I wish I was a morning person. In hundreds of little ways, it would make life easier. But until I’ve had my first or sometimes third cup of coffee, my words during those early hours are few.
There is one thing other than school schedules and kids’ activities that will get me out of bed before the sun, though. Even on a vacation when my boys are still sleeping, I will roll out of the covers, tip toe across the floor and slip on my flip-flops. It’s a sunrise. More specifically, a sunrise over the ocean. My love for photography and nature makes me ignore the tug of the warm mattress, yawning all the way to the boardwalk.
Last year in early summer, I knew we only had a couple of days left on our beach trip. I snuck outside in the wee hours, toting my Nikon and wide-angle lens with me. As soon as my feet hit the sand, the humid air hit me like a wet cloak and gnats greeted my face. The comfy bed beckoned me back.
I walked down the shoreline and realized it was already noticeably bright out. Had I missed the sun? I nodded at other vacationers walking along the water, not wanting to get into a conversation. Pausing by the waterfront, I knelt down and snapped a few pictures of seagulls looking for their breakfast. My stomach rumbled and I wondered if the kids were stirring yet.
My sigh was audible as I turned on my heels to head back up toward the boardwalk. Then, I noticed it. Peeking over the horizon like an iris, it was there. It dared me to turn away from its amber splendor. I grabbed my camera and rapidly began taking pictures as it rose above the waves, getting grander by the moment.
In all my impatience and restlessness, I had almost missed the sun. And the message its Creator spoke to my heart was remarkably clear.
Time spent waiting on God is never wasted.
When he asks us to wait, there is always a reason. And while we may not understand it at the time, those seasons where it feels like God is silent or not answering are often the ones he uses to build our character the most.
If you are in a season of waiting, here are three truths to remember:
God hears you.
Regardless of whether it feels like it or not, God hears our prayers. He may not be answering in the way we would like, but He delights in us coming to Him with our needs, requests and hopes. He doesn’t tire of hearing us repeating the same request or become impatient because we are needy. Often when I when I repeat myself to God I imagine Him seeing me as a whiney child, but he is holy and loving, and his ways are not like our ways. If we are truly seeking Him and his will, He will deliver.
“And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked of Him.”
I John 5: 15 NIV
God has your best interests at heart.
Since God is omniscient, He can see circumstances and potential troubles that we can’t. He isn’t limited by time or the physical laws which govern our existence here on earth, and He can see what will happen one or even ten years from now. When it feels like God has answered our prayers with a “no,” it could be because He knows a “yes” is not what is best for us and the unique situations we are facing. While we may not understand his reasons, we can trust in God’s loving character and perfect will.
“For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.” Habakkuk 2:3 ESV
God is a giver of good gifts.
As humans we often get impatient and settle for what is “good enough,” but God wants so much more for us. He wants to bless us with abundance and a life that is rich with purpose and direction. We may be content to settle with was seems good enough for right now, but He wants us to wait for something that will surpass our wildest dreams and imagination. I’m not talking about merely material things, but blessings that fill us up and remind us of what we were put on this earth to do: to glorify Him.
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 NIV
Whatever you do, don’t stop coming before God. If there is unconfessed sin on your heart, bring it before Him and trust that he will be just and faithful to forgive. (1 John 1:9) Like any other relationship, open communication is key to keeping our connection to Him growing and healthy.
Often when we grow tired of waiting, we are on the cusp of a breakthrough or a blessing that may look completely different than what we anticipated. Don’t give up. Keep pressing into your Savior. I can promise if you do, you will not regret it.
Rebecca Jones says
Waiting can be hard and I love the verses.
Abby McDonald says
Thank you, Becky. He is still working in the wait, even when we don’t see it.
Kristi Woods says
Reflective post, Abby. It’s funny how easily we believe the lie that God is not worth the wait. I’ve been victim far too often. The correlation to sunrise was good. Love the photo too.
Abby McDonald says
Yes, I’ve been in that ugly place too. I’m thankful for his patience and grace. Thanks so much for stopping by today, Kristi. It’s always good to see you here.
Hi Abby. Thank you for yet another thoughtful perspective on waiting. I needed to be reminded. I have waited and been patient for years, through divorce, my son’s addiction, a second marriage/blended family… I know God has a plan for me and sometimes yes, I get very impatient wondering WHEN life will fall into place. But I believe HE has a plan for me and your post reminded me of that! You are awesome so please, keep up the encouraging, honest, REAL words!
Abby McDonald says
Sandy, I am lifting you up in prayer today. He is still working in those seasons of waiting and I pray He gives you real, tangible glimpses of the that. Thank you so much for your encouragement!
Mona Michel says
Thanks Abby for these words of encouragement.
I am going through this season right now and I feel like giving up now I will try to get up and see my sunrise
Grateful for this post
Thanks Abby, Also waiting for His direction ! Very Hard. Leaning to hear His direction
Rachel Q says
thank you for this encouragement, Abby! I love the pics! I love the morning and I’m almost always the first one up in the house. I love the early morning hours and the quiet of early day. That’s when I get my quiet time, reading and reflection in before the hustle of the day. I love to watch the sunrise and begin by giving my day to Him. And I agree with the truth whispered to you, “Time spent waiting on God is never wasted.” I love that encouragement! Thank you for these words!
Meghan Weyerbacher says
Love the picture you painted here, Abby. I love photography too! This a sweet lesson. Praise God.
Kristina L. Allen-Sakowich says
I have had a dreadful decade and a half and I am waiting for deliverance. I can’t even begin to list all that I’ve had to endure, but I cry daily, I wrestle with my thoughts to trust GOD for this to work out and I spend my ENTIRE day, seeking, praying, studying, reading, or listening to sermons on line. I lost hope a lot, but not that kind of hope. I lost the feeling not the fact. I learned that hope is not just a feeling, it’s a fact. As long as there is a GOD, Hope is a fact. I spill my guts on my blog searchingfordriedbones.blogspot.com
Thank you! Me too (: