How do we wait on God when life turns us upside down and inside out?

Saturday morning cartoons became a ritual in my girlhood. I grabbed my bowl of sugared Cheerios and planted myself in front of the television. Each heroic character in my favorite— “Super Friends”—seemed so powerful. They controlled their situations, even when all the opposition seemed to overwhelm them. 

My own life allowed little control. Being bullied throughout elementary school instilled fear in me. I felt trapped and like rejection was my only true companion.

In time, I learned how to fit in and control my reactions in most situations. Learning to control what I could to avoid pain seemed a worthy goal. My plans left nothing to chance. I was good at this. This mindset worked for many years.

Small white bell-shaped flowers-some open and some still closed . . . a symbol of how sometimes we wait on God and it takes time for Him to do the necessary work in our lives
Why It's Important to Wait on God in Hard Seasons 5

Why it’s hard to wait on God in hard seasons

Even after becoming a Christian, I believed I had control of my life. Control made me feel safe. I mistakenly thought I could orchestrate circumstances to minimize pain and trials.

When control is our end, the idea of waiting on God seems scary.

After Hubs and I married, we tried to become pregnant. God used our inability to conceive to show me that, no, I was not in control. I chafed at this reality. Waiting on God for a baby didn’t figure into my plans. 

We considered fertility treatments. We did “all the things” to encourage pregnancy. Nothing worked. I fought God. Every month, every time a friend announced her pregnancy, every Mother’s Day pain stabbed my heart.

What feels painful to us can be purifying in God’s eyes.

Control of our lives

As humans, and maybe especially as women, we crave control. Whether we’re trying to mask a fear of something (pain, heartache, the unknown) or because we don’t feel safe allowing anyone control over us, this desire can drive us to do drastic things.

Avoiding pain

God used our season of infertility to reveal wounds I’d buried deep inside since girlhood. I tried to avoid facing them, but this only led to a different sort of pain. 

Only as I allowed the Lord to deal with my heart wounds—when I got real with Him—did I begin to change. His “heart work” hurt. But to not allow God to do the necessary healing would’ve hurt much more. I learned to listen and wait on God as He spoke the truth over the lies I believed. 

Waiting on God in hard seasons can leave us feeling helpless. But, it’s often in the waiting times, when our Father does His most amazing work.

Why It's Important to Wait on God in Hard Seasons—It’s often in the waiting times, when our Father does His most amazing work. #tellhisstory #trustinggod Click To Tweet

Why it’s important to wait on God

Until we’re willing to wait on God—to trust Him—we’re fighting Him, even being disobedient to Him. But when we choose to trust God, our hearts begin to heal. 

We each must learn that God’s plans for us are far better than any we craft for ourselves. When we trust God with our uncertainties, our pain, our heartaches, we give Him “permission” to do what He must do in our lives. When we trust our Father in our waiting times, we can know His peace.

Even when God’s plans feel painful, they’re for our best, and they prepare us for future plans He has for us. Often, that growth takes time and requires us to wait with trust.

Mindset shifts

How do we wait on God in a healthy way?

  • Remember who God is. He is always trustworthy, and He’s the One who loves us most.
  • Decide whom we trust more: Our Father or ourselves.
  • God never wastes our pain. He always has reasons for what He allows into our lives.

How do we wait on God?

Learning to wait on God is a discipline forged over a lifetime, not pasted into us in a single moment. God gives us many opportunities to learn how to wait well. What helps us to wait on God well:

  • Yield our desires, our pain, our confusion to Him.
  • Trust Him more than we trust ourselves. He promises to bring us through hard seasons in His perfect way and time.
  • Remember why we trust Him. Our Father is trustworthy, faithful, and unchanging. And He loves us more than we can understand. Though we may not know why God has us in a painful season—why we must wait for His deliverance—we can rest in the truth that He loves and is for us.
Why It's Important to Wait on God in Hard Seasons—Learning to wait on God is a discipline forged over a lifetime, not pasted into us in a single moment #tellhisstory #waitongod Click To Tweet
Flower blooms opening up, a reminder of the beauty that happens when we wait on God
Why It's Important to Wait on God in Hard Seasons 6


Watching Saturday morning cartoons didn’t teach me how to take control of my life. Nor did those superheroes equip me for the hard seasons I’ve walked through. They especially didn’t teach me how to wait on God. But learning how to offer my plans into God’s hands and trust Him to lead me through the painful seasons has shown me what real control is.

When we wait on God in our hard seasons, He uses our trials to teach us how to draw closer to Him, to prepare us for the good things He has, and to teach us how to become more like Jesus. What we control is how we respond to our Father.

God treasures our lives and hearts. He loves us, and He will do what’s necessary to conform us into the image of Jesus. Why? Because The Lord knows where we are right now is not the final picture of the work he began in our lives (Philippians 1:6).

Pain, suffering, and trials are tools God uses to shape us into the person who can best reflect His glory.

What about you? What helps you wait on God to work in hard seasons? What is one mindset shift that’s helped you wait on God well?

Next week, we’ll link up at Donna’s at Serenity and Suffering. Be sure to bookmark this so you can find it easily. 😊

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