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


Photo courtesy of morguefile and Darnok.The host fumbled with the paper. Shesh. I’m dying here. Just make the announcement.

She straightened the papers and glanced at the award plaques on the table. It was only seconds, but it felt like hours. I’d waited a month to find out if I’d won.

Actually, I’d waited longer than that. It took seven months to craft the novel. Three years to shop and sell it. Another year after the contract was signed for the publication and now, a month since the announcement of being a finalist. Without a doubt—a lot of waiting.

From the day I began the novel, I prayed two things: Help me keep my eyes focused on you. Let this work be to your glory, not mine.

Of course, I’d thought about what I prayed . . . but not deeply enough. I had made a concerted effort to give God the glory for the success of this novel, and when it was a finalist for a major award, I tried my best to keep those thoughts in mind. Well, I managed on the outside to keep those thoughts in the forefront. Internally, next to my heart, I longed to win just once.

So, when the host tinkered with her papers holding the winner’s name, I just wanted her to get on with it. The wait was killing me.

Lord, let this be a glory to you. That was my prayer sitting at the table, wringing my hands. Waiting.

The host moved closer to the microphone and announced the winner. Uh . . . not me. Instantly, my heart sank. A forced smile surfaced as I clapped for the winner.

David prayed a number of times to be strong and wait. Wait. His words of encouragement attest to the fact that he himself had to learn to be strong and wait in whatever task he worked or desired. God trained him in the fields, not in the throne room, and there was an art to being strong while he waited. Patience, anticipation, hope, and success—all in God’s timing.

I was ashamed of myself. Disappointed, but ashamed. I’d prayed fervently from the inception of the novel that God would use it to His glory, not mine. Being a finalist gave God the glory—a win would have given me the glory. God knew where my heart was at the moment, and though I’m sure He understood my disappointment, He taught me a valuable lesson: learning to wait on His timing is better.

When the desires of your heart grow strong . . . learn to wait on God. His wisdom and power are well worth the wait.

(Photo courtesy of morguefile and Darnok.)

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Cindy Sproles

Cindy Sproles is an author and speaker. She is the cofounder of Christian Devotions Ministries and the Executive Editor of www.christiandevotions.us and www.inspireafire.com. Cindy is the acquisitions editor for SonRise Books and Straight Street Books, imprints of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. She teaches at writers conferences and women's conferences nationwide. Visit Cindy at www.cindysproles.com.