Seeing God's Goodness in Your Waiting

Liz Pineda

Contributing Writer
Published Jun 17, 2024
Seeing God's Goodness in Your Waiting

Here’s what I’ve observed with my personal experience with God: even when we feel like everything seems to fall apart, there’s always something good that God throws into the mix to ease the burden that’s weighing us down. 

During my stay in Israel, an elderly Jewish man I was having a conversation with casually remarked that when life is as satisfying as a steaming bowl of homemade chicken soup (with matzoh balls on a chilly day)—time seems to slip through our fingers. We fail to catch even a whiff of it. 

However, when life is appallingly difficult, time seems to stretch out in a slow, meandering flow—just when we’re eager for things to move at lightning speed!

Weathering an agonizing ordeal skews our perception of time, turning fleeting seconds into what feels like a decade’s worth of unbearable anguish. As such, waiting stoically while being subjected to unconscionable torment is not our strong suit.

While some of us may be more resilient and forbearing than others, we are all downright amenable to having our problems sorted out in a flash. Keeping the faith, always longing for a snapback to happier times.

Given such debilitating situations we grapple with now and then—how can we possibly experience joy in such bleak circumstances: splintered hearts, eyes dimmed with tears, and a mind fraught with anxiety? Needless to say, maintaining an optimistic stance in times of adversity is as difficult as finding an oasis in the middle of parched desert sands. 

And, truth be told, even for the perennial optimist, hope can easily dissolve into utter despair when there’s no respite in sight.

There’s only so much we can take. We’re humans in every sense of the word; we feel desperate and discouraged when we’re left with no choice but to roll with the punches life throws at us.

How then do we sift through life's darkest seasons to discern even the faintest promise of hope? And when our pleas for help are met with God’s deafening silence, how can we tread life’s rugged and thorny paths without falling into despair?

Nonetheless, if there’s one thing I’ve discovered when life’s difficulties pushed me to the brink of collapse, it is this: God is never silent.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John 10:27-28

As we mature in our walk with God, we would notice that He speaks the loudest when we go through the hard seasons.

Seeing His Good in Our Waiting Season

During one of life’s bleakest moments, I felt bitter as God seemed distant and indifferent to what I was going through. His silence, like salt in the wound, further deepened the emotional turmoil I endured back then. 

But one morning, as I went about tending the plants in the yard, I was stunned to see the once lifeless and withered fragrant plant burst forth into life, adorned with fresh and green foliage. 

Just a few weeks back, its withered leaves and weathered bark spoke nothing but certain death. I remembered pruning it. I really thought I over-pruned it, causing it to die and wither—but here it is flourishing with lush green leaves, teeming with life. 

Suddenly, that flowering plant, which I derived so much pleasure from, as it emitted an intoxicating fragrance in the yard during its peak seasons, held my gaze longer than usual. 

As I peered at it, like a rhema, I felt God spoke these words to my spirit: Though you’re burdened with grief and stripped of hope, just like this plant, I can breathe life back into you.

Through misted eyes, His words, like a soothing balm, seeped into my heart. 

Often, when we’re amid life’s searing setbacks, we keep pounding on heaven’s door for answers. We want to hear God comfort us; we long for Him to soothe our weary minds, and still, He doesn't seem to answer.

But then, during those times when you least expect it, you hear Him speak words of hope, sustaining and enabling you to persist through yet another day.

God Speaks Through Nature in Times of Need

We often speak of how God created nature to sustain life on earth. He does so in every sense of the word—because while God uses nature's abundant bounties to preserve life on earth, He also uses the natural world as a vessel to speak His truth, wisdom, and words of hope into our hearts, breathing life into our battered souls.

Through the years, I have heard many grief-stricken Christians share stories of how God speaks to them through nature, whether that be a budding plant sprouting straight up through the cracks of a concrete wall, a rose unruffled and unfazed by thorns attached to it, or even a solitary leaf falling off a tree.

That’s why when Jesus said the following words in Luke 12:27-28 (NIV), we realize that God also uses nature to communicate His deepest truths and character:

“Consider how the wild flowers grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you—you of little faith!”

Embracing the Light in the Shadows

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

On our own, we’re ill-equipped to find hope in the darkness unless we abide in God’s healing light.

A child of God, though engulfed in darkness (trials), will never walk completely in the dark; God will always leave a speck of light to illuminate the path we tread in our darkest hours.

For those of us who experienced His light during the hard season, we’ve realized that light truly shines even brighter in the dark.

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5 NIV

“For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness.” Psalm 18:28

How do we describe the comforting presence of God in the life of a suffering believer? 

We can liken it to a child who stumbled and suffered scraped elbows, bleeding knees, and a bruised ego—hurriedly running towards Mom to seek comfort. Pain is still there, but the soothing embrace of a mother makes the pricking aches bearable, like a healing salve, it soothes some of the pain.

If you’re going through debilitating challenges, let’s be more observant of what’s going right instead of fixating on how intolerable our struggles are. 

Here’s what I’ve observed with my personal experience with God: even when we feel like everything seems to fall apart, there’s always something good that God throws into the mix to ease the burden that’s weighing us down. 

God is making His presence known in a myriad of ways. His heart’s generosity permeates even in the smallest gesture of kindness that crosses our path each day.

Be Observant of God’s Overlooked Gestures

It can be as simple as a genuine smile from a stranger, hearty kisses from your little one, a cool, gentle breeze on a hot summer day, having a satisfying nap at noon, or a favorite song coming on while driving your car, and so on. 

Remember, God is in the details. The Lord’s attention to the minute details of His creation is unmatched. 

When I watched on YouTube the intricacies and complexities inherent in the development of a single leaf, I could not help but feel spellbound and reverent. 

As such, if God took the time to be creative, executing an exquisite process of creating something ordinary like a single leaf, how much more will He not spare some time to ease the burden we carry each day?

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Matthew 6:26

As such, it is when we feel the pangs of despair that we must relish and observe God’s small gestures of kindness in our day-to-day lives. It is His way of sustaining us, until He finally gives His nod of approval, giving us the breakthrough that we have all been praying for.

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