What are you waiting for God to do?

Roughly 2,000 years ago, Israel was still waiting for their promised king. They knew God would fulfill what He promised in Isaiah 9:6, that a wonderful, mighty, peaceful ruler would come to govern them. Yet they had no notion the King they awaited would arrive as an infant in a stable.

Every Christmas we wait, engaging in the “advent” of the coming Christ. But sometimes, waiting as a child does for Christmas feels like old hat. Maybe you’ve experienced almost a complete year of waiting for God … waiting for an end to the chaos.

Now as Christmas and the close of another year approaches, we continue waiting for God to accomplish His plans.

How are you waiting for God?

Waiting is often out of our control. I don’t have a choice but to wait at the DMV or to get over a cold. But I can decide how I wait. Will I welcome positive influences? Give fear a seat at the table? Will I trust God?

What if we all waited for God to do His job with the same wonder, excitement, and assurance we adopt while waiting for Christmas?

I hear you. Waiting for Christmas hardly feels like a parallel comparison with our eagerness for change. Yet, we wait patiently for God because we know He’s faithful.

Isn’t that the truth in every case? Don’t we know the end? We know that “…for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). We also know God will make “all things new” (Revelation 21:5).

He’s proven Himself trustworthy in the history of the world (hello, He fulfilled hundreds of years’ worth of prophesy through His Son), and He’s proven Himself trustworthy in your life, too. Even if you don’t see it.

Waiting for God can feel deflating. But there’s much goodness to be had through obediently waiting for God. Let’s look at what it would look like if you always waited on Him with the same fervor you save for Christmas:

It would:

Dispel fear

I was lying in bed in the dark as tears involuntarily spilled. Fear. I was filled with fear of always writing “single” on my bio. I’ve waited for years for God to provide a husband, yet none has come.

Waiting for a spouse is my weakest place of waiting. Praying for marriage is the most long-term prayer I’ve prayed in my life; I know we all have one.

But when I remember the unfathomable extent of God’s love and the good things of what He intends for my future, I physically feel the fear lift. Waiting for God’s plan seems less risky. Like waiting for Christmas, remembering the “good things” awaiting us can dispel a heart of fear.

Loosen your fight for control

When waiting for Christmas, we don’t often feel the need to control every detail of the day. As we dream about being with loved ones, feasting, giving and receiving gifts, and so on, we trust it will still come.

What if we waited for God with the same assurance? He understands your thoughts and emotions even before you do and, having knitted your body together, comprehends all of your physical needs (check out Psalm 139). Let’s ask the Lord to help us surrender our perceived control and wait, knowing He’ll meet every true need.

Find holiday encouragement for you and your family in our Holiday Survival Guide.

Expand your confidence in God’s timing

We know when Christmas will get here. There’s a date marked on every calendar in case we forget.

Waiting for God to answer our prayers requires greater patience. Whether we’re waiting for employment, the return of a prodigal, or a marriage to heal, we’re unsure when or how our prayers will be answered. And yet, as with Christmas, we can trust God will answer. The answer may be “yes,” “no,” or “yes, but not yet,” but He won’t stonewall us.

Remind you where your hope lies

If waiting lives on the surface of our emotions, hope lays the foundation. It’s the “thrill of hope” in Christ that tethers our waiting. Longer seasons of waiting notoriously force our knees to the ground and increase our hunger for God.

Remember, it’s not the things He gives that fulfill us. It’s Himself we await. Christmas models this perfectly!

Enhance the strength of your heart.

Sometimes I think waiting is one of the most courageous things we can do.

Contrary to our “take a task by the horns” nature, waiting beckons us to rest. Yet waiting doesn’t excuse passivity. It entails courageously taking each new step into the darkness until He shines light on the answer.

And God promises to bless courageous waiting.

The psalmist David penned the inspired words, “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!,” (Psalm 27:14). As seasons of waiting ground our gaze to the Rock of our Salvation, we’re blessed with renewed strength. It amazes me that God would use our waiting as a means of strengthening.

As we await the coming of our Savior this Christmas and all that a new year may bring, ask God to help you wait well. None of us will be A+ students of waiting. I know I won’t. But I want to grow as a fearless, courageous waiter this year.

Copyright © 2020 by FamilyLife. All rights reserved.

Lauren Miller serves on staff with FamilyLife as a writer in Orlando, Florida, though she’ll always be a California girl. She graduated from Biola University and the Torrey Honors College where the Lord first planted in her a love for family and marriage ministry. As a single, she loves serving the youth at her church, watching British dramas, and reading a good book in her free time.