What to Do When You Are Forced to Wait

I am good at a few things. But waiting is not one of them. Whether it is being put on hold when I call a business, sitting in the waiting room of my dentist’s office, or standing in the security line at the airport, I am impatient.

Three Bored People in a Waiting Room - Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/drewhadley, Image #12692697

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto.com/drewhadley

As I am writing this tonight, we are waiting on the test results for my granddaughter, Libby. She has had strange symptoms for a couple of years. Finally, after she vomited again this afternoon, my daughter, Mindy, took her to the emergency room. My wife, Gail, dropped what she was doing to be at her side.

The emergency room was unusually busy, so they sat for more than four hours before getting in to see a doctor. He ordered some tests. Unfortunately, it will be several more hours before the results come back. The good news is that Libby is comfortable and seems stabile. Meanwhile, we wait.

But you’re probably waiting on something, too. Perhaps you are waiting for:

  • Word that you landed that job you want
  • News about a possible raise or promotion
  • Mr. or Ms. Right to show up
  • Your pregnancy test results
  • The judge’s decision on your court case
  • A response to an important email
  • Approval for a loan
  • The answer to a prayer
  • The pain to stop

While I am still not very good at waiting, I have gotten better. Here are five strategies I am currently using:

  1. Embrace it. I don’t believe anything happens by chance. To say it another way, everything happens for a reason. If I am waiting, there is something for me to learn. Waiting might actually be a gift.
  2. Ask the right questions. I’ve blogged a lot about this recently. An unhelpful question would be “Why can’t they hurry up?” or even “Why is this taking so long?” A better question is “What can I learn while I am waiting?” or “How will this kind of waiting make me stronger?”
  3. Redeem the time. There are lots of things you can do while you are waiting if you are prepared. This is why I rarely go anywhere without my MacBook Air or my Amazon Kindle. Worst case, I can read a book on my iPhone.
  4. Encourage someone else. One of the best things you can do when you are waiting is get the attention off yourself. I have to keep reminding myself, “It’s not all about me.” Encouraging someone else while I am waiting doesn’t solve my own problem, of course, but it makes me feel like I am at least doing something—and making a positive contribution.
  5. Trust God. This is the difficult but important part. God has not forgotten about you or me. He not only knows exactly what we need; He knows when we need it. His timing is perfect. I like how Jesus showed up in the story about Lazarus. It looked like He was two days late. His friend had died. But He arrived right on time—for what He wanted to do (see John 11).

Suffice it to say, I have a lot more to learn. This is not easy for me. But I am certainly getting plenty of opportunities. How about you?

Questions: Are you in a season of waiting? How are you coping with it? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams

    I think those seasons of waiting is where Satan really plays havoc with our minds. We conjur up all manner of thoughts and situations, or at least I do. I can turn a hangnail into cancer in ten minutes flat! Instead we/I need to train our minds to focus on God and His ways and plans. One great thing to do in a time of waiting is to memorize Scripture. I also love your suggestions. They are good for many situations and circumstances in life.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I should have mentioned: one thing I am really good at is worrying. I’m like you. My mind always goes to the worst case scenario. IÆm getting much better, however. Mostly, because i am getting lots of practice. ;-)

      • http://twitter.com/Belinda_Pollard Belinda Pollard

        That’s my problem too. It’s not the waiting so much as what my vigorous imagination fills the gap with, particularly if it’s a wait for an intimidating medical test. Recently, someone suggested that instead of trying to control my mind during a “sky is falling” moment, I should breathe in for the count of three and out for the count of three, for a minute or two. I got the chance to try it a few days later, and it worked. Disrupted the crazy spinning-mind thing, so that then I could pray with more clarity, and think much more sanely.

      • http://twitter.com/pitchjoseph Pitch Joseph A.

        Prayed for your family and your grand daughter. God taught me a couple of things through waiting:

        1. He taught me how to trust him.
        2. He taught me that his plans are good. Jeremiah 29:11
        3. He taught me not to worry.

        God bless

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks so much for your prayers. I am very grateful.

      • http://musicroad.blogspot.com kerrydexter

        I wonder if you know the saying “worry is the misuse of imagination.” helps me keep perspective…

    • Shonda

      Leah, I’m like that too. I often joke that I could probably write a drama book off my wild imaginations that, thank God, don’t come to pass. Memorizing Scripture is an excellent addendum to Mr. Hyatt’s point to Trust God. God is faithful to keep His promises and if we hide His word in our hearts, then we’ll know we can trust Him. Blessings-

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Memorizing Scripture is very powerful. It gives us a practical way of “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” ( 2 Corinthians 10:5).

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      One of the things I’m doing in 2011 is memorizing the Sermon on the Mount. So I always have an index card or two with a few verses on it with me.

      Great point!

      • http://www.leahadams.org Leah Adams


        Check out http://www.scripturestickies.com. They re a great way to memorize Scripture. Stickable Bible verses.

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Great idea! Thanks for the link!

    • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

      That’s very true. I think that’s naturally the condition of the human mind, to take something quite small and make it the biggest mountain you could ever face.

  • http://www.godsabsolutelove.com Patricia Zell

    “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31). I have found that waiting is a blessing to me. If I wait on God, then circumstantial waiting is much easier.

    • http://www.12accede.org Andre Roosma

      Yes, Michael & Patricia,
      What you say is so right! I love the story from 1 Chron.14:13-17 where David had to wait a little while, until God had gone before him with His heavenly army. Then the battle with the Philistines was much easier…
      Besides, waiting gives me time to remember Who God is (to me and others) and what God has done – the single most valuable thing to do in life…
      Michael, blessings on your granddaughter!
      I like the fact that you take time to respond to many reactions!

      • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

        Thanks, Andre. It’s a nice break every hour or so.

  • http://blog.cyberquill.com Cyberquill

    Waiting might actually be a gift, and “Gift” is the German word for “poison.”

  • http://bryan-hills.blogspot.com bryankhill

    I love those five things to do while waiting. Praying for your granddaughter Libby.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Bryan. They sent her home. The tests were inconclusive. But now, at least, she has an appointment with a doctor for further tests, so we’ll get to exercise our waiting muscles come more.

      • Shonda

        Also saying a prayer for Libby and all of the family during this period of not knowing.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        I read your daughter’s post from a couple of days ago. I can’t imagine the frustration of not knowing what’s going on with one of my kids. We are praying…

        • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

          Thanks, Jeff.

  • http://modernservantleader.com/ Benjamin Lichtenwalner

    I bet if you think about it, we are always in a season of waiting for something. Yet, your point on asking the right questions is so critical. What we perceive as waiting is actually a season of preparation. After all, everything happens for a reason, right?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think you are right, Ben. God intends it all for good (Romans 8:28).

  • Timothy Fish

    We’re all waiting for something all the time. The best thing seems to be to turn our attention to those things that we aren’t waiting for.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That’s a good point. I think that’s why Philippians 4:6 says that, rather than be anxious, we should pray and be thankful. Thankfulness is a choice to focus on what we have been given. Most of us are rich beyond anything we can comprehend.

  • Michaelkilpatrick21

    thanks for the post- Waiting is one of my problems too— as a triple A personality I want thing done last year! But God asks us to wait on him. Sometimes I feel that God has us wait so that he can slow us down and show us the flowers along the path of life.

  • http://trafficlifelights.blogspot.com Prem

    I pray the there nothing serious with Libby. Your waiting will be worth it! God Bless

  • http://twitter.com/promobrain Mike Freestone

    Another excellent post. Thanks Michael.

  • http://www.danieldecker.net Daniel Decker

    Praying for Libby.

  • http://geoffreywebb.wordpress.com/ Geoff Webb

    Mike – first off, still praying for Libby and rest of your family.

    Number 1 is huge.

    Henri Nouwen helped clarify my impatience while I wait by defining patience as the discipline of seeing each moment as valuable. When I’m impatient, I’m looking to get out of the present moment. But, you’re right, God doesn’t run this world by accident. Wherever I am, I’m there for a reason—there’s something to do, see, feel, endure, or just experience—and I’ll miss it if I don’t embrace it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for the reminder from Nouwen. I think he is dead-on here.

      Thanks also for your prayers for Libby. I get to practice waiting some more. ;-)

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

      oh that is good stuff from Nouwen, thanks for sharing that

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Good stuff…

  • Lori

    I needed these words today. Thank you. And I’m praying for your family.

  • http://successbeginstoday.org/wordpress John Richardson

    Praying for your granddaughter and your family. Waiting at the doctors is always the hardest. Our creative minds can worry up a storm real quick. I find when I’m in a waiting room that an audio book or music can help me take the focus off the situation and on to something else. At night if my mind is worrying, I try to focus on writing a new chapter for my book. Getting into the life of my characters has helped me get through a lot of stormy nights.

    Thank you for your list. A lot of wisdom here.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon


  • Karl Mealor

    Praying for you and your family. Thanks for using your time of waiting to encourage each one of us.

  • Anonymous

    Adding Libby to my prayers. I’m bad at waiting too & appreciate your suggestions very much. My favorite Dr. Seuss book has a couple of pages on the place where people are waiting: “…for a train to go or a bus to come, or a plane to go or the mail to come, or the rain to go or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow or waiting around for a Yes or No or waiting for their hair to grow…”

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Dr. Seuss had a lot of wisdom!

  • Tracy Hoexter

    Prayers for your grandaughter, daughter and whole family.

    Maybe added to your first point, “Embrace It”, is adjusting our expectations. If we expect an immediate answer for something that takes two days, we will be anxious and frustrated.

    Love point 4!

    Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Very good point. Thanks.

  • Ronda_H

    I really enjoy reading your work and find it very helpful. Normally, I agree with your points but today I’m really struggling with your belief that everything happens for a reason. I’ve heard that countless times and I always take exception. I can’t wrap my mind around it. When something absolutely horrible happens (such as a fatal car accident, rape, or unspeakable crimes against children…just to mention a few), I cannot believe that it was planned or that people have to endure horrific crimes in order fulfill some predetermined plan. I don’t believe God works that way. I do believe, however, that He helps us get through terrible situations but I don’t believe he “causes” or “plans” them. I’d really appreciate some additional dialogue on this subject because it troubles me. Thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I know. This is a tough one. But think about Joseph in the bible. He was sold into slavery by his brothers (talk about abuse). Falsely accused and sent to prison—twice. But at the end of his life, he could say to his brothers, “But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive” (Genesis 50:20). In other words, they were responsible and accountable, but God had a larger purpose in mind. Both were true.

      Or consider Jesus Himself. His crucifixion was about the worst form of abuse imaginable: torture and murder. Yet the Apostle Peter said those who crucified Him, “Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death” (Acts 2:23). Again, these men were responsible and accountable, but God had a greater purpose in mind.

      I think this is simply the mystery of God’s providence. God is sovereign; yet man is responsible. I think if we try to put too much more definition around this, we fall into error. For me, it is enough to know that God has His reasons. Also, not everything gets resolved in this life. Thankfully, the story is bigger than our time here on earth.

      Thanks for expressing your heart.

      • Pat Wooldridge

        I agree. Almighty God has a definite purpose. Whatever he does will eventually bring that purpose about. At the same time, I like, and find helpful, the scripture that says God cannot be tried with evil things, nor does he himself try anyone (Jas. 1:13). To do otherwise, he wouldn’t be a God of love.
        As we know, 1 John 4:16 tells us that God is a God of love.

        Sometimes it can be easy to start overthinking when bad things happen. We are only humans. The thoughts of God are higher than ours. In his Word we find principles and encouragement to help us through the things we can’t yet understand. Jesus taught us what a great help prayer is. The ability to think about God’s qualities and principles, and to pray, can never be taken away from us.

      • Leanne

        Over the past 3 years, I too have found comfort through what God did in Joseph’s, David’s, Job’s, and paul’s lives. It has given me hope and comfort, in life’s trials.

      • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

        I personally find the better answer; God can use any situation for His glory. Ronda, I agree, I do not think God wants bad things to happen. But when they do, in His greatness He can still use it and not let it go to waste.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Also, Romans tells us that all things work together for good… God may not be the cause, but he can turn them to his glory. No matter what it is.

    • Leanne

      Charles Stanley’s website intouch.org, has recently offered 2 books on this very subject for free downloading. They are very good, “In Times of Great Disaster” and “Choices in Midst of Tragedy”

  • http://twitter.com/bigmet Metric

    First, will be praying for Libby and your family. My wife and I have spent our fair share of time there.

    Second…Wow! How timely! I sat alone on my couch yesterday in a “funk” because it seems like my life has been in a holding pattern for the past 2-3 years and I have no clue of what’s next. By faith, I believe God is going move in a major way this year but nevertheless my present reality calls for me to sit and wait. Good post!

  • http://twitter.com/alsodreaming Joy Pughe-Parry

    I have been waiting for something specific and majorly important for five years. I think I’m getting better at it LOL. Thanks for the post :)

  • http://www.JanetOberholtzer.com Janet Oberholtzer

    Great suggestions. Over the past few years, I changed my attitude about waiting also … and my life and the life of the people around is better because of it.

    One thought about point #1, where you say everything happens for a reason. I’ve been looking at that differently recently. Since we have the choice in what we do when something happens, could flipping it around be a way to look at it … everything happens, the reason that does (or doesn’t) come out of it, is up to us?

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      For me, there are two parts: accepting that there is a larger story at work and then choosing to act on that. Thanks.

  • http://www.jeremysconfessions.com Jeremy@confessionsofalegalist

    Embracing difficult things in our life is always helpful. I like how you listed it first because once you embrace it and accept it, then the others will naturally follow. I need to embrace the place God has put me in at this moment. I also need to embrace the idea that there are things I can change and other things I can’t.

  • Anonymous

    I’m not good at waiting either. On the significant waiting side, I’ve been in a holding pattern for several months now, talking with my wife about some theological issues that concern us and our future. We’re not agreeing now, but the lines are open and we’ve had some great discussions in the meantime.

    Some of the best advice I ever got for waiting was, “Do the next right thing.” So while I’m waiting, I do the work God has given me to do.

    On the “mundane” waiting side, the suggestion to always carry something to read has been very helpful for me. I’m a little old-fashioned (and cheap) so no Kindle for me. I use waiting time to catch up on blogs, flagging any I want to comment on. And I always have a book with me, and Instapaper makes it easy to have longer articles handy for reading.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I want to write a post on “Do the next right thing.” I received that same counsel early in my career in a time of uncertainty and it really helped. Thanks!

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      “Do the next right thing.” That’s a great thought. Just because we are waiting on something does not mean that our whole life is on hold or that God is not speaking something else to us. Of course, that just means I don’t have the waiting excuse to use anymore ;)

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        Exactly what I was thinking! I just lost my excuse too!

  • http://bentune.blogspot.com/ Ben Tune

    I prayed for Libby and for Mindy this morning.. My son has been having some strange symptoms for a while, too. We still don’t know the cause of his pain, but we have ruled out all of the serious problems. We are in a waiting period now. And sometimes it’s hard. Before we knew it wasn’t something critical, I wrote the following in my journal:
    What about all of my plans for Thomas? Is he going to be able to get married, have children and grow old? What does this change about Thomas’ future? Nothing. God already had everything planned out. Nothing surprises Him. God’s plans are not my plans, but that’s OK.

    I didn’t write those words because of my awesome faith in God. At the time, I didn’t have much faith at all. I wrote them to remind myself to trust in Him no matter what was going on. Deciding to trust in God is harder when it looks like He isn’t working in your life, but I’m finding out it’s worth it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I often write to remind myself as well. Sometimes it sounds like I have it all figured out, but usually I am writing because I don’t. The writing gives me clarity and reminds me of what I should be focused on.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Our son has been having some back pain for a while. He’s two. I don’t think it’s anything very serious, just too much rough play with his brother. But when one of your children is sick or hurting, you stop thinking of anything else.

      • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

        So true. And at those moments, it is so easy for logic to leave the room. Your imagination can run wild. At that point, we have to be thankful that God is bigger than we are, can see the whole picture that we can’t, continue to seek direction and do the best we can – and then pray for God’s peace that transcends all understanding and guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

  • http://www.homemaking911.com Homemaking911

    I wrote about this exact topic while we were “waiting” for our fifth baby to arrive. When I wrote it, he was due in a week. He ended up being a week “late” and the Lord blessed us and redeemed that time in such a precious way. Here is my blog post about it: http://www.homemaking911.com/2010/05/06/what-to-do-when-you-are-waiting/

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Thanks for sharing your link. Good stuff!

      We also have 5 kids, though not as spread out as yours. Ours are ages 11, 8, 7, 2, and 2 months. And we play the waiting game all the time…

  • http://twitter.com/kpalmer71 Kerry Palmer


    Please know that I am keeping your family in my prayers.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Kerry. We appreciate it. It would be nice to know the cause—but that is part of the waiting exercise.

  • http://jennyrain.com JennyRain

    Just wrote about this the other day… I really so very much appreciate your advice. So often we run from the waiting, only for God to create another waiting season, then we run from that, until we are hemmed in and forced to learn to wait. I love your point one where you talk about “embracing” the waiting… yes, it’s hard, but it can often be the sweetest time of fellowship with God.

    Hope Libby is ok!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FJRLITL5IEFHDDFURAESLXOOZ4 Jim Whitaker

    Great post. With a title like that, I first had envisioned a productivity post ripped from the headlines of Getting Things Done. But instead we get a softer, tender side of you as you deal with the difficult times of waiting in your life. Again you provide insight that we all can use. We all have been in the situation of waiting in anticipate of something or because we are required to wait during difficult times. In all these cases, we have to remember one thing. Most of the time we cannot control the wait. So we have no choice but to embrace the wait and deal with it the best we can. I like the addition of the ask the right question. By changing perspective we can look at things differently then we have before. Redeem the time was the reminder of the GTD in me (and maybe a little in you too). I never go anywhere without my Kindle, or my read/review folder, or my Smart Phone which has everything I need to do on it. Often times we are not the most impacted person during the wait. Sometimes we are there for a loved one or friend, but even though the situation can be difficult for us, it might even be more difficult for someone else. So encouragement, especially to the once hurting the most is important. Philippians 4:13 says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. And thus when we place our strength and faith in the Lord, we can get through any situation. Thanks again for the post. Very insightful.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Jim. I really struggled with the title. I posted it in draft form three times with three different titles. I didn’t think about the GTD angle, though I can see where you would anticipate that, given some of the things I write about.

  • http://waynewirs.com Wayne (Wirs)

    As a mystic, I see God (whom I call “Her”) in everything. Waiting, as it turns out, is a perfect opportunity (your #1) to get out of your head (your #4) and in touch with Her (your #5). I sit there and see Her in the carpet, in the lamp, in the breathing of the person next to me. I find waiting as a beautiful (an often unexpected) way of “remembering” God.

  • Agatha Nolen

    As you’ve said-the most important is to TRUST GOD. I am almost 5-years out from breast cancer and get anxious each time I go for tests or doctor’s appointments..still about 15 a year. It is the waiting and the “what if” that preys on your mind. I am impatient trying to use my business skills of timed accomplishments in all aspects of my life. I have to remind myself daily that I have to trust in God first and follow His plan, not mine. I’ve surrounded myself with people who remind me of this constantly—compassionately, of course.
    Thanks for a great post. Hope to learn more on the CR:ATE cruise in a few weeks!

  • http://www.smoaksignal.com Jeff Smoak

    Russell Moore captured this well in his book Adopted for Life. (Paraphrasing Moore here) God builds anticipation and waiting into things. He didn’t blink the universe into existence but took six days. He knits a baby together in the womb over 9 months, not the instant the pregnancy test comes back positive. He made Adam wait and anticipate Eve. Israel had to wait for the Messiah and the Church awaits His return. “There is something about patience that God deems necessary for our life in the age to come.” Be it agriculture, discipleship, procreation or eschatology, we wait and Paul tells us to rejoice in such things as “suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Rom. 5:3-4)

    I am praying for your family and Libby as you endure the wait.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. That is an awesome perspective. Very profound!

    • Susan Wilkinson

      Excellent. Thanks, Jeff. So much truth here.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      I agree. That is an awesome perspective! It is truly helpful to realize that God built the concept of time into our lives for a reason.

    • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

      Waiting is seen throughout Scripture. And yet we still hate to experience it. Thanks for sharing this stuff from Moore.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      Very nice!

  • http://blog.ashleypichea.com Ashley Pichea

    “If I am waiting, there is something for me to learn.”

    This is where I’m finding myself the most. Learning patience, learning about where God has me, learning to take my eyes off the future and focus on the here and now. I’m obviously waiting for a *reason* – I just need to be willing to see the reason and learn from it!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Amen to that!

  • Kristine Neeley

    Such a timely post to read… praying for Libby.

  • http://thethriftymama.com Crystal Collins

    I love how you take such simple things and turn them into an inspiring post. In a week and a half we are going to the hospital for my 4 year old son’s second open heart surgery.

    We are planning on having two of these surgeries this year. If they are successful, his heart will be fixed to the point that he should never need a heart transplant. I’ve been waiting since that first ultrasound that showed his heart condition.

    Through waiting, the biggest thing I have learned is to trust God. Many people ask “why” is this happening to me. I’ve always known why this happened to me. So that I can learn to trust Him more and be an encouragement to other families that have children with medical conditions.

    But more importantly, this is happening to my son because God is using it to shape him into the man God wants him to be. I see characteristics and such sweetness in my son that I don’t see in other children. My son is strong, has courage and never lets anything get him down.

    So while it could be all about me, and why I as a mother have to go through this, it’s more about my son. God is creating a man with a “heart of fire” that will glorify Him.

    First time commenter, but I read regularly and love ever single one of your posts. Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for taking the initiative to comment on this post and share this story. I just prayed for your son.

      • http://thethriftymama.com Crystal Collins

        Thank you! We can use all the prayers we can get. A prayer for Libby just went up from my lips.

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          Crystal, I am praying for you and your son as well. Thank you for sharing your story and know that you are not alone!

        • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

          Praying for you, your son, and your family. About a year ago, one of our sons had some serious breathing issues, and was taken by ambulance to the hospital while I watched from the front door with our outher three kids. Talk about a scary time! I can somewhat empathize, even though our son wasn’t dealing with something as significant as yours. I hope all goes well.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      I will be praying for you and your family!

    • http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com Anne Marie

      Praying also! What a marvelous, grace-filled son you have!

      God bless you both, Anne Marie :)

  • http://bohemianbowmans.com Jessica

    Okay, I admit it. I’m a complainer.

    Not in the day to day waiting stuff. But in the, waiting for more than a year to hear about a job that might move you across the world kind of stuff.


  • http://twitter.com/viniewagh Vinaya Wagh

    Thank you so much for sharing :)

  • http://joshuamhood.com Josh Hood

    “While I’m Waiting” Lyrics (feature soundtrack of “Fireproof”)
    by John Waller

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am hopeful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it is painful
    But patiently, I will wait

    I will move ahead, bold and confident
    Takeing every step in obedience
    While I’m waiting
    I will serve You
    While I’m waiting
    I will worship
    While I’m waiting
    I will not faint
    I’ll be running the race
    Even while I wait

    I’m waiting
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    And I am peaceful
    I’m waiting on You, Lord
    Though it’s not easy
    But faithfully, I will wait
    Yes, I will wait
    I will serve You while I’m waiting
    I will worship while I’m waiting

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

      I love that song!

  • Lynette Sowell

    No, I don’t like waiting, especially if it’s for something that’s important and/or near to my heart. I like what you said about it not being “all about me.” The more we wait focusing on ourselves, the longer the answer seems to take and the greater the chance of bitterness developing in our hearts–especially if we see someone else leading a “charmed” existence with their answers appearing to come swiftly. Worrying seems to go along with the waiting for me, too, sometimes. I’ve tried to develop the practice of not just occupying myself with something else, but trying to do something for someone else and rip my focus away from me! ~ Thanks ~

  • http://cynthiaherron.wordpress.com Cynthia Herron

    I think Satan does tend to launch attacks against our heartstrings (our children or grandchildren) more often. One of our children suffered from a chronic illness for yrs. , but ultimately he was healed. By no means was it the healing we prayed for, hoped for, or imagined, but in God’s eyes, His avenue was the best. (Boy, it’s taken me yrs to say that!)

    Waiting during the process was the pits, but here’s how we grew: learned to be better caretakers of our time–each moment became precious, learned to hone our prayers to specific needs and praises throughout the day, and learned to become more vocal in advocating for our child’s health needs.

    Whenever we wait for anything, it’s never easy or comfortable. And when I get bogged down in self-pity, I try to picture Christ on the cross as He gave His life for me. To say “that was far from easy” diminishes that life-changing day.

    Still, we’re human…

  • Jeffabrams

    Thanks for the excellent thoughts. We have to trust that while we wait, God works. Not an easy lesson, but a necessary one.
    Also amazing how patient God is as He waits on us…to come home.

    • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon


  • Anonymous

    I’m in a season of waiting. But I KNOW that it will be over soon. Over the last 2 weeks, I get overwhelmed with excitement knowing that change is coming. I have no idea what it is. I’m looking forward to see what God is about to do.

  • http://www.milestogofromhere.com Jeff Miles

    It’s amazing to think what would happen if everyone who was waiting on something did #4…

    • Joe Lalonde

      So true Jeff. The world would be a much better place and, I bet, a lot of people would see a great change in their attitudes.

  • http://www.destinyrising.com Tess


    I am, indeed, in a season of waiting. While I am waiting, I am blessed. I have my health, I know where my next meal is coming from, I know where I will sleep tonight, and I have health insurance. From that perspective, I have protections that most in the world do not. However, I am waiting and working, working and waiting.

    I recently left a position fundraising for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I left to pursue what I believe to be my purpose – helping others identify, select and live a life they love and work through the waiting times and the building times. In leaving St. Jude, I left the comfort of brand recognition and a mission that will change the world. Now, I am charged with building my brand and working toward my mission. In this moment, Destiny Rising is an unknown commodity. I work and I wait. In the moments of waiting, it is easy to become overwhelmed with worry and doubt. I worry that I will not be successful (which translates to my ability to feed myself or my family). I worry that the events in the world will preclude my success. In the darkest moments, I doubt that I’ve made wise decisions. The wiser part of me knows, deep in my core, that I have made wise choices and that I do and will make a difference in peoples’ lives. I know that real risk he isn’t in my attempt to make a difference. The real risk lies in doing nothing. Things have worked out for nearly 50 years. I made the choice to venture out on my own to be available as the times we’re living in unfold.

    My moment of waiting is very different than the waiting you’re doing. Mine is about business, and yours is about life. You are waiting and praying and hoping and wondering. In this moment, you are a grandfather and a father and a husband. You are a protector. You are concerned for your children and your children’s children. Your love is big enough to embrace all of them and to handle the wait. And, you are never waiting alone.

    As all of us wait, the next phrase is forming. Until it arrives, we simply cannot complete the sentence “And then…”

    Keep the faith. There is beauty in all of it.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Great story, Tess. Thank you for sharing it.

  • 6781234

    You are right that waiting stinks. You are right in the fact that it is not all about you or yours. But, God always has a plan. We forget in times like that to look at the people God has surrounded us. Sometimes it is about one (or more) of them. Will that person seated next to you ever hear the story of redemption if YOU do not tell them? Will they ever know that you are able to pray for healing, restoration of body or soul? What about those Doctors? Who will be the person to touch them? Your granddaughter? Your daughter?

    The question then becomes not, ” why am I waiting” but a prayer of God allow me to recognize why you have me here.

  • http://www.bigb94.webs.com Brandon

    Great points… the guy on the right is a perfect example of how we sometimes feel about waiting! :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Exactly. I loved the photo for that reason!

  • Pat Wooldridge

    Yes, Michael, there IS a lot to learn about waiting, no matter how long we have been at it and no matter what we’re waiting for. I so enjoyed your article on this. I am in a waiting mode where several things are concerned. Submission of requested materials about my middle grade novel went out to a publisher a month and a half ago. It will be a couple of months before I hear. There are other things which, to be balanced about it, I have to say ARE more important in the far-reaching scheme of things, affecting more people than just me.
    Yes, it IS more about others’ situations. Meanwhile, a sunny day, as today is, here, is something to be grateful for, not taken for granted. Then, too, though a day may be grey, rainy, whatever, at least it is a DAY. If a person has the ability to accomplish something in that day, no matter how small, well, there you go. An unwasted day no matter how it looked at first. Again, the time of waiting has been put to good use, especially if we took the opportunity to encourage someone else, whether one person or many.Time passes quickly when we are helping others, doesn’t it.

  • Scott


    I’m new to your blog. I enjoy your insights. I’m praying for Libby. As a father of a daughter with Cystic Fibrosis, I know how difficult it is for parents and grandparents when their baby is sick.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Scott. I thought I could stop worrying when I got my girls raised. Now I have the grandkids. There are plenty of opportunities to exercise faith!

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    To cope up with the season of waiting, one needs to ACCEPT IT. Acceptance prevents us from making wrong decisions further. Our patience could be tested and tried during the season of waiting. Worse yet, there may not be a right reason (at least in our perspective) for our season of waiting but accepting the same will help us sail through the pain with ease. Waiting is a matter of inconvenience, unpleasantness, regret, pain, etc. But one emerges out with greater maturity and mental strength after going through the ordeal of waiting.
    I am upholding your family and your granddaughter in my prayers as you pass through this trauma and season of waiting.

  • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylereed

    absolutely in a season of waiting and I hate it.
    But daily I am learning something about myself.
    I think the thing that is helping me the most is listening to others. I have found that God is teaching me through the voice of others. probably because I continually do not listen to his voice because I am to focused on wanting to get answers and results and not listening to where he is guiding me.

    Sometimes in the midst of waiting I feel like my life is on hold, but I think if I continue to live life this way I will always be waiting. Just because I am in a season of waiting doesn’t mean I cannot live.

  • http://agapenotes.blogspot.com dmpete

    3. Redeem the time. Preparation is an excellent activity when you are waiting. While I am waiting on the Lord to direct my steps into ministry I am working on my MDiv through Columbia International University with On-Line and Resident courses in the winter and summer.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Often times, I think the whole purpose of waiting is preparation. It certainly gives that time meaning.

  • Laurambowman

    Thanks, I am a very impatient person, running through life. These last 3 years have been really hard to figure out. My husband diagnosed with cancer, lost his job 3 months later and we are still in limbo. I can’t find a job and I keep asking why, how long. good advice, just hope I can accomplish it. Again thanks!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You definitely can. Many people quit just before they get the answer. Hang in there!

  • Leanne

    Well I have been waiting on God for everything these past 3 years. Health, career, family restoration, finances, the probate for my father’s estate ( as I am the executor with a family that is terrible), and God’s will for the next season of my life in every way. I have had the challenges of a lifetime over the past 3 years, at an age of over 50.

    At first I was greiving the loss of family relationships, then the illness, and final death of my father, the death of a grandson, the loss of my job, loss of good health, then the challenge of being the executor of my dad’s estate, in an already severely broken family. I recently was so destitute that I had to go to the food pantry.

    At first I was sad and grieving the family losses, then became angry at all the trials I mentioned above, and am still waiting, while working towards being restored financially, too. Next I was depressed and suicidal nearly everyday for over a year. Now and have been for 3 years, seeking God”s pupose for my life. Finally I am at peace, though my circumstances have not been greatly improved. God has taught me so much, and has changed me! I have been spending the time outside of looking for work, going to court for all the objections of the family in dad’s estate, and have had some restoration in 2 family relationships, reading God’s word, praying, and ministering through what God is teaching me on FB, to help others in need..

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. Extraordinary. I’m so glad you are hanging in there. It will matter to other people more than you can see now.

  • Katherine Hyde

    Writers who are trying to publish their first book can really, as it were, write the book on waiting. Waiting for responses from agents and editors can drive you crazy if you don’t embrace the principles you mention. I’ve learned these principles intellectually, but practicing them consistently is another matter. The hardest part is trusting God that the wait will EVER end, because somewhere inside me still lives the child who can’t believe that anything she wants so intensely can possibly be God’s will.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My head knows these truths better than my heart. I am still working on them!

  • http://www.mustardseedyear.com Jason Wert

    Honestly, Michael, I’m struggling with my season of waiting and I’m sure it’s because of wrong perspective. I’ve been struggling to do anything because I don’t want to do things that seem like wasting time on what God doesn’t want me doing. I wrote a full fiction novel only to feel like God wanted me to shelve it. It made me feel like I’d wasted almost a year of my life when I could have been doing something that had impact beyond me. A lot of times, that feeling paralyzes me to the point I end up doing nothing at all which frustrates me even more than wasted time.

    I’ve definitely seen over the last decade plus lessons that could have only been learned through waiting and I’m glad for what God has taught me. Still, there are some times I wonder if He’s ever going to really show up.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Those feelings are natural. I also think they are what the Enemy tries to exploit. (Remember how Saul didn’t wait for Samuel to show up and took matters into his own hands. Bad things happened.) I also spent a year writing a book, only to shelve it. I still don’t know what will become of it. I simply trust that in God’s economy, nothing is wasted. (Believe me, I am taking this by faith!)

  • http://twitter.com/ChrisBranscome Chris Branscome

    Thank you. This is very timely. I’m burned out at my job, and am looking for a career change, but the most obvious route led me to major road blocks. Right now, I feel like God is saying “Wait.” Ugh. How I hate waiting….but it’s getting easier.

    These are good points to chew on, especially 1 and 2. I’m also reminded that the Bible talks a lot about waiting, and about being still. Those that wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. My soul waits for the Lord, more than watchman wait for the morning. Be still and know that I am God. I have calmed and quieted my soul. As much as the Bible talks about waiting, it must be an okay thing.

  • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

    Michael, I am praying for your family as well.

    I recently was reminded about David (1 and 2 Samuel) who was annointed to be king at an early age; but, had to wait many, many years before receiving the throne. We learn a lot about waiting as we follow his story and we gain some insights that can be applied to our lives. I wrote about what I took from it on my blog (http://stevencribbs.com/do-i-really-have-to-wait/).

    I greatly appreciate your insights – asking the right questions and trusting God are big things for me to remember.

  • http://www.tillhecomes.org/blog Jeremy Myers

    It seems I spend half my life waiting., so I always have a book nearby.

  • Joe Lalonde

    Praying for your granddaughter Michael. Hope the test results come back with a good word!

  • http://www.momentsofgracelotr.com Anne Marie

    Yes, I am, but I know God knows what He is doing and everything will happen when it’s supposed to, which is not necessarily the time I want, but the time He knows is best. When I can’t stand it, I think of someone who was worse off and realize my troubles are less than nothing compared to his. God took care of Him; He will take care of me. Even if things happen at the very last second they could possibly happen, that is still God’s perfect timing and I must trust in that.

    Will pray for your granddaughter!

    God bless, Anne Marie :)

  • http://www.jillkemerer.com Jill Kemerer

    Praying for your dear grandchild. May her wait end with a return to good health.

  • http://www.themindfulmama.com Pauline Magnusson

    I think the juxtaposition of this post after yesterday’s is interesting – perhaps intentional, perhaps accidental. I’m finding that our current waiting time related to career possibilities for my husband is a natural time to begin creating a life plan; if we already had one, it would be a natural pause in which to review said plan. I suppose that’s a way of combining most of your suggestions.

    We continue to hold Libby in prayer; my 7-year-old was quite moved hearing her story and spontaneously offered her own prayers .

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks so much for your prayers, Pauline, and for those of your 7-year-old.

  • Pmpope68

    “One of the best things you can do when you are waiting is get the attention off yourself. I have to keep reminding myself, “It’s not all about me.”

    One of the observations I’ve made about waiting in line is that we are usually so impatient, sending fiery darts with our eyes at the person in front of us who is asking too many questions or taking too long. But when it’s our time, we want the clerk’s undivided attention as we ask a million and one questions and take too long reaching for our money, coupons, checkbook, etc. We are selfish creatures….

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Indeed we are. This is a great reminder. Thanks.

  • http://www.jdeddins.com JD Eddins

    I know it’s a minor point in this post, but this is why I love having the Kindle. It helps me feel productive when I have to wait somewhere. Sometimes just that feeling that I accomplished something during my down time provides a great boost for the rest of the day.

  • http://LookingForPurpose.com Dylan Dodson

    Trust God. Very difficult but very true. Interesting how the most comforting thing is also one of the most overlooked.

  • Pat G.

    I’ve waited for five years for my daughter to “wake up” out of a coma…but each minute we care for her has been extremely precious for our family! What God ordains is always good…and so it will be no matter the outcome. But, as in one of your strategies, we don’t spend our time with her waiting, we spend it loving her and encouraging her.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I can’t imagine. Wow.

    • http://www.krissiwyss.wordpress.com Krissi Wyss

      Wow…that’s quite a situation. I admire you for placing value on her life in that way.

  • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

    Wow. The last couple of weeks, you’ve hit me right where I live. I hate waiting! It drives me nuts to wait! But, like you, I’ve decided that I can learn from it and not just be frustrated because of it.

    A lot of the times when I have to wait, I have to stop and remember that God may be trying to teach me something. Am I listening? This usually happens when we are running late for something, and my wife or one of the kids is being slow. It’s really easy to get angry, but I’ve learned that never solves the problem. In fact, it usually makes it worse.

    Another reason God may have me wait is for my protection. I was once stuck in traffic behind a very slow driver on a 2-lane, winding road. I had no opportunity to pass, and I was getting really frustrated. Before long, we came upon a couple of cars that had just collided, causing serious injuries to both parties. Had I not been stuck behind the slow driver, I probably would have been right in the middle of it. Who knows how that would have turned out? My slow driver experience taught me that God usually has a better grasp on the situation than I do. No, he always has a better grasp…

    Thanks for yet another butt-kickin’. I really do appreciate the reminders.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome. I really relate to God sometimes protecting us when we get in a hurry. I have a feeling in heaven we’ll get to see all the things that could have happened but didn’t. THAT will be exciting.

      • http://www.jeffrandleman.com Jeff Randleman

        That’s a rather disconcerting thought ;) I imagine I’ve had several closer calls than I’d like to know…

        • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

          I guess that would be like watching a re-run of our entire life. I like to think I have things under control; but, I am shown time and again that there is so much more that I don’t have control of.

    • http://stevencribbs.com Steven Cribbs

      That reminds me of an old Amy Grant song ‘Angels Watching Over Me’. Excerpt:

      God only knows the times my life was threatened just today
      A reckless car ran out of gas before it ran my way
      Near misses all around me, accidents unknown
      Though I never see with human eyes the hands that lead me home.

  • http://about.me/christinameyer Renewaltalent

    Yup. Seems that is the theme these days for me. Thanks for posting this! Just confirmation that God is doing His greatest work in my waiting period. Currently reading “Plan B” by Pete Wilson.

    Waiting on lots of things right now. Especially Mr. Right. =)

  • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

    Michael, I hope by now you have the results and I am praying that Libby will be fine!

    Russell Kelfer wrote an amazingly poignant poem called “Wait”. Part of it goes like this…
    All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
    You would have what you want~~But, you wouldn’t know Me.
    You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint;
    You’d not know the power that I give to the faint;
    You’d not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
    You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there;
    You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
    When darkness and silence were all you could see.

    I am a most impatient person and am guilty of giving God a list of ways He can fix my situation that would be okay with me. Slowly He has shaped me into trusting Him more and me less. My life is much happier and a lot more worry-free!

    • TNeal


      Powerful poem. Thank you for sharing.


      • http://refreshmentrefuge.blogspot.com Gina Burgess

        I’ve had that poem for about twenty years, and I make sure it gets transferred into each new computer with all my other files :) Does that tell how much God is having to teach me about waiting? :)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a great poem. Thanks also for your prayers!

  • http://twitter.com/bethanyplanton Bethany Planton

    This post could not have come at a better time. My fiance and I are currently waiting to find out where we are going to be moving in August. On Sunday during worship, the line “Wait on the Lord” stuck out to me, much like this post is doing. They are both good reminders that God is at work, and I need to trust Him.

  • Georgia Heisler

    Yesterday I had to have my dog put to sleep. My appointment was at 5 PM. I was on time, with my precious little companion in my arms. The vet was running late, and I had to wait another 30 minutes all the while keeping my emotions at bay. I tried to pray, but that just threatened to unloose the torrent of tears I was holding back. I had, however, brought a container of plain cooked macaroni—one of the few things my little dog was able to eat. He spent his last minutes indulging in something he truly loved, and I kept occupied hand-feeding him. It seemed to help both of us.

    • TNeal

      I understand your pain. We put our 9-year-old golden down last month. I sobbed like a baby.

      I wish you God’s comfort and the blessed support of other pet owners.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Wow. What a touching story. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Chuck Meadors

    I love how you are always learning, sharing and making a difference in our lives. Our prayers are with Libby. If you all need any help if you decide to bring Libby to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital please let me know. @cdmeadors

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Chuck. Will do. We are working through the Vanderbilt system again. Hopefully, this time with a better outcome.

  • http://twitter.com/SacredHope Stacy Joyce Kennedy

    Yes, I am in a season of waiting. My season of waiting is labeled by many as infertility. This is Month #60. That’s a lot of one-lined pregnancy tests, a lot of tears, a lot of complaining, a lot of other peoples’ baby showers, a lot of prayer. This kind of waiting is a strange grief ~ a lonely sorrow like my sister-in-law feels right now with my brother serving in Afghanistan ~ he’s not dead, but he’s not in her arms. She grieves in her waiting. Yet, she hopes. I grieve in my waiting, yet I hope.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, that this season, five years, has truly been a gift. It’s a gift to our marriage. We have had time to be better students of each other, grow and learn spiritually, to give to others, to know compassion like we never knew it before, and to truly trust God.

    In fact, although I have never met your wife or your daughter, I love their blogs and follow them on Twitter. As soon as I saw the first Tweet about your granddaughter, I was on my knees for her and for all of you. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be to watch one you love so deeply as she suffers. Before our journey of waiting, I wonder if I would have stormed the gates of heaven so readily and earnestly for another. Probably not, I am ashamed to say.

    Just this morning’s reading from the Book of Common Prayer was on waiting.
    What amazing timing indeed…

    “Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.
    He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress where I will not be shaken.
    My victory and honor come from God alone.
    He is my refuge, a rock where no enemy can reach me.
    O my people, trust in him at all times.
    Pour out your heart to him,
    for God is our refuge.”
    {Psalm 62:5-8}

    Thank you for writing this in your waiting. I am praying for sweet Libby.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for sharing this. And thanks for praying for my family. This deeply moved me. I am grateful.

  • http://Katieax.blogspot.com Katie Ax

    I’m in a season of waiting to figure out what will happen after I graduate college in two months.
    The chorus of “While I’m Waiting” by John Waller has been vital to my coping.
    “I will serve You while I’m waiting
    I will worship while I’m waiting
    I will serve You while I’m waiting
    I will worship while I’m waiting
    I will serve you while I’m waiting
    I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord”

    • http://www.walkwiththewise.wordpress.com Gail

      I love this song! It’s always a reminder to me that waiting doesn’t mean stopping. Waiting means doing the best you can with what you have now. And trust me, I’ve been waiting for God’s promise for 8 years and there is still not even a cloud the size of a man’s hand, but still I wait and I believe that He who has promised is faithful (Heb 11v11).

  • http://goinswriter.com Jeff Goins

    But I hate waiting!

  • TNeal

    Ugh! I’m four years into waiting for that first book contract.

    What have I learned in the meantime. A lot more words for one–redolent being a favorite. And how to tell a better story. And how to develop memorable characters. And the importance of a platform. And…and…and…

    Last night, I joined a chat on writing a synopsis. So I come away knowing, boy, I have a lot to learn! More while I wait. Which I’m still doing.

    Hope Libby is better. Thanks for the sound advice.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      If it is any consolation, Andy Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author, waited five years for a contract. He was turned down 52 times. In fact, we turned down his first book twice before we reluctantly agreed to publish it. The book started slowly, but then it the New York Times list when Robin Roberts held it up on Good Morning America and talked about how powerful it was.

  • Alicia Bias

    We’ve been waiting almost 4 years to adopt a child. We were almost able to about a year and a half ago, but the birth mother changed her mind and decided to parent. It is not an easy thing to wait, especially when you don’t even have an idea of what the end is going to be (meaning…will we get our baby or not) but I’ve learned that service to others is always a great way to get through the waiting period. When your focus is on helping others through their trials, you don’t think about yours as much.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      My daughter is on this same journey. Waiting is difficult.

  • Eradio Valverde

    Praying for Libby, you and Gail.

  • http://www.walkwiththewise.wordpress.com Gail

    For “short waits” like at check out lines or the dentist, I like to observe the people around me and to look for insights into what I can pray for them. It maybe a simple thing like for the mum with the crying baby or the service desk lady with harrassed customers, but there are always things you can pray about for the people around you, who are usually also waiting. This too, gets my mind off myself and what I was hurrying to.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      That is a beautiful way to redeem the time.

  • http://twitter.com/dbonleadership Dan

    I will be praying that their is a positive outcome. I have a hard time waiting and I think most leaders do. Its something I am working on. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://twitter.com/colleencoble Colleen Coble

    HOW do you do this? You come up with the best blog topics! :) The writing process taught me how to wait and be patient. I had to come to the point of doing all the things you mention in this post. I’m in a waiting period now as my hubby awaits surgery and I’ve been reminding myself to do these things. Satan can use fear as a potent weapon and too often I let him. Thanks for such a super post!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Colleen. Being a blogger really makes you notice life in a whole new way. Nothing is wasted.

  • http://www.tucsoncowgirl.com Monica Surfaro Spigelman

    Walking in nature (as possible) is good when waiting. I believe nature’s fury right now is in part because we’ve ignored the messages that nature has tried to send us. About valuing earth, wildlife our air, water and other resources. Walking in a natural environment, or even just touching the earth (not the cement sidewalk, the dirt) sometimes gets us out of our thoughts and into the universe. Michael’s post was meaningful to me, today. I pray for your family, Michael and for all who are waiting for the door to open with our longed-for news.

  • http://www.tucsoncowgirl.com Monica Surfaro Spigelman

    Walking in nature (as possible) is good when waiting. I believe nature’s fury right now is in part because we’ve ignored the messages that nature has tried to send us. About valuing earth, wildlife our air, water and other resources. Walking in a natural environment, or even just touching the earth (not the cement sidewalk, the dirt) sometimes gets us out of our thoughts and into the universe. Michael’s post was meaningful to me, today. I pray for your family, Michael and for all who are waiting for the door to open with our longed-for news.

  • http://twitter.com/mylivingpower Laurie Wallin

    Encouraging someone else has always helped me get through our long waits at Children’s hospital with our kids. There are so many first-time families who are scared about what’s happening to their child – a kind word, helping them when their toddler acts up, bringing them some water helps me feel less helpless in the wait and it lets the other family know they’re not alone.

  • Marlenechism

    So very helpful. It is the resistance that makes it seem like we are waiting. In reality, there is only the present moment, but when our mind goes so far into the future, that is when time takes on the experience of waiting. I found this article to be very helpful as a way to shift into the present and make peace with what is.

  • Christy Moosa

    What God taught me in the hard times of waiting.
    1. Dont be anxious about anything except by PRAYER and petition, dependance
    2. God’s timing has never my timing, PATIENCE
    3. PEACE in midst of the storm, keep your eyes on Him
    4. GRACE with others who made me very angry
    5. SURRENDER, He is soverign
    6. SUFFERING, dont complain
    7. EMPATHIC, compassion for what others are going through
    8. WEAKNESS, His power is made perfect in our weakness
    9. DEATH, to my self and will, His will be done in my life
    10. RESSURECTION, expect to be raised in spirit and in strength
    I learned that God desires to do as much “in” me as He was going to do ‘through” in minstry and all this created HUMILITY of heart that I would need. Jacob walked with a limp after He wresteled with God and He refused to let Him go until He blessed Him. Question every leader who does not walk with limp and have a supernatural dependace upon God. May He accomplish His perfect work in your and your family and God’s will be done, In Jesus name.
    Christy Moosa

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JLVZINPL3DRRNQ7KXGNKXX3PPE Beverli


    Once again God has clearly used you to disciple me. I can’t thank -you enough for being an open vessel that God flows through. Definately in a season of waiting. Spending that time learning , reading, and praying. I also added Libby to prayer list.


  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_JLVZINPL3DRRNQ7KXGNKXX3PPE Beverli


    Once again God has clearly used you to disciple me. I can’t thank -you enough for being an open vessel that God flows through. Definately in a season of waiting. Spending that time learning , reading, and praying. I also added Libby to prayer list.


    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Yvonne. I appreciate the prayers, especially.

  • Anonymous

    Praying for your granddaughter. I have been in a season of waiting for about 7 months now, as I have been struggling with heath issues, visiting many different doctors, doing this test and that, and still no answers. Somedays I completely lose my patience and end up repenting for my behavior. Other days I calmly lie in pain and wait without so much as a sigh. So thankful God is patient with me in EVERY moment.

  • karen blackwell

    Thanks, Michael! Your third point on redeeming the time resonated with me–sometimes I feel like the world’s oldest Girl Scout, always trying to “Be Prepared”. God is not taken by surprise and if He has put me on “hold”, may He help me make the best use of that time for His glory. I’m praying for your Libby!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks for your prayers, Libby. We are still waiting for a diagnosis.

  • http://www.inspirebusinessconcepts.com Scott Arrieta

    Thanks for this post. I’ve been called “impatient” on more than one occasion, and it’s something that I’m working to overcome. In addition to the helpful tips that you’ve shared, one of things that I’ve learned to consider while waiting for an answer is the possibility that the act of waiting in itself might sometimes be more important than the answer. Sometimes, God gives us time to reflect, slow down, and reach out to him as a blessing even though our impatience may cause us to miss this most of the time.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      I think this is really an important point. Sometimes, we are so intent on getting to the destination that we miss the journey!

  • Shari

    Such a timely post; thanks. I often say I’d rather eat dirt than wait. Waiting is so hard, and yet, we must do it so often. All of your points are good, but 1, 3 & 4 especially resonate with me. I’ve learned (am learning?) to embrace waiting (might as well), redeem the time, and use it to encourage others. Redeeming the time means, for example, that I read a lot more, am writing again, and have learned some stitching skills (unbelievable if you knew me in 7th grade home ec). Much of what I make is donated to charities or the very hospitals where I spend time waiting. One of the biggest shifts for me has been to wake up out of my worry when I’m waiting and to help parents with young children in the same waiting rooms. So many people must take young siblings along to the hospital, for example, because the families don’t have built-in support that many of us take for granted. You should see the sigh of relief when I offer to commandeer the TV to put on cartoons or PBS, and otherwise seek to entertain the child.

    One caveat to waiting on medical results and procedures: know when to be a polite nag. My pastor has helped me so much with this because I tend to wait until I’m exasperated (ie my grace is depleted). I could offer a dozen or so personal examples, but my firmly reminding hospital staff, including nurses and doctors, that a family member was “still waiting” and asking “is there anything I can do to help?” has meant the difference between unacceptable circumstances and bearable ones for loved ones.

  • http://twitter.com/MacKinnonChris Chris MacKinnon

    I spent a couple of years waiting for things to happen. We moved to Canada and I couldn’t work right away and ministry was on hold because of “everything happening for a reason.” So I got to stay home with my kids when they were little, and I read – a lot. I’d go to the bookstore, browse, and pick out the strangest titles by unknown authors; but each one was spot on for my journey. Now, several years later, I deal a lot better with waiting, especially with embracing it.

  • http://www.flavors.me/jasmine84 Jennifer Rowsell

    I’m definitely in a big season of waiting… I’ve been waiting for my husband for several years now!
    I’m also about to graduate from seminary, and 3 churches have my resume, but no word yet…. in the mean time I’m going to be working at Camp this summer. But still…. it’s going to be an exciting day whenever I get a fulltime ministry position :)

  • James

    I think an important thing to realize is that when when one puts his or her life and times in God’s hands, then even while waiting (which I do not naturally enjoy), we can be assured that “nothing is not happening.” In fact, God is using this “down time” to work out salvation in us. Recognizing this makes it easier to “go with it” vs. resisting it. Of course, there are times when we do need to act and to “resist.” And that is where discernment comes in.

    Meanwhile, like others, I will remember to pray for your granddaughter and extended family. If you feel free to do so, please update.

    Thank you.

  • http://twitter.com/cktygrett Casey Tygrett

    I so appreciate this post, as a great part of our formation in Christ comes through waiting. the biggest part comes through suffering, of which waiting is often a part. the on-demand nature of certain cultures makes waiting a personal offense, rather than a reality and I appreciate you drawing attention to the usefulness of waiting. I learn a lot about my limitations and the presence of God in my life when I’m forced to deal with it instead of getting irritated and doing something stupid. Thanks for your guidance and example on this!


    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Your welcome, Casey. I find that by embracing these things, they lose their negative control over us.

  • http://twitter.com/BeckyAvella Becky Avella

    I had a CT scan done yesterday, and I have felt unsettled since then as I wait for the results. I probably won’t hear anything back until tomorrow, but I’m just “off” today and wasting time, surfing the net, putting my life on hold while I wait. My imagination has gotten the best of me. Thank you so much for this reminder. I don’t think I stumbled onto this post by accident.

    I also wanted to say how much I enjoyed your interview with Dr. Carson today. Thank you!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      You are welcome, Becky.

  • Anonymous

    Praying with you, Michael.

  • http://capablegarnet.blogspot.com/ Tina

    Thanks for the reminder that, with a sovereign God, the waiting has as much purpose as (maybe more than…) the thing waited for. I think it’s hardest when you don’ t know how long the waiting period will be – the double ambiguity of the pending answer and when that answer will come.

    For the short waits, I always have a book and knitting with me. I know guys may not feel comfortable pulling out yarn and needles in a dentist’s waiting room, but, as a woman, I find it’s a more approachable activity than reading in public and can lead to interesting conversations with other waiters. I credit my mom with this preparedness. She always made us pack “things to do” bags when we went on outings as kids because you just never know when you might have to wait.

  • http://twitter.com/angiebrening Angie Brening

    I went from working on staff at a church, with the mindset that I’d be there forever to moving 500 miles away where we didn’t know anyone and I’m unemployed to boot. I am not used to being a “pew-sitter”. I have been involved in some aspect of church work for almost 20 years. So, now that I’m in a new place, desiring so badly for connection and action… I’m being forced to rest. I keep stepping out, trying to get involved at church by volunteering, and for one reason or another the door is closed. So, I wait. I don’t know why God has me here, but I keep reminding myself exactly what you said above that, “God has not forgotten me”. There is a purpose in it all if we are brave and patient enough to wait to see it. Thank you for your post. I consider it yet another tap on the shoulder from my Father to encourage me in my waiting.

  • http://twitter.com/Pattajames James Jackson

    This is exactly what I needed to read after a day like today. My wife and I have been talking a lot about how we are waiting. We know that we are where we are for a reason. Sometimes you just wish you could speed through the dessert (preparation) to get to Canaan (your promised land). But then you would miss so much in the meantime. Especially, if you have young children like we do. Take every moment and make the most of it.

    I love this quote from the post, “God has not forgotten about you or me. He not only knows exactly what we need; He knows when we need it. His timing is perfect.”

  • http://twitter.com/mdmaurer MaDonna Maurer

    Such wisdom in this post. There was a time a few years ago when we were waiting for test results for our little girl. Just prayed for you and your family during this time.

    I spend a lot of time in waiting rooms these days as my daughter has therapy. I take books and my computer along as well. But, encouraging others in the waiting room is one of my tools to fight off the “pity party” blues.
    Loved your last point. “God is never late.” His timing is perfect. Something I am reminding myself as our family is in a different type of season of waiting.

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thank you for your prayers. I really appreciate them.

  • Susan Fontaine Godwin

    ‎”As I wait, You make me strong.” Song lyrics by Lamont Hiebert. It is a privilege to wait on the Lord. My husband, Gary, and I experienced an intense and enduring season of waiting last year when we moved to Birmingham, AL in hopes of Gary receiving a lung transplant. We had waited for 5 months before he was placed on the list as a candidate for transplant and received news on May 1 that he was “listed.” We moved to be near UAB (Univ. of Alabama at Birmingham) May 23 and received our first phone call 6 days later saying, “Mr. Godwin, we may have a lung for you. Don’t eat or drink anything and be at the hospital within an hour.” It turned out that the lung was not viable and we went home to our rental apt. to wait for the next call. Over the course of the next four months, we received 4 more calls for a possible lung, and each time we went home after 4-5 hours disappointed and crest-fallen. Each time, we would once again fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, for His strength, promise and hope. Each time He reminded us that that our hope and trust was in the One who created the heavens and the earth with His spoken Word and we continued to pray for the perfect lung in His perfect time. On Sept. 28, we received our sixth call and we went to the now familiar ATC room at the HTIC unit to wait. This day we waited for 8 hours, when suddenly they the doctor came in to tell us Gary would be transplanted that night. Suddenly, everything came together and he was wheeled into surgery. Less than 3 hours later, the doctor came into the room to tell our family that the surgery went perfectly and that Gary had a new beautiful lung. Today Gary is back announcing his beloved Jaguar basketball and baseball games and working out 5 days a week. Psalm 84 says It is indeed a privilege to wait upon the Lord, for in our weakness His strength is made manifest.
    Is. 40:31
    “But they that wait upon 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.”

  • BeverlyMChi

    Dear Mr. Hyatt:
    I lift your granddaughter and your family in prayer for God to give the doctors wisdom and direction in treating her.

    Thank you so much for this blog article. I have been waiting on the Lord to send me to my next workplace assignment. In the meantime, He continues to show Himself as faithful, I have what I need. Give us this day our daily bread right! I hold on to His promises in the Word of God and seek to encourage and pray for those who are also looking for their next workplace assignment. I have also used this time to heal from the trauma of the departure and recognize that God wants to do a new thing in me. I continue to stay in tune with my industry and to seek God for how He wants to use the skills and talents for the Kingdom. I am in seminary and that as well has been a challenge and as God continues to reveal His plan I pray to stay open and move at His commands.
    Most importantly what I am doing in this season is to love the Lord with my heart, mind, soul, and strength. The circumstances are tiresome, I am so over being in this place but at the end of the day I trust my life to a loving God who keeps His covenant, so I worship Him in spirit and in truth. As noted in the movie Facing the Giants,” I resolve to give my very best to God and to leave the result to Him”. As William McDowell says: “My life is not my own to Him I belong, I give myself away, my dreams, my ambitions, my plans.”

    Thanks for the opportunity to share.

    God bless,

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  • Anonymous

    Yes, I am waiting. Like you, I DO NOT LIKE WAITING. Unfortunate for us humans, God seems to find it necessary to put us in “waiting seasons” frequently throughout life.

    I read a quote once that basically said, “When you can’t do anything else, just do the next thing.” When I find myself in these seasons of waiting, I purposefully focus on what I KNOW to be God’s will. The future is sometimes cloudy and uncertain, but there is always light for today. Today I can walk in joy and obedience. Tomorrow always belongs to an all-knowing God.

    (By the way, hope your granddaughter’s test results come back clear!)

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks. I have heard it put like this: “When you don’t know what to do, just do the next right thing.” In fact, I am working on a blog post on this now.

      Unfortunately, we still don’t have a diagnosis on my granddaughter. We have a eliminated some thing, but still searching. Thanks!

  • http://www.convenientcalendar.com Free Calendar

    You tend to do things you regret out of impatience, and it really shows your character! Could you imagine if David was impatient to become king after he told he was going to be king, that could have been disasterous!

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Agreed. Saul is the perfect example of NOT waiting.

  • Sue

    Let me start out by saying that my husband and I have one beautiful miracle in our son. This year we have foun out just how much of a miracle he is. I found out last summer that I could, “medically”, not have any more children without help. This prompted my husband and I to investigate In Vitrofertilization. We just finished our cycle and 2 weeks ago found out that it didn’t take. We only have one embryo left and we will try again in May. In the meantime waiting on God has been a real challenge. We have had many suggestions such and adoption and maybe we are only meant to have one child. The most helpful thing anyone has said to me came from my grandfather, a retired pastor. He said that it’s not about having enough faith or praying enough, it’s about submitting your path to God no matter what the outcome may be. This is a very tough lesson to hear and learn because I really want another child and I know that God is able to work around my issues. I mean, who knows my body better than He does. My work, however, is to submit to His authority over every area of my life and this can sometimes be even harder than the waiting. I just have to keep praying that He will give me the strength, humility and grace to submit my way to Him no matter the outcome of my circumstances.

  • Halee smith

    This is my first time being bullied in school and i cant cope with it the day before i started to be bullied i was asking the lord to forgive me for all my sins and the next day im being teased about how ugly i look and i have been ran over stepped on for 8 years or since i started school and now im being bullied this is too much i was bullied well not quite bullied but teased and now its to a point where im teased everyday i am always nice to people but that doesnt do mw any good i keep questioning whether i should keep my faith or not cuz I dont think it has gotten any better for me but im trying to hold on hoping god will give me the blessing i have been waiting for.

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  • http://twitter.com/BobEwoldt Robert Ewoldt

    I go everywhere with my Kindle; sometimes my wife makes fun of me for taking it with me to family gatherings, even though I rarely use it. I always tell her, “Someday, we’ll be sitting in an airport lobby with nothing to do, and you’ll be the one without anything to read.” There have been a couple of times in our 4-year marriage where she’s already said to me, “Man, I wish I had something to read at this moment.”

  • http://www.susiefinkbeiner.wordpress.com Susie Finkbeiner

    This might sound funny…but I like waiting. I’m the mom of 3 kids 4 and under. I’m rushing around so much all day that when I get a second to stop and wait – ah, that’s pretty nice! 

    It gives me time to wonder about life, to daydream. And, amazingly enough, it’s a moment that I’m able to read or write a little!

  • http://www.magascene.com Marie Fuzzell

    Great advice. I’m not good at waiting either; one of my strategies is to tell friends. It’s easier to wait with friends than alone. 

  • http://www.nancyjcommunications.weebly.com Nanc

    Waiting? It has been part of my life for years. As a sales representative for years waiting was part of my daily life. Now I travel internationally and I spent time waiting to get to where I desire to go. What I see during my times of waiting as I wait with others, anger, anger, anger. My feeling on this, my anger will only hurt me and it usually will not speed up the wait.

  • http://twitter.com/churchpunk Chris Walker

    I have been waiting for a year and I am still not sure what I am waiting for. I just keep doing what I am supposed to be doing now.

  • http://twitter.com/DarrylHarris Pastor Darryl Harris

    Great and helpful post as usual.  Sounds like a book I wrote, When God Says Wait for someone else.  Love all your helpful information!

  • http://www.lambpower.net Steve D

    Michael, great post. I would like to add two other thoughts.  I learned this the hard way, spending 6 weeks in the hospital waiting for a liver and kidney transplant

    First, understand that most waits are beyond your control. They are also probably beyond the control of most of the people who you directly deal with. What we may think are simple transactions are very complex. Therefore, stewing about it is useless.

    Second, deal with those who are on the opposite side (receptionists, customer service representatives, nurses, etc.) politely and with grace. As I said before, quite often the people who you have to interface with cannot change the bigger picture. Treating them with respect an courtesy shows the love of Christ and sometimes will even get them on your side.

  • Dshick

    Mr Hyatt…..

    Another wonderful post.  I’ve always considered myself very impatient and I will keep your advice in mind the next time I can’t relax and let things happen.

    But to what is most important – tonight I will pray for your granddaughter, your daughter and your entire family….as well as all those who posted their medical and other challenges.  There is such power in prayer.  Feel the Spirit.


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  • Reggie

    I am “between jobs” currently.  Our money is running low and bills are coming soon.  I know that God is at work in my life.  I have seen Him at work before. 
    Although I get uneasy at the, “last minute” intervention, I know that it will be there for me.  He is a wonderful God.  He knows the circumstances we each face and is at work in all our lives.  He will bring us through.  He said he would.

  • http://twitter.com/DarrylHarris Pastor Darryl Harris

    Should take a look at my book on this important subject: When God Says Wait” on amazon.com.  Similar helpful insights

  • Heikki

    First of all I would like to thank you for your blog posts. I’m a young product manager still learning the job and I’ve found your posts to be most helpful and resourceful. At first I thought that your posts would only help me on my job but I’ve found help from them on my personal life. This post got me to think that I will write a reply. It took a couple of months to write a reply but here it goes.

    The reason I wanted to write a reply was that at the moment when I read this I was waiting for something to show that will my and my spouse’s seven year relationship continue or end. At the beginning of 2011 we realized that all was not well in our relationship and we started to see a relationship counsellor. It helped a lot but after six months it started to show that we’re going nowhere. Then we decided to move apart and wait another six months to see what would come. I had been living by myself for about a month when your post came and from that I got some extra power to carry on.

    I had read your previous post about when something bad happens and you adviced then not to think “why me?” but “what will this make possible?” and with that in my mind and this post I changed my way of thinking. I was pretty messed up about the moving apart but I managed to change my thinking every time it started to look bad. I realized that now I can do everything I like and I don’t have to ask anyone for a “permission” or try to get the schedule working. I also thought that there has to be a reason for this and found comfort in that.

    So thank you Michael for your posts and giving so good advice in life and work. Wishing you and your family all the best.

    Sincerely yours,

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Thanks, Heikki. I’m so glad you have found it helpful.

  • http://darensirbough.com/ Daren Sirbough

    I was in a season of waiting. Now I’m just in the season of reaping from that wait. The thing that got me through the tough times was knowing that God is and always will be faithful. Knowing that he has taken me from somewhere to put me higher and that he wouldn’t make things worse for me.

    All these tips are really great. I wish I had them during my wait. I had to learn a few of them by doing the wrong thing and learning from that! God still teaches you through it.

  • http://twitter.com/LeadingGodsGen Michelle Eichner

    My new attitude on waiting: http://wp.me/s29UZK-waiting  (I don’t have it down, but I’m working on it! :-)

  • Hckclb

    Even when working, I’m always in a state of waiting…for my novel to be accepted by a publisher. For myself to finish the latest short story. For the opportunity to straighten my work room after the 2-month furor of matting, framing and packing artwork to take to the 8-day venue I attend each year. How soon I begin the first draft of my second middle grade novel, depends on how soon the fallout from all that top-speed preparation, gets cleared from my early-morning writing area. That would be enough to wait for, and work my way through, so when I find myself in waiting situations (doctor’s office, long supermarket lines—I make sure to have some meaningful reading with me. I also people-watch and think about the development of characters for the new novel. Keeping a spiritual outlook is most essential. When I maintain that, I can stay positive.

  • RoryPeebles

    Some excellent ideas!

  • Walker Nobrega

    Im waiting for a dumb thing, i dont really want say what is it but is something material that i can only get it in april 22th, im counting the days and i cant concentrate in nothing else.
    The only thing that keeps me going is that someday april 22th will come and this will be only a old and useless comment, but im trying to type all the bad feelings im having.

  • Shelly Calcagno

    Thank you – I so needed to read this today!

  • Bobby

    When I find myself waiting, I like to redeem the time back but review scripture using the Topical Memory System by the Navigators. http://www.navpress.com/product/9781576839973/

  • Scott Lippmann

    Waiting is a wonderful opportunity to pray. We are so busy in our lives that we often neglect important things for lack of time. Waiting is “found time”! By using our waiting time for prayer, we do several things – obviously, we get an unexpected opportunity to spend time with God; doing so also calms our mind, focuses us on what’s important and relieves the stress of the moment. When we do walk into someone’s office after a wait, we are relaxed, focused and functioning at our best.

  • Sheryl Floris

    Great post! I tend to carry a book with me as well as a notepad so that I’m prepared in case I have to wait. So many books, so little time!

  • Haristg

    Oooh Comeon You gotta b kiddin man, even ma illiterate mom knows this :3