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Trusting God in the Uncertainties of Life

Trusting God in the Uncertainties of Life

There are some things I’m good at. Whether by nature, nurture, or hard practice, I have accumulated some skills and been given some talents. But I’m not good at everything of course. Not nearly. One thing I’m very poor at is waiting. I’m restless, impatient, and eager to be active and this leaves me prone to pray too little and act too impulsively. It leaves me prone to complain when Providence dictates that I must move slowly or not move at all.

I have read many books in my lifetime, but never have I read a book about waiting. Never, that is, until I picked up Mark Vroegop’s Waiting Isn’t a Waste: The Surprising Comfort of Trusting God in the Uncertainties of Life. Vroegop has written his book for people like me who are sometimes forced to wait but who tend to see waiting as a waste, as a time that is meant to be conquered or bypassed or figured out as quickly as possible. The fact is that life is full of gaps, moments, and seasons when all we can do is wait—wait for clarity, wait for answers, wait for changes, wait for God to make his will clear to us and to others. The question is, what are we meant to do with these times?

Throughout the book, Vroegop shows that waiting is a surprisingly common theme in both the Old Testament and the New. The Bible, it turns out, has a lot to say about it. Waiting, he insists, is not just a necessary component of our humanity but a vital component of our Christian faith. Waiting is not a time when God is absent from our lives, but a time when he may be very present and even accomplishing great things within us. “That’s why the Old and New Testaments talk about it so often. Like many other things, including suffering and the crucifixion, God aims to transform what is painful and confusing. That’s also why believers are commanded to wait. From God’s perspective, it’s good.”

Of course, just because waiting is good does not mean that it is easy or that it comes naturally. And that’s the reason Vroegop provides clear instruction on it. Throughout six chapters he shows that we are called to wait on God

  • honestly, acknowledging that waiting is hard;
  • frequently, acknowledging that waiting is common
  • thoughtfully, acknowledging that waiting is biblical
  • patiently, acknowledging that waiting is slow
  • intentionally, acknowledging that waiting is commanded
  • collectively, acknowledging that waiting is relational.

In short, he wants to help us redeem our waiting, to stop dreading it, and to learn to embrace the gaps in life as an opportunity to pursue the Lord, embrace his purposes, and become like his Son. There is no if about waiting—we will most certainly have times when God decrees we will wait for opportunities, answers to prayer, the growth of character, the salvation of our loved ones, and so much else. The issue is not if but how—how we will wait when God’s decree forces us to come to a screeching halt.

I believe Waiting Isn’t a Waste will do exactly what it is intended to do—to help Christians make the most of their waiting and to agree with the author that waiting isn’t a waste. I highly recommend it.

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