To gain the full Razorback college experience, I recently got up at 4:30 a.m. with a couple of my friends to wait in the student section line for the Arkansas vs. Alabama football game.
While the morning cold and then afternoon heat during 10 hours of waiting for the game to begin were not the best, there were some really fun sides to the waiting: I got to bond with some girls that I met through my sorority; I got to meet some new people in line; I got to be there for the third quarter of the game when Arkansas started to show ‘Bama our true colors, and I got to check a box on my bucket list.
The outcome of the game was not what I wanted, but waiting in line was one of the most fun things I have done since coming to college. Had I not undergone the long hours of waiting, I would never have been able to list all of the abovementioned wonders of my day. You can say that “the wait was worth it.”
Often the seasons of waiting in our lives are like how my waiting in line was. There’s the heat and the cold; the side of waiting that makes us question why or what we are even waiting for. There’s the loss; the side of waiting that makes us wonder if anything good can come out of this. But then, in that waiting, there are things like the bonding of friends at dinner after the game; the side of waiting that helps us to know that even the losses of the past are nothing compared to the joy that God has planned for our future. There’s hope. And unlike the hope of a Razorback win that day, when it comes to God, hope is never diminished and never unfulfilled.
Periods of waiting are sometimes overlooked. In a world that moves at a constant, quick pace, most cannot even slow down for a second to realize they are in one. Others know they are in a period of waiting but would love nothing more than to be out of it. Most of the time, I am part of the latter group. As someone who craves control, I would love nothing more than to see God’s grand picture for my life. But there’s a reason he only lets us see one puzzle piece at a time: if not for periods of waiting, where else would we learn to trust him? These seasons are perfect areas for exponential growth in faith. One of my favorite Bible verses is “Who hopes for what one sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance…and the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.” (Romans 8:24-27) Not our will, but God’s.
The word “waiting” makes it seem like we are waiting on God to work in our lives. This is not the case. God is already working, and he never stops. However, God is waiting on our acceptance of his plan. Like I said before, the joy that God has planned for our future is nothing compared to what we are experiencing now in the waiting. However, the one thing that God asks for in this season is acceptance and trust. Acceptance of not only his plan for our lives but of his love which carries us through a time in our life that is not necessarily a part of our plan. He also asks for our trust that his outcome will make us happier than we have ever been. If we continue looking to the past, we lose our trust in him because we think that where we were is better than where he could take us. If we try to take our lives into our own hands, we decline his help and his plan for our lives.
Challenge yourself in your next season of waiting, and let it be a period of outstanding growth in love of our Lord. Have faith in the good that he has planned for you. Trust him with your life and with your happiness. After all, what do you have to lose?
Annie Wendel is a freshman at the University of Arkansas Fayetteville. She attends Christ the King Church in Little Rock.
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