In waiting times, do you ever anticipate the outcome?
A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I finished our Saturday morning breakfast he’d prepared, then talked about how to spend the rest of our day. He asked, “How about we take the bikes, park at the dam, then ride out to the beaver ponds to go fishing?” My quick, “Sure!” surprised him.
Wanting to take advantage of the rare early April mid-70s temperatures and sunshine, we decided to visit a local state park near our house.
We parked his truck, unloaded our bikes, then trekked down paved and dirt roads until we reached the beaver ponds two-and-a-half miles away from the parking lot.
My husband is an avid outdoorsman who loves to hunt, fish, and spend quality time in nature. Tromping through the woods relaxes him. Me—not so much because, well, you see, there are snakes in the woods. But as we move deeper into this season of our lives, I want to spend as much quality time as I can doing what he enjoys. Because he doesn’t complain when I want to visit Michael’s or Hobby Lobby for “just for a quick minute.”
Sunshine streamed through the trees as we started pedaling, pausing every so often so I could take pictures. About halfway to our destination, my excitement waned as my muscles started to protest the slight inclines. I hadn’t packed enough water. So, while I wanted to empty my bottle, I sipped sparingly because the path before me seemed never-ending.
But once we arrived, the excitement of what was about to happen kicked in. We were looking forward to a quiet afternoon of fishing and spending quality time together.
Every good story needs a plot twist, our first one was this—we had stopped at a swinging bridge to take photos. As Hubby got back on his bike, he snapped off the end of his fishing pole. Thankfully, he’d brought two because I planned to fish as well. I said he could fish while I took pictures.
We arrived at the beaver ponds, soaked in the raw beauty of the wildness around us, and then my husband proceeded to cast his rod to fish. I crouched in weeds to get some cool shots of a Canada goose sitting on her nest, a small waterfall, and a beaver home constructed of sticks and mud.
Unfortunately, the beaver ponds hadn’t been stocked with trout as he’d hoped. So cast after cast offered nothing for his efforts. Instead of pedaling to other ponds farther down the road, we chose to head back. On the way back to the truck, at one point, we chose to stop and walk our bikes up the slight incline instead of taxing our already-tired muscles.
Insert plot twist two—while chatting and soaking in the sunshine, something slithered in front of my foot!!! I screamed and froze in place while a two-foot garter snake crossed the dirt road into the grass. With my heart racing and my breathing hitched, I forced myself to calm and not melt into a hysterical puddle on the road.
I have an intense phobia of snakes. It was a HUGE deal for me to be able to move past the snake and continue on our way.
Despite these minor setbacks, we had a very enjoyable day . . . yes, even after I found two ticks on me while taking a shower.
Different Waiting Times
Why am I telling you this rambling story? Because that afternoon can be paralleled to different waiting times in our lives.Wait: How to Best Anticipate Outcomes in Waiting Times—We make a plan, take time to prepare, and then anticipate an experience only to have it not go as we’d hoped @lisajordan #tellhisstory #waiting #faith Click To Tweet
We make a plan, take time to prepare, and then anticipate an experience only to have it not go as we’d hoped. Or maybe we move forward only to get stuck in a time of waiting. When we’re going through difficult seasons, that waiting can seem like it takes forever. The anticipation of what’s to come—even if it’s positive—can be a burden.
How Do We Get Through Waiting Times
How do we get through it? Two words—faith and trust.
I love this verse:
Have faith in God and trust Him to keep His promises. It’s easy to say and more difficult to do. But if we make an intentional effort to keep focused on Him during waiting times, then anticipating the outcome will deepen our faith and grow our abilities for the next time.Wait: How to Best Anticipate Outcomes in Waiting Times—But if we make an intentional effort to keep focused on Him during waiting times, then anticipating the outcome will deepen our faith and grow our abilities @lisajordan… Click To Tweet
Our faith is tested during those waiting seasons. Waiting for the Lord to fulfill His promises strengthens us and gives us the courage to wait with trusting hearts and bold faith.
What about you? How have you grown in your walk as you’ve waited for the Lord to act in some area of your life? How do you handle the anticipation of the outcome?
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Bio: Heart, home, and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories with those elements come naturally. Represented by Cynthia Ruchti of Books & Such Literary Management, Lisa is an award-winning author for Love Inspired, writing contemporary Christian romances that promise hope and happily ever after. Her latest book, A Love Redeemed, released in September 2020. She is the operations manager for Novel Academy, powered by My Book Therapy. Happily married to her own real-life hero for over thirty years, Lisa and her husband have two grown sons. When she isn’t writing, Lisa enjoys family time, kayaking, good books, and being creative with words, fibers, and photos. Visit her at lisajordanbooks.com
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Thank you for sharing, Lisa. I’m learning to be more of an outdoors person with my husband. We camp and hike and make videos for our YouTube channel. Like you, I’m most concerned with snakes. Once while my husband wanted my photo besde a huge tree on a trail to show it’s ginormous size, I saw a snake move in the grass and I froze until I found a way to go the opposite direction. Yikes!
Love this truth: “But if we make an intentional effort to keep focused on Him during waiting times, then anticipating the outcome will deepen our faith and grow our abilities for the next time.”
Karen, I grinned when I read about you learning to be more of an outdoors person. When Hubs and I were first married, he wanted to hike a lot more often than I did. Now, we’re the other way around. 😉 Snakes can be unsettling, can’t they? Thanks for sharing your story here.
Snakes are so unnverving! Where we live – tics are even more dangerous with the Lone Star Tic bites giving Alpha-Gal meat allergies (I have to be careful when eating meat now from anything with a hoof (and a rabbit). I think tics un-nerve me more than snakes! – but to the real point of your post – I think the most important part of living is in the wait of a prayer sent out, of a dream being walked out. I love reading the ends of books first – I want the prayer answered. I used to live as if holding my breath until prayers were answered – and that is no way to live. When I realized that the wait is where the good stuff, the important stuff happens – burdens slid off and life became so much more beautiful! I loved your post – I think it’s message is one of the most life-changing messages we all need to hear!
Maryleigh, yes, snakes CAN be unnerving! But, I understand the issue about ticks as well. We have them here, too, and I’m always a wee bit nervous when we walk through the woods. You made me smile when you mentioned your “like” of reading a book’s end first. I agree, the wait is where the good stuff, the important things happen. When we’re open to the Lord in those seasons, He has a way of showing up in the most surprising ways. Thank you so much for stopping by!
Lisa, I love your story! To answer your question I have found in this time of waiting for physical healing from Chronic disease (including chronic pain) to be very productive for Him indeed & spiritually progressive!
I know this may sound strange but I really have come to cherish this time in waiting with the Lord! You’re most welcome to join me in a cuppa at Tea With Jennifer!
Jennifer, I understand chronic pain. I have rheumatoid arthritis, and I’m currently in remission–Praise God! The last five years have forced me to draw on His peace and His strength to get me through the day. I’m so glad you’re choosing to cherish instead of distance yourself from the Lord.
Praise God for your remission Lisa! 😀
I love how you describe the day’s setbacks as “plot twists,” Lisa. That kind of puts them in a different light, doesn’t it? I’m glad you were able to spend that time with your husband, despite the snake and no fish. 🙂 I try to hold my expectations loosely when I’m waiting for something, because I never know when I’m going to encounter one of those plot twists myself. (And now, thanks to you, I have a new name for them.) 🙂
Lois, I’m the same way–I’ve learned to release expectations because the unexpected ends up happening too often. I’m glad you like plot twists. To me, it offers a more positive perspective. 🙂
It sounds like a wonderful day together, despite the snake! so glad you and your husband were able to take that time! And your day certainly has lessons for us as we wait for something we dream for ! Which park is it?
Kathy, it’s a small state park in NW PA. We love to walk the trails, take pictures, fish in the lake, and go kayaking up there. SO peaceful. We used to take our boys camping there when they were younger.
Thank you for sharing your adventure with your husband, Lisa, and for the analogy to waiting. Waiting times are hard, but it’s where God grows us the most, isn’t it? Love and blessings to both of you!
Trudy, you’re right. Waiting times definitely bring about growth in our hearts and lives. Sending love and blessings back your way!
Yes, Trudy. You’re so right! Waiting produces growth and strength. If God gave us what we wanted when we wanted it, we wouldn’t really need to lean on Him, would we?
Passing this on to some loves ones. Thank you.
We’re so glad this was encouraging, Lauren!
Thank you for sharing it, Lauren.
Knowing God is with us during our waiting times can bring comfort.
Yes, experiencing His presence gives us the strength and courage to wait or move forward, depending on His prompting.
The day you and your hubby spent biking through the woods sounds awesome to me, even if it did involve snakes and an unsuccessful fishing trip. Just rambling through the woods is the perfect way to spend a spring morning, in my opinion! We never know what lies ahead. We make plans and God smiles.
Laurie, the highlight of the trip was just spending quality time together. Despite some of the setbacks, we had a great day!
Waiting can be hard, especially if it is a long wait or the outcome wasn’t what we wanted. As with al things, we have to yield those desires to Him. Sometimes it’s a struggle, but ultimately He knows best. Often He has hidden blessings that we would not have had if not for the wait.
I hear you, Barbara. I’ve been praying about something for more than 20 years. I know I need to keep trusting God, but there are times when my heart gets weary. We need to keep trusting and hold onto the faith that He has our best in store.
God can definitely teach us through the waiting and the times when things don’t go according to our plans. For me, those times often remind me of my need for him and cause me to seek him more.
So true, Lesley. Those difficult times are great reminders for when times are going well. Seeking Him in all things grows our faith and our ability to trust Him more each day.
Well, back here where I come from
I am a-spittin’ blood,
and it’s clear that the outcome
won’t be very good.
But I ain’t of a mind to cry,
it’s just the way life goes,
and ’till my well of days runs dry
I’ll smile, for Heaven knows
that my life’s had ups and downs,
but I’ve lived it, every minute,
worked with tyrants and with clowns,
drank past the legal limit,
and though it’s had its share of pain
I’d gladly do it all again.
Andrew, I loved what you said about living every minute even through the ups and downs. I’m so glad we serve a God who helps us through those ups and downs.
I love how our Heavenly Father is always teaching new things, even if He has to upset our plans to do so.
I believe He allows those upsets to happen so we are willing to see those new things He has in store for us. 🙂
Oh, my! Your beaver dam-snake story brought back memories of Pedro and inhaling down a creek with our dogs (the sand on the trail was too hot for their poor paws). We didn’t know the creek would have multiple beaver dams, and ended up through wading arm-pit high water (on me—he’s 6’2”). I had a heavy camera bag I was holding over my head as I moved through the water. He and the dogs had gotten way ahead. Suddenly A 6-FOOT LONG SNAKE swam right in front of me. I’m not afraid of snakes on land, but one surprising me like that in the water made me shriek! This also happened during a waiting time—we were in the process of moving to a new state and a new job for hubs. I didn’t find work for a year. But that verse about God being with me while I walked through the (snake-filled) waters always brought me comfort.
Anita, you are so much braver than I am. I’m sure I would have dropped my camera and had a meltdown in the water! I’m so glad God is our Comfort, no matter what we’re going through…or walking through.
Waiting can be so trying at times. But you make such a good point for us all to remember >>> “If we make an intentional effort to keep focused on Him during waiting times, then anticipating the outcome will deepen our faith and grow our abilities for the next time.” We must be intentional if we want to maintain our focus. Beautiful post and photos!
Joanna, I’m so glad that resonated with you. Being intentional deepens our focus and motivation to love Him well and to strengthen our walk with Him.
I lived reading about your sunny Saturday adventure with all its plot twists. God provided you with a parable to bless readers! Thank you, Lisa (and Jeanne)!
Michele, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. Thank you for your sweet words.
Oh, my! YES…those waiting times are so filled with the “MY” intentions even though I do not particularly want those as the outcome. But the more I learn to wait, the sweeter the time is with the Lord. God’s plans are sure and mine are…well…not so sure! Thank you for a lovely bike ride and beautiful scenery. I almost felt riding through those trees.
Even if the outcome isn’t what I wanted, I have to keep trusting in His perfect plan…and perfect peace for me. And I agree with you–waiting does unveil those sweet times with Him.