waiting for a possible medical diagnosis, waiting (at least for me) can be extremely frustrating.
I think many of us feel frustrated because waiting reminds us (either consciously or unconsciously) that our happiness is at the mercy of someone or something else. We may feel like a boat without an anchor, swirling whichever way the waves take us. We are not in control of the situation, and there’s not a thing we can do.
Or is there?
What if instead of throwing up our hands in impatience or growling at everyone around us in frustration, we think about what we can do to help make the waiting more bearable? Here are three ideas to try the next time you are waiting:
Drop your anchor.
We don’t need to be like a boat without an anchor, floating without direction. Throw down your anchor by regularly connecting with God in prayer. God is our Father. And just like you want to help your kids, God wants to help us. He is knocking, but we still need to open the door to receive his help. We can do this by praying and just sitting in his presence. We don’t need to say anything complicated. Just ask for his help and believe he will give it to you.
“Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)
What if instead of allowing our minds to continually circle around in frustration like a caged lion, we focused on stilling our mind and body? We need to stop thinking that being still equates to doing nothing. It takes courage and patience to be still. It’s hard work. Yet it’s when we are still that we can more clearly hear God’s voice guiding us forward.
Count our blessings.
Sometimes our frustration about what we don’t have starts to grow and take the place of feeling thankful for what we do have. What we focus on grows. When we focus on what we don’t have, we’ll continue to feel we need more and more to be happy. Conversely, when we spend time counting our blessings, we’ll recognize more and more blessings.
Hopefully these ideas will help you find peace and comfort while waiting through life’s big and small moments. And no matter what you are waiting for, remember you will never wait alone. “Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel …” God is with us.
Elizabeth Billups is the content manager at MOPS International. She’s also the author and illustrator of The Puddle Jumper’s Guide to Kicking Cancer and other books. With three kids of her own, she’s got a heart for supporting moms and families.