15 June 2011

Waiting on the Lord

I've never been good at waiting. Or surprises. (Yes, I was one of those kids who would carefully unwrap and rewrap my Christmas presents to see what I was getting.)

I found a talk, Waiting on the Lord, given by then Elder Henry B. Eyring at a BYU Devotional in the fall of 1990. I was a freshman that year but I really don't remember the talk. (Although I guess I've made up for it though by the number of times I've listened to this talk since then.)

Anyway, he begins the talk by saying, "You are in a time, I hope, of at least a little uncertainty."  It's funnyI didn't notice this little line until I listened to it the last time.   

Why in the world would he said that he hoped we were in a time of uncertainty?

As I've reread parts of the talk, I wonder if he wants us to understand that it is exactly this uncertainty this tentativeness about what we face today or tomorrow that can force us to our knees in humble prayer. And maybe that is exactly why uncertainty is so important.

He says that this struggling has a reward:
If you pray, if you talk to God, and if you plead for the help you need, and if you thank him not only for help but for the patience and gentleness that come from not receiving all you desire right away or perhaps ever, then I promise you that you will draw closer to him. And then you will become diligent and long-suffering.

Perhaps it is the process and refining that come from our diligent prayers and the humble willingness to continue to pray when revelation isn't forthcoming that change our natures. Because, after all, the goal of this life is not receiving the answer to today's question, but the answer to eternity's question: Who am I?

And the answer to that question is profoundly simple:
I am a child of God. . . .
We are daughters of our Heavenly Father, who loves us. . . .
I wonder if, as we struggle to seek out and recognize answers from our Heavenly Father, the process matters more than the product. I wonder if our efforts teach us His voice, teach us to recognize His very individual love. I wonder if our efforts help us to treasure the relationship with Him that much more, teaching us to love Him.

He says it this way:
The . . . help of heaven requires working past the point of fatigue so far that only the meek and lowly will keep going long enough. The Lord doesn't put us through this test just to give us a grade; he does it because the process will change us. . . . And if we are going to be given access to the powers of heaven, we are going to have to learn to wait upon the Lord. [emphasis mine]
Like I said, I'm not real good at waiting. But the promises that I am given for being willing to do just that are incredible:
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]

So what do you believe it means to wait on the Lord? How you do it?  Please share your testimonies of waiting for revelation, waiting for promised blessings, waiting upon the Lord.  And please share how waiting has changed you.


  1. Anonymous6:42 PM

    thanks for this.

  2. Oh boy. Waiting on the Lord is one of the hardest things I ever do. I struggle with it everyday knowing that we are prompted in one direction, and then working and waiting for things to happen.

    I needed this post. Thank you for the food for thought.

  3. I am so glad you came over to visit on my Book Blog and said "Hi".
    I love your blog and especially this message today. It is beautiful and so true and I really really needed to read this.
    Thank you

    And "Hello" to you new friend!

  4. Hi Laura,
    This is such a great topic. Thanks for covering it.

    You asked for a testimony, and I am not one to turn away a friend... :o However, the testimony which comes to mind may not be from the same angle you had in mind.

    I have a testimony that just as we wait upon the lord for answers to questions... blessings we need, and the like; the Lord also experiences waiting on us. He stands at the door to our lives, knocking and waiting for us to open the door and let Him in our lives more. He waits for us to ask for what we need. He waits for us to ask Him to tell us what we need to know. He waits for us to hear His answers. He waits for us to believe that we deserve the blessings He sends; and He waits for us to receive.

    I have a testimony that He has angels waiting to bless us, if we will but ask for them. "Ask and ye shall receive. Seek and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened unto you." He waits for us to have faith enough to receive.

    I hope this works. It is simply what came to mind. ...lovely post. Thank you. :)
    Corine :D

  5. Thank you for saying hello on my blog! And what a great find to visit your blog. I am so on board with what you're sharing here. This is a fantastic post. Waiting on the Lord is a topic I think we are constantly learning more about as His disciples. I think faith is the driving force for any of us as we wait on the Lord- knowing that no matter the timing, He does have a plan, and He will answer our prayers according to what is best for us. That is always what gets me through those times of waiting.

    I'll definitely be coming back to visit your fantastic blog!

  6. This is one of my greatest weaknesses, patience. I'm the one that always has to go to the mall and find out what gender my baby is at 13 weeks!

    I know that waiting can be beneficial, but I haven't always endured it well. I liked how Elder Eyring talks about the PROCESS changing us. I don't understand why certain things happen or don't happen, but I do have faith that their is a much grander purpose for our eternal better good.

    I always love your insight. Much needed!

  7. This bit here strikes something in me (in a positive way) ... "I wonder if, as we struggle to seek out and recognize answers from our Heavenly Father, the process matters more than the product."

    I feel like the start of my journey is exciting and new and full of so much hope.

    This post is beautiful!

  8. I was recently struck by these very words, "Wait upon the Lord" when I was reading 2 Nephi yesterday--the Isaiah chapters. The thing that really hit me was that the instruction to "wait" was given to the house of Israel in the midst of ruin and destruction by their enemies. I felt the message so loud and clear from the Lord. He was telling me that even when times get really rough, and I feel like I can't go another day or even another step, if I continue to trust Him, to have faith in Him, and do my best to just take that next step, then everything will be alright--I will be alright. He has sent me this same message in different ways over the last few weeks, and now I come onto your blog and get it AGAIN! Thanks for what you do Laura--this is just one way that you are blessing my life and so many others!

  9. Absolutely lovely post. I've been thinking so much lately on waiting on the Lord and being patient with his timing. I love the idea of thanking "him not only for help but for the patience and gentleness that come from not receiving all you desire right away or perhaps ever". I sure gotta work on that!

    I do know that my Heavenly Father knows what is best for me and has the power to change my situation if he wants. So if he doesn't and I'm doing what he asks of me, it must be because it is what I need now, even if it's not what I want, desperately.


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