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What to Do When Waiting Wears You Down

Waiting is deceptive because it appears simple, easy… yet time again proves it’s one of the hardest things that we’ll ever do.

This week, I’ve invited Anna Haggard, co-author of A Fearless Leader, to share how we can wait well, even when it’s not easy.

Because let’s be honest: One way or another, we are all waiting for something. Meet Anna…

Waiting isn’t easy.

If you’ve ever waited months, years, or even decades for an unfulfilled desire—for a job, a child, a relationship, a degree, or a calling—you recognize waiting tests our faith.

Especially if we sense God himself has implanted certain longings in our hearts. We begin to wonder if God keeps his promises.

But as we wrestle in the waiting, we discover the waiting can be transformed into something unexpected: Waiting can become our boldest act of faith. 

Several years ago, I had the chance to walk along the Jezreel Valley, its loamy soil the desire of ancient kings. Its vineyards and bountiful fields supplied kings’ tables.

Jezreel is also the crucible of faith for Deborah, a shepherd of Israel (Judges 4–5). During a time of oppression, God gives her a vision—he promises to free the people from their enemies.

So, she gathers 10,000 men to the Jezreel Valley.

Having walked in this lush valley, I can visualize the scene. High on a mountain, Deborah is waiting with her troops. In the valley below, 900 enemy chariots are raging toward them—the most technologically advanced war machines of the era.

Without help, Deborah’s militia will be slaughtered. Her troops, ragtag farmers on foot, are without weapons (Judges 5:8). This isn’t battle; it’s genocide.

But instead of following conventional wisdom—ordering her troops to retreat, or declaring the mission impossible to the general, or devising her own schemes based on her military acumen—Deborah waits on God’s deliverance.

Anna Haggard

In Greek, there are two words for time: chronos (linear time) and kairos (the appointed time).

Today, in the West, we tend to live by chronos—a chronological timeline—whether in our 9-to-5 jobs, our educational calendars, or our scheduled vacations.

But kairos is that moment when heaven and earth collide. It’s when God enters the mire of our situations and transforms them.

Kairos = God breaking in.

That’s what Deborah waits for. And at the appointed moment, God breaks in.

God causes the heavens to break open—a deluge that becomes a flash flood. In the valley, the Kishon River roars to life, overflowing with tidal force. Some enemy chariots get mired in the mud. Others are swept downstream (Judges 5:4,20-21).

And Deborah routs her enemy.

Prior to God’s appointed time, everything visible around Deborah—the prowess of the enemy and her own ill-equipped troops—could have blinded her to God’s promise of deliverance.

Despite her circumstantial reality, she had to believe God would break in.

She had to wait in faith.

While in the Jezreel Valley, I looked for the vehicle of God’s deliverance—the Kishon River.

I expected to find a raging river, but it was dry season, and the riverbed was empty.

Nothing in this marshy, mud-encrusted river bottom hinted it was once the channel of God’s deliverance, a torrent to free God’s people.

Yet in faith, Deborah had called her troops to battle anyway:

 “Go! This is the day the Lord has given Sisera into your hands. Has not the Lord gone ahead of you?” (Judges 4:14).

 Has God promised good things for you?

Maybe it’s a career for which God has uniquely prepared you. Throughout your life, God has opened doors to provide education and opportunities to thrive in this vocation. But now you’re stuck, unable to use the skills for which you’ve been equipped.

Or maybe you’ve long desired a child or relationship and sense God has truly promised to provide these good gifts to you. But it’s been a period of waiting.

Or maybe it’s a ministry calling for which God has gifted you. But you’ve been asked to sideline your gifts.

Or maybe it’s something else entirely.

Continue to pray for rain—for God’s breaking in—for your kairos moment. For during the appointed time, God will pour out what you need.

And that dried up riverbed will become a raging river.

 But it’s in the waiting that we declare in faith God keeps all his promises.

I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord (Psalm 27:13-14).

Take courage, dear one, in this period of waiting, for God will break in for you.

About the new book: A Fearless Leader: A Bible Story About Deborah

Deborah is an imaginative and perceptive young girl who makes good decisions in the heat of the moment. When she sees her village is about to be invaded by King Jabin and his general, Sisera, she bravely warns the people of danger, and everyone flees. But that doesn’t stop Jabin and Sisera’s vicious attacks. As Deborah grows up, she becomes a natural leader, sharing God’s will with the people and helping them solve difficult problems. Eventually, God calls her to help defeat Sisera’s army so Israel can finally live in peace. With God’s help, you can be just like Deborah—called and courageous! Find out more at calledandcourageousgirls.com

You can watch the trailer to the book, here.

A Fearless Leader

Bio:

Anna Haggard is coauthor of The Spiritual Danger of Doing Good and Mission Drift, a 2015 Christianity Today Book Award winner. A writer and editor for the Brethren in Christ U.S., Anna previously was a staff writer for HOPE International. She is delighted to write for children (her favorite people).

 

 

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