By ANNIE WESCHE
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness. “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in Him.” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul that seeks Him.
Lamentations 3:21-25 (RSV)
“Sweetheart, your time is coming and it’s going to be beyond wonderful!” Mum said as she looked at me with tears in her eyes. This came from the woman who, along with my dear dad, has prayed more faithfully, fervently, and longer than any other for my future husband. Earlier that day we had seen yet another engagement announcement and as it brought smiles to our faces, it also kindled hope within our hearts — me for the thought of my own marriage one day, and Mum for the anticipation of one day having a son-in-law and grandkids to shower with love.
As we sat together talking about the hope of the future, my heart felt a new depth of longing. But at the same time, there was a precious settledness as my longing rested safely in the confidence I’ve grown to know and trust — confidence in the goodness of God. “Mum, it feels as if so much of my life has been centered around waiting … but, the more I wait upon God, the more I find that it is always, always worth it.”
It took over seven years of waiting and praying to come work in ministry with Eric and Leslie Ludy. After reading some of their earliest books, God set a desire within my heart to help them as they reached this generation with the message of living set apart for Jesus — a message that had transformed my own relationship with Christ. The Lord orchestrated extraordinary events to eventually lead me to Colorado, but His story required years of waiting, wondering, and fervent praying. But those same years of waiting brought me continually to the feet of Jesus and were the very preparation I needed for what has now become over 12 years of working alongside this Christ-centered couple and ministry! I needed maturing for what was ahead of me, and God, in His goodness, lovingly accomplished this in the waiting season.
It took 29 months of waiting and living in Haiti before the two small children in my care finally made it home to their waiting adoptive family. And within those long months we faced ongoing uncertainties, agonizing delays, multiple complications and discomforts, and painful opposition to the adoption finalizing and to our hope of ever bringing them home. But today, those two little darlings are home, and thriving in their Heaven-appointed family. And everything I experienced in those difficult days of waiting deepened my knowledge of God’s grace, strength, peace, help, and faithfulness. I learned through all the hard how truly real, present, and powerful Jesus is in the lives of His children, how His Word can be trusted, and how He is right there in the midst of every bit of it, carrying us through and accomplishing things we can’t yet fully see — all for our highest good and His glory.
It’s been over 20 years that I have waited and prayed for my husband. When I was just 13, I fully surrendered my life to Jesus Christ and with that, I gave Him my love life and longing for marriage. I set my love story into the capable, trustworthy hands of the Author of romance and the worthy One who gave His very life for me. And by His enabling grace, protection, and faithfulness through the years, my hope still waits there — in His hands, in His leading, provision, timing, and choice. After 20 years of waiting, this promise still holds true: “The Lord is good to those who wait for Him.”
In waiting, there are times when an agonizing wrestling match happens between our longing and our trust in God. Will it ever happen? How much longer will it take? Is God even interested in this area of my life? Does He see? When will He come through? Why is it so easy for others? Will I ever marry? Will I ever have children? Will they ever come to know Jesus? Will this sickness and pain ever end? Will God be true to His promises? Is the waiting worth it?
Satan wants us to worry and wallow there in our what-ifs, and then roll us right over into fear, doubt, self-pity, and resentment — and if we stay there, it is utterly destructive to our faith, peace, purpose, and joy. But God, who is rich in love and mercy and goodness wants to answer each longing, thought, and question with His powerful Word. In Him, we will find everything we need to wait with courage, faith, trust, and yes, dear friend, even joy — because in His presence is fullness of joy! So in your waiting, seek Him. Arm yourself with truth — hide God’s Word in your heart, meditate on His promises, spend time studying His character, get to know Him through stillness and prayer, and set praise on your lips for all He has already done for you, starting with your salvation. Just think upon all He has done to accomplish for you that amazing miracle of true love!
I am well familiar with the bait to take matters into our own hands — by the culture all around us and by our own fear that our desire won’t ever be fulfilled. Years ago I listened to a sermon by David Wilkerson that greatly strengthened me on this point. He exhorted, “Do not manipulate. Do not trust the flesh. Flesh creates flesh … Wait on God for His time. He is not going to do it till it is right … The only remedy for fear is trust.” Trust in His presence. Trust in His sovereignty. Trust in His character. Trust in His knowledge. Trust in His promises. Trust in His love.
Wilkerson continues, “You may not know the time when the answer will come, but you know the One who will answer.” Is this enough to rest your waiting heart upon? If it isn’t — if you are shaky at all on this one point — don’t move forward in the flesh to try and obtain on your own what you are waiting for. Spend time getting to know the One who will do it. Get into His Word, get into times of prayer, draw near to the heart of your God — and your need, your want, your greatest desire will settle securely into peaceful waiting and buoyant hope in the light of all that Your God is and all He has done for you in His perfect love.
How I wish that I could reach out to you as you read this, take your hands in mine, look directly into your eyes, and you could see the truly beaming smile on my face as I tell you, “The waiting is such an incredibly precious part of the story, my friend!” We gain so much in Christ when we are waiting upon Him! Don’t miss the opportunity to fully receive all God is doing for you in this season. However long it may be, it’s not one day longer than the Lord has purposed. He is working on your behalf, putting things into place, orchestrating events, refining your desires, growing you, readying you for what He has. Wait for Him. He will not fail you. When the wait grows long and the ache intensifies, let your heart more fervently go after knowing and loving the One who has something far better for you than you could ever hope for or imagine. (See Ephesians 3:20.) Wait for Him. Be of good courage and He will strengthen your heart. (See Psalm 31:24.) Wait for Him! He is good to those who wait for Him, and to those who seek Him.