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The Psychology of Waiting

Updated: Dec 9, 2023

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." (Psalm 27:14, NIV)



Ever find yourself waiting for something? That in-between time where it seems nothing is happening; that time between where you were and where you will be; what you had and what you will have…


Waiting is an inevitable part of human existence, is it not? Whether it’s for a job offer, the fruition of a dream, or simply in line at the grocery store, we all encounter moments where patience is required. As mentioned in a previous post, the season of Advent (a significant season on the Christian calendar) reminds the Christian believer that he/she is in a season of waiting, in fact

the whole creation groans and labours with birth pangs together until now” (Romans 8:22).

During this times of waiting, what are you thinking, feeling, doing?What value and insights does waiting, hold and offer into our minds, emotions, and actions?


In our thought life, resilience and patience are called for as we anticipate that for which we are waiting. In moments of waiting, we can choose to either dwell on anxiety and impatience or find solace in faith and trust.


Have you been there? The waiting seems endless and this starts to have an unhelpful impact on your emotions. You become impatient and end up trying to rush things along, only to find the end result is not as ideal as it could have been had you waited a tad longer. Impatience might lead to rash decisions, irritability, or attempts to control situations beyond our grasp.


However, embracing the pause; accepting that this season of waiting is just that, a season - it's not going to last forever - can cultivate perseverance, humility, and trust in God’s providence. It encourages behaviours grounded in faith, such as prayer, serving others, and seeking wisdom while awaiting outcomes.


Waiting is not a passive endurance but rather and active participation in God’s plan for the present, and an anticipation of and trust in His perfect timing.


What is it that you're waiting for today? No doubt the big event on every Christian’s heart and mind is not only celebrating the Christmas Child in a few weeks’ time, but the soon return of our King, the exact day or hour no-one knows (Matthew 24:36). Till then you may find yourself in an “in-between” time in another area of your life, having to wait for an answer, and outcome, an event.


Whatever the waiting looks like for you, why not use it as  a fertile ground to nurture patience, faith, and virtues; let

  • the pause perform its purpose in you;

  • the refrain remake, remould and refine those rough spots in your life


The art of waiting challenges our minds, refines our feeling, and shapes our actions. By anchoring ourselves in faith, embracing patience, and actively engaging in meaningful  during these moments, we not only grow individually but also radiate love, light and grace to others.   


Points to Ponder

  • What are you experiencing in this season of waiting? What are thinking? What are you feeling? How are you behaving?

  • Are these thoughts, emotions and behaviours helpful or not? If not, what needs to change?


Prayer

Lord, in my waiting, may my thoughts be pure,

My feelings be aligned with your heart;

My actions and speech seasoned with grace,

As I wait may I ne'er from your promises depart

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