The Art of Waiting

This time of year, spring fever starts to hit me hard. We are so close to spring, and yet I know that March is too unpredictable to plant my garden, plan picnics, or schedule barbecues.

There are a lot of things we have to wait on--things like gardening weather, Christmas, and our vacation to the Bahamas.

But we also have to wait for things like a teenager learning responsibility, a loved one recovering, an emotional wound healing.

It doesn't matter what your stage of life, we are always waiting for something. And we are often chafing during the waiting. How can you "wait well" and make the most of the time you have? Here are four tips that have helped me:

  • Don't wait for "perfect." Perfect doesn't happen in our fallen world. God created us with a cavity that will only be filled by perfection--by Himself. Fill your empty hole with His perfection, but strive for "beautiful" or "meaningful" instead of "perfect" in your life.

  • Take time to listen. What are you supposed to learn while you're waiting? What are those around you talking about? How can you listen well to their joys and sorrows when you are in the middle of your own struggles?

  • Invest in others. When we get stuck in our season of waiting, we tend to forget the needs around us. But just because we're caught in the grip of waiting doesn't mean that those around us don't have needs we can fill.

  • Evaluate your goal. Your goal is not your promotion at work, your college loan being paid off, your knee surgery finally, finally being scheduled. Your goal should always be "growth through circumstances." While you wait for that promotion that is so slow in coming, are you growing?

Waiting is never fun and never easy. But this waiting is a season that will pass, much like the seemingly endless winter. But spring--and hope--will come. Don't lose heart.

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