when waiting patiently feels like an impossible task.

“The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.“ Lamentations 3:25-26 (NIV)

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I sat on the bed and unclenched my hands, trying to pray. From my perspective, the past season had gone painfully wrong and I was currently stuck in a season that was beginning to feel more and more like a desert.

My work was overwhelming, with deadlines that came too fast and too often. My relationship status was still ‘single’, which came with endless comments and questions from others. My weight loss journey plateaued, it was beginning to feel like an uphill battle with no results. And my finances came in just as quickly as they went out.

Externally, I was busier than I’d ever been, but on the inside, my soul was barely limping along. So I did what I always do — I tried to figure out how to fix everything. Maybe if I rearranged my work calendar, or worked out more or made more money or was more intentional— maybe then, things would get better. Easier. More hopeful.

But the more I tried to figure things out, the more overwhelmed I became. I started crying out to the Lord, asking the unanswerable question of why: Why were things so hard? Why was there such struggle? Why did I feel so stuck?

God answered me, but not in response to my whys.

As I sat and prayed, God reminded me that all the things I was so desperately trying to secure — life, health and provision — come from Him. I can’t heal myself. I can’t force friendships or relationships. I can’t do my job successfully apart from Him. I was quickly realizing that I can’t in fact run the world. God alone gives us what we need.

All I can do? Pray. And wait.

I pushed out a hard breath as the tears slowed. Waiting is a recurrent theme in my life, but it has never gotten easier. It’s always painful, because it forces me to remember — again — that I’m not in control. I can’t give myself what I need; I can only ask God to heal, renew and provide.

I sat and prayed that God would change our circumstances. Then I opened His Word and read verses that declared that I already have all that I need in Christ. Sitting on my bed, I came to terms with the fact that the Lord has never promised me marriage, He has never promised me a family of my own, or an easy life,  or a full bank account, or perfect health. But He has promised me more of Himself.

I may have to wait for everything else, but I never have to wait for God.

But why is waiting still so hard? Personally, I think it’s because waiting reveals our hearts and how much we want to have control. And in order to wait well, we have to give up that control and stop striving to fix things — and seek Him instead.

Our difficult circumstances may not change easily or quickly, but as we wait on God and put our hope in Him, rather than hoping in a change of situation, we’ll find that He Himself is more than enough for us.  In Christ, we have all that we need.