“Waiting” Is Not a Bad Word: For When there Is No Clear Direction

“The best thing to do when you don’t know what to do is the hardest thing ever: wait.”

From the moment we awake, we are on the go. Even when we don’t know where we are going or what to do, we are moving … somewhere.

We’ve developed the mentality that somewhere is better than nowhere. But we forget, the gift of here and now can be a place of great refueling and staging for that next journey.

The gift of here and now can be a place of great refueling and staging for that next journey. Click To Tweet

Blindly going when there’s no clear direction is wearing on the soul.

Sometimes we need to be content to wait until our path, or at least the next step, is revealed.

Sometimes we need to be content to wait until our path, or at least the next step, is revealed. Click To Tweet

Oh, but that can be the hardest place to be! It feels like time wasted. 

Yet God has a plan for that “in-between” waiting time too. The trick is to wait well. 

Wait for the Lord-

Waiting Well

There are effective and ineffective ways to wait. I think you know the ineffective ones: complaining; remaining close-minded about what you are waiting for; sitting passively–waiting for life to happen, trying to force something to happen. 

I’m in that place right now. Waiting for God to reveal His plan for me, or at least His next step and I’m tempted to whine, adopt someone else’s path as mine, give up, or push through with my own ideas of which way to go. 

But God has graciously allowed me to see that there is a way to wait well. His strategies are revealed in the pages of Scripture.

Throughout His Word God continually called His people to wait:

We remember the shepherd boy David waiting years to take his throne after being anointed king.

Moses waiting for God to act to free the Israelites in Egypt and waiting (and wandering) through the dessert for 40 years afterward. 

Abraham and Sarah waiting for their promised heir Isaac.

Elisha, Elijah, Samuel, Mary and Joseph …

Even Jesus waited for just the right time to launch His ministry. 

You get the picture. Waiting is not new. 

Scriptural View of Waiting

So how do we do that dreaded waiting so it is not so dreaded? Let’s take a quick look at some scriptural passages that give us guidance, with my emphasis added. 

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;
    in the morning I lay my requests before you
    and wait expectantly. Psalm 5:3

Lord, I wait for you;
    you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15 (with assurance)

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
    and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5

I will wait for the Lord,
    who is hiding his face from the descendants of Jacob.
I will put my trust in him. Isaiah 8:17

Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you;
    therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the Lord is a God of justice.
    Blessed are all who wait for him! Isaiah 30:18

But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord,
    I wait for God my Savior;
    my God will hear me. Micah 7:7

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 1 Corinthians 1:7

Did you notice the guidelines for how to wait? 

  • Expectantly
  • With assurance
  • With your whole being
  • In trust
  • Open to His blessings
  • In hope
  • With strength and courage
  • Eagerly

Waiting is not a passive, “do nothing” period. Waiting is an active step of faith. It is a time where great growth and discernment can be gleaned. 

Waiting is an active step of faith. Click To Tweet

It’s still tempting at times to hurry through this waiting period, but I’m discovering a richness in God’s waiting room. 

Don’t shy away from those moments the Lord asks you to wait.

But embrace waiting periods expectantly, with assurance that God is working, whole-heartedly, in trust, and open to His blessings as you hold onto hope, courageously and eagerly waiting for Him to complete His work in you and call you to that next step of faith. 

In so doing, you’ll find strength, direction, and passion anew for the race He’s asking you to run. 

But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Reflection: What have you learned about waiting on the Lord?

This post is part of Bonnie Gray’s Finding Spiritual Whitespace Blog Tour, which I’m excited to be part of. If you’re looking to find soul-rest and would like to check out Bonnie’s book, you can order one here Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace


By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

5 comments on ““Waiting” Is Not a Bad Word: For When there Is No Clear Direction
  1. Cherry says:

    Linking up after you at Spiritual Whitespace, and thankful I did! Such a great post on “waiting”. Such good thoughts in this fast-paced life, where we are often pressured into “doing”, instead of “waiting”. Thanks for your thoughts. I especially liked this: “Waiting is not a passive, ‘do nothing’ period. Waiting is an active step of faith.” And also loved your list of verses.

  2. Waiting is so hard to do. – We want it now! – However, do you think there are times when we have to move forward without knowing?

    • Julie Sunne says:

      Great question, Jon. I do believe there are times we need to act on faith (perhaps a strong notion, encouragement from others, a passion that won’t go away and doors have opened), although we should step lightly until God makes it obvious. I do think when the timing is right, He will make our next step apparent. The more telling question for me is, am I really listening for His guidance or wanting to do it/or not regardless? In other words, am I skewing God’s plans to closer conform to mine? Also am I being “still” enough, open enough, to hear Him?

      I would love to dig deeper into this intriguing question and hear more of your thoughts and those of others.

      • Well I am not sure how deep I can go. It is just something I have been mulling over the past couple of months. I think that we should always wait on the Lord for his direction. Sometimes he just gives us that next half step to see if we will go for it. However, I wonder if at other times we just have to move and take the step into the unknown. The struggle is knowing when to wait and when to just step out. Maybe I may be off base but I have learned that if it is safe and we know clearly we don’t need a lot of faith. Thank you for allowing me to share my thoughts.

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