Waiting & Enduring

May 25, 2003

WAITING & ENDURING by Ray Pritchard A new friend wrote this week asking for some advice. After long years of study, he finally had graduated with excellent grades, many awards, and a ranking near the top of his class. The future seemed very bright. He had only to pass an exam and then the doors of opportunity would be open to him. For various reasons, there were problems with the exam and he did not pass. And despite his excellent record, he didn’t receive an invitation to further study in his chosen field. And since he did not pass the exam, he could not take the excellent job offers he had received. Now he has no job, he has to take the exam again, and he finds himself with a huge school debt that he cannot pay. These are his words: “Lately I have been really asking God to show me why he has done this. It seems like the things that my wife and I pray for the hardest are the things that God is not answering in our prayers. Lately I have been praying and praying more than I ever have, but I don’t feel like I’m any closer to God and that scares me. I am doing my best to put my faith and trust in the Lord, but it’s hard because I feel I want to blame Him and I know that is not right. I’ve asked him to forgive me for this and show me where he wants me to go.” I appreciate the honesty of his words. What is God saying through these difficulties? Perhaps it is a kind of “wake-up” call. One problem we all face is that it’s easy to fall into a pattern of thinking, “If things work out, I must be in God’s will and if they don’t, I must have missed it somehow.” The problem there is one of perspective. We need to think of knowing God as a relationship that grows over time. No human relationship can grow deep if it is based on one person getting his own way all the time. My wife Marlene and I would both say that it is the hard times that brought us closer together. Didn’t seem that way at the time, but looking back we can see it clearly. One of God’s goals, his tools to develop us, is to put us in situations where we must wait and must endure and must persevere. Those are rich spiritual qualities that can’t be developed except in hard times. What do we do while we wait and endure? Keep on trusting, keep on praying, and keep on waiting. Take a deep breath, smile, do what needs to be done, find some joy in each day. Soon you’ll be moving on to the next chapter in life–and you will look back and say, “My Father led me all the way.”

Do you have any thoughts or questions about this post?