It’s Hard to Wait for God to Rescue A Loved One

I have a confession to make. When it comes to faith, I find it a bit easier to trust God in the midst of my own struggles than it is to wait on Him to come to the rescue of someone I love.

waiting dog

I don’t know why this is, or if there are others who feel this same way. I just know I’m feeling it deeply right now.

I don’t like to wait. I look up movie spoilers in the middle of the show. I always read the end of the book first.

Maybe it’s a control issue. Maybe it’s a trust issue.

Or maybe I’m just a finite human being who longs for a happy ending—and an easy way to get there.

I can’t make God answer my prayers in the way I want, when I want. I can’t force an outcome.

I’d like to, but I can’t.

I also can’t make other people respond how I might respond—or how I think I might respond—to any given trial. While God offers only one way to salvation, He relates to each mind and heart in a unique way, much like any other loving parent interacts with his or her children individually.

God’s plans for each of us are for our good—I truly believe that. Not in a cliche, pat-answer kind of way, but deep down—in that place where I trust His sovereignty even when the plans He unfolds don’t make any sense to me and might even seem to be the opposite of good.

I believe this, but as time drags on and nothing changes—at least nothing that’s readily apparent—I sometimes wonder.

What’s taking so long? What’s the point of all this? Is healing ever going to come?

I may be misinterpreting my own motivations here, but I honestly don’t think these questions stem from doubt or a lack of faith. They’re based on feelings, which are fickle. They ebb and flow, depending on all kinds of internal and external stimuli.

My faith, on the other hand, is based on a relationship with God, which is eternal. I believe every word of Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

I know God could remedy in an instant the situations in which my loved ones find themselves. When He doesn’t, it makes me sad to see them struggling or suffering. To feel otherwise would be somewhat less than human, I think.

And sadness does not indicate an absence or lack of faith. Faith has nothing to do with feelings, in fact. According to Hebrews 11:1, it’s “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

I can’t see what’s going on behind the curtain, but I know there’s not a fake wizard back there. I believe that the God who is working in the lives of my loved ones is the same God who was with Jeremiah and all the other Old Testament prophets—the very same ones who wondered when God was going to act and yet wrote so eloquently about His compassion, protection, mercy and justice.

So while I keep praying for Him to move, my hope remains this: that “the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will personally restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little.” (1 Peter 5:10)

Lois Flowers

P.S. I’m linking up this week with Missional WomenGrace & Truth, Purposeful Faith, #TellHisStory, Coffee for Your Heart and #ThoughtProvokingThursday.

52 Responses to It’s Hard to Wait for God to Rescue A Loved One

  1. Naz says:

    What a beautiful post Lois. May God of Love and Grace who loves our loved ones even more than us shines through their lives and save them. We don’t know the date it is going to happen, but I often say ‘Lord you know, please bring it forward Father. You know I am a child and have patience of child… be quick Abba!’ Waiting with you here sister xxo

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Oh, I hear you, Naz! I often have the patience of a child too. 🙂 Thank you for stopping by this week … isn’t it comforting to know we’re not in the waiting room alone?

  2. Meghan says:

    Eeek I am backwards but I wonder why. I am the type who encourages and believes big mountains can move for others, but when it comes to my own trials I get a lil flustered for a few then eventually snap out of it. I am not as mature as I’d like to be but enough to know to run straight to Him (His Word) for Truth. I am SO thankful He is sovereign and isn’t controlled by fickle feelings like I allow myself to be sometimes. I am glad I read this, I really enjoy your posts – they are real and that is what I need in my life.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Meghan, I don’t think you’re backwards at all … I think everyone is different when it comes to things like this, depending on personality, life experiences, etc. 🙂 I actually think I react in a similar way when trials come up in my life–by getting a little flustered (or a lot flustered) but eventually snapping out of it (hopefully). Thank you for sharing a bit of yourself here … and for your encouragement too!

  3. Love this line: “I may be misinterpreting my own motivations here, but I honestly don’t think these questions stem from doubt or a lack of faith. They’re based on feelings, which are fickle. They ebb and flow, depending on all kinds of internal and external stimuli.”

    It’s so true! If we listen to our feelings, they can misguide us. Faith is much stronger, steadier and stable. Love how you distinguished between them.

  4. This is such a powerful word! I, too, have experienced similar feelings and have even written about them, as well. 🙂 I tend to wonder whether it’s harder to watch someone else go through a trial because the person observing doesn’t get the same kind of grace that is given to the one enduring. Whether my suspicions are correct or not, this is a truth worth pondering. Thank you for sharing it with us at Grace & Truth!

    • Lois Flowers says:

      That’s a great point, Jennifer–I think you might be on to something. It reminds me of the lyrics to the old hymn, He Giveth More Grace:
      “He giveth more grace as our burdens grow greater, He sendeth more strength as our labors increase; To added afflictions He addeth His mercy, To multiplied trials He multiplies peace.” (The rest of the words are really wonderful, too!)
      Thank you for adding these thoughts today!

  5. Shelley says:

    What an encouraging read today! Thank you. I waited for years for God to rescue my son from the life he was living, only it didn’t come the way I expected . He is in jail awaiting trial. He has come back to The Lord, and is leading bible study where he is at. I though he may not live another year the path he was on and neither did he.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Shelley, I can relate to your experience of God not answering how we expect or even want. I’m sorry your son is in jail, but I can also imagine your mother’s heart is so grateful that God never stopped pursuing him. Thanks for sharing a bit of your story here!

  6. Pam Blosser says:

    Yep… been there, done that. Even wrote about it, too. God’s waiting room. Where much growth happens!

  7. Alisa says:

    I can so identify with this Lois! Waiting is not easy. Especially when we are waiting for breakthroughs.

    I pray God’s supernatural power and presence would flow through your loved ones. That whatever they need would be provided. And in the meantime, that your heart and mind would be filled with His perfect peace.

  8. Amen! Right there waiting with you…

  9. Lois, I can identify 100% with what you’re saying here. I find it SO MUCH harder to have faith or to stay at peace when I see others struggling. You feel so powerful. Thanks for your insights. That 1 Peter verse is pure gold.

  10. Praying with you, friend. This resonated with me on so many levels. Let’s keep fighting for our loved ones on our knees. Hugs

  11. Lisa notes says:

    I think waiting on God to act on behalf of someone else is definitely a hard thing. When it’s our own stuff, we at least feel a tad more in control, but other people? We’re totally out of control and totally dependent on God. Praying for your situation to be answered and for your patience in the meantime. Thanks for sharing here what you’ve been learning.

  12. Great reminder! It was on my heart because a very good friend of mine is having cancer surgery today. She has been through chemo and still has radiation to go. It’s hard to watch, but she is a faithful Christian. She loves the Lord and trusts Him. So do I, but like you said, it’s harder when it is someone you love. Anyway, thank you for the encouragement. I needed it.

  13. Barbara says:

    Your post was a good reminder and an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your heart. Linking up from Holley Gerth’s. Blessings

  14. I have lots of these same feelings and wrote about a similar this week on my blog. I love the way that you somehow put all my thoughts and feelings right in front of me to read. So thankful for you! Linking up from Purposeful Faith.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Your post was beautiful, Jacque … I think we are definitely on the same page about all this. And I love that verse from Zephaniah too. 🙂 I’m so glad our blogging paths crossed this week!

  15. Lois, Thank you so much for sharing this heartfelt post that reaches me exactly where I am at.

    I am praying for a loved one in the throws of addiction, where that person has been for years. I know that God can heal this person even if they don’t seek counseling, that I can believe God’s word like the centurian did that Jesus need only say the word and my loved one can be healed.

    But I struggle, feeling hopeless that unless this person seeks counseling, they will be in a dangerous spiral that at the rate they are going could lead to destruction.

    Normally, I have more faith for others than for myself in situations. Yet your post made me realize that I, in this particular instance, am doubting more than believing.

    Thank you for the hope of the Scriptures you shared and your comforting insights.

    I am so glad I visited here today. You brought me great encouragement. 🙂

    • Lois Flowers says:

      I’m glad you visited too, Karen. I normally write blog posts in bits and pieces over several days, but this one came fast because I was right in the middle of what I was writing. At times like that, restating specific truths from scripture really helps me, so I’m glad you found it comforting! It’s hard to pray about a situation over which we have no control, isn’t it? Trusting with you that your loved one would recognize his or her need for help and start seeking it …

  16. Lois, this is sweet and moving at the same time. I know exactly how you feel, because I read the end to books and want to know the end of every movie before I see it. But I’m actually glad God doesn’t give us all the answer to life that way. Even though I don’t like trials, I like that I’ve learned to trust Him better after each one. Thanks for sharing.

    • Lois Flowers says:

      When it comes right down to it, I’m glad about that too, Christy. I’m also thankful that I can look back and see how my faith has deepened through trials, though I still have far to go. (And it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who reads the end of books first!)

  17. I totally relate to your words, Lois. When we’re enduring trial, we closely monitor our proximity to God – how often we talk to Him and what He says back. When others hurt – we’re on the outside looking in and in can be so hard to know what in the world is going on. But yes … we serve a God who is sovereign over all. His ways are higher and His plans better than any we could put in place on our own. Great words today!

  18. Carly says:

    I completely relate to the feeling that it’s harder to wait for God to help a loved one who’s struggling than to trust him in my own struggles. Supporting a friend with mental health issues for several years has been one of the biggest tests to my faith. It is so hard when you pray and pray and know God could fix it instantly but he doesn’t. As you say it just makes you sad to watch someone hurting.
    I love this line: “I can’t see what’s going on behind the curtain, but I know there’s not a fake wizard back there.” Just have to hold on to the fact that God is still in charge and he knows what he’s doing.

  19. Kristina says:

    “Or maybe I’m just a finite human being who longs for a happy ending—and an easy way to get there.” This really touch me. This too is what I am struggling with too. Coming from Jennifer’s link up

  20. Lois, We’re a lot alike! I so have a hard time in the waiting. But it’s there that He grows my faith in Him, and His timing. Beautiful post! Thank you for sharing!

  21. Bethany says:

    Lois, I feel the same way so often. I know the Lord is faithful to me, but I find it so hard to watch loved ones struggle because they might not know how faithful He is or feel it. Praise Him that He knows each of us best. Thank you for sharing!

  22. Lois,
    Thank you for modeling faith and trust in your honest struggle (which I can relate to) on how hard it is to wait when a loved one struggles…your words reminded me of Sara Frankl’s family as they watched her struggle and in pain…praying God works in your loved one’s life to bring about restoration and for comfort for both of you…((hugs))

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Thank you, Dolly. I appreciated your reflection about Sara’s book … isn’t it wonderful to see how a person’s words can continue to encourage even when she is no longer with us? I hope you have a joy-filled week, my friend!

  23. Trudy says:

    “I know God could remedy in an instant the situations in which my loved ones find themselves. When He doesn’t, it makes me sad to see them struggling or suffering. To feel otherwise would be somewhat less than human, I think.” I so feel this way, too, Lois. It’s so hard to be patient for God’s answer in His time and way. Thank you for reminding me that nothing is too hard for Him. Blessings to you!

  24. Heidi says:

    I needed this encouragement today! Thank you, Lois.

  25. Linda Stoll says:

    You wrote this just for me and mine.

    That’s all I can say.

    And thank you, too. Your words have been a gentle grace, a needed reminder, Lois.

    I so appreciate you in my life …

    • Lois Flowers says:

      Oh Linda … thank you for continuing to encourage even when you are in need of encouragement yourself. Praying for peace and comfort for you and yours as you wait and trust.

  26. Shared on my church’s Facebook page and my own timeline. I was thinking of a few loved ones as I shared.

    Thank you, once again, for wise, faithful and encouraging words.

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