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By Lisa Meadows Garfield


So much of life is waiting. Waiting in line, waiting for an appointment, waiting for the right partner or for a child, waiting for that same child to finally leave home . . . waiting your turn, waiting for your ship to come in, waiting for the Lord to fulfill His promises, to get down here right now and fix everything.

I am not a patient waiter. Some of us are wired to look to the past and some to lean into the future. I’m a future-leaner. I have to work hard to relax my mind and stay in the moment, to not miss the present because my head is in the future. I hate to wait.

But I love the Lord. And I’m willing to wait upon the Lord, to trust His timing over my own sense of urgency. Almost a decade ago, the Lord made me a significant personal promise, one of those “impossible” ones, like Sarah’s old-age pregnancy or Mary’s virgin conception. I call it the Big Revelation. I still can’t see any way for it to be fulfilled. And I was given no hint about the divine timetable. So I simply wait. Like Sarah and Abraham, who were already past childbearing age when they were promised a son. Fifteen years passed, and still no child. All they got then was a reassurance from the Lord that the promise was still valid. Ten more years passed before Sarah got pregnant and Isaac finally arrived. That’s 25 years of waiting on the Lord to fulfill a promise that was laughable even when it was made.

Sue Monk Kidd, in her marvelous book, When the Heart Waits, writes of “active” waiting as she waded and waited through a spiritual crisis. Waiting isn’t just sitting around . . . waiting. It’s a living faith, an active hope. It’s waiting on the Lord, like a waiter or waitress, commonly called a server. While we wait upon the Lord, we wait on the Lord. We believe, we trust, we serve, we wait.

I don’t imagine that Sarah waited in perfect patience for a quickening in her womb every day of those 25 years. She began her wait by laughing in disbelief. Doubt and disbelief, especially as we wait for “impossible” promises,  are part of the process and it does no good to condemn ourselves for it. Still, I wonder if the Lord gives us these waiting periods for our own good, to give us the benefit of time to grow our faith and our trust, until no matter what the evidence — or lack thereof — we believe. We wait upon the Lord, knowing His promises are sure.

What are you waiting for? How do you wait upon the Lord? Has the Lord ever rewarded your patient waiting with a promise fulfilled?


About Lisa Meadows Garfield

Lisa Meadows Garfield is an award-winning poet and author of “For Love of a Child: Stories of Adoption.“ An avid traveler, she is generally away from her homebase in Vancouver, Washington 9 months of the year, exploring the wide, wonderful world. Mother of 6 and Nonnie to 11, Lisa loves sunshine, words, good friends, and especially, Jesus.

3 thoughts on “WAITING”

  1. I'm waiting for a diagnosis for my son. I'm waiting to find out if my contract will continue next year. I'm waiting for some assignment grades.

    I'm rubbish at waiting. I've been promised things by the Lord, and some days I hold the promises safe and close, other times I feel like I'm throwing them against heaven's windows yelling "HHHEEEEELLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOO????"

    I waited for 4 years once to have my youngest son. That was tough. My favourite scripture is Caleb, who waited 40 years then said "Give me my mountain." Some days I'm inspired by his patience and efforts, some days I think he was a raving lunatic. I'm waiting, and some days that's easier and prettier than other days. Thank you for your post, it's oddly reassuring (today!) that others are waiting with me.

  2. "Wait upon the Lord" makes me think of serving, as in waiting tables, or a lady-in-waiting (to the queen). Serving the Lord means obeying the commandments and actively living our faith. That is what makes the "waiting", as in time going by, more bearable; by focusing on what we already have, or already can do we can more patiently wait for what we don't have or can't do.
    At a time when I desperately wanted to be married and having children I "whined" to the Lord about my situation and felt the Spirit saying to me, "Sometimes you have to wait for something so it will be more meaningful to you." And it was!


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