The sea is a fascinating thing. Tides rise and fall. Currents shift. Hurricanes brew and move with unparalleled power. There is a natural ebb and flow of the ocean’s waters and such is so with our lives… Our lives move back and forth between calm waters and stormy seas.
If you’ve ever found yourself in a storm, you know that navigating can be difficult or even feel hopeless. In the storm, God may be asking us to wait, instead of sail… Waiting allows us to take deep breaths and evaluate how to proceed. Sometimes, we need to rest, wait, and weather the storm. But how can we wait well? What does waiting look like when you find yourself in a storm? I don’t have all the answers friends, but I can tell you several truths that I’ve clung to when seas get rough.
1. Waiting is biblical.
There are many references to waiting in scripture: “Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord” Psalm 27:14. “Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield” Psalm 33:20. And so it goes…
Waiting out life’s storms is not an easy thing to endure. Waiting reveals our deepest needs and insecurities. Waiting through life’s toughest seasons may reveal our closest idols, and how comfortable we are with actually trusting God’s timing and plan for our lives. *Cough, that’s me friend*
See, I have to believe that God uses the storms and waiting periods to teach us truths we would not have taken to heart otherwise. God is not in the business of hurting us. He is in the business of making us new. “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good…” Romans 8:28. He longs to fix our brokenness, to heal our wounds, and to redeem us. God uses periods of waiting to bless us, not to hurt us.
Please follow me closely here, waiting should not be confused with laziness, confusion, or excusing sin in our lives. Seek out godly counsel and scripture to discern the difference between when to wait and when to act. Waiting allows us to see clearly how to biblically navigate and proceed in our lives.
2. Emotions are indicators of reality, not fabricators of reality.*
Perhaps every good thing is birthed through waiting. Waiting can feel like the labor pains between point A and point B, and if we aren’t careful, our emotions could cloud our vision into thinking there is no end to our storm. Often times waiting puts us in a season of stillness or lingering. Waiting can cause distress in those of us who thrive on activity and the need for control. Waiting is most difficult when we pride ourselves in competency and handling our own circumstances with our own two hands. At some point we must lay down the need for control, and give up the need to navigate every choppy wave that comes our way. Our emotions can signal hurt, or pain, or fear, but they shouldn’t dictate the truths we cling to while we wait for our circumstances to change.
3. Storms pass and tides change.
In our struggles, let us acknowledge what the Lord has demonstrated to us through his creation: that tides do change, storms lose their strength, and there are new mercies each morning. God allows both the beginning and end of the storm. Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning (Psalm 30:5). Friends, this is our hope. Our hope is not in that storms never come, but that they are temporary. We can cling to the one whose truth is eternal. We can’t change the tides, but we can put our hope in the one who does.
So maybe you’re in the midst of a storm, and waiting for your tides to change. Maybe you’re in a season of infertility, or financial ruin, or a career change. Maybe your family is stuck in a rut, your spouse seems distant, or you’re wondering if real friendship actually exists.
Let’s be real with our struggles friends, admit that life is tough, and press into grace.
Certainly there are storms ahead, but I am here to tell you, there is hope in the waiting, for we have a good Father. He knows what we need and when we need it. He knows our pain, our addictions, and our messes intimately. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. May we gather together and love each other well in the waiting. May we look ahead to the horizon, through sun or storm, and have enough strength to echo across the waters of our lives “Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home….”
-Lyrics from Amazing Grace
Words by Full-Time Contributor, Lauren Rund