In the words of Gerald the Elephant, “Waiting is NOT easy.”

Have you heard of the Elephant and Piggie books by Mo Willems?

Oh my goodness, they’re only the bestest best books, like, ever, in the history of the universe!!

Seriously, my friend, I wish these books were around when I was a kid. Now all I can do is collect them so I can read them to my children someday.

Let me back up. The Elephant and Piggie books follow the many adventures of Gerald (an elephant) and Piggie who are best friends. They have completely different personalities but get along just great. The dialogue is illustrated by speech bubbles, like a comic strip for four-year-olds.

I love them.
Have I mentioned that yet? :)

There’s this one Elephant and Piggie book all about how Piggie has a big surprise for Gerald. And Gerald just can’t wait for Piggie to tell him what the surprise is. Only, that’s the thing. Piggie won’t tell him and Gerald discovers that waiting is NOT easy. (In fact, that’s the title of this book.)

The whole book follows Gerald trying to wait, but becoming super impatient and claiming he just can’t wait anymore. Piggie always tells him that it’s worth it. And then Gerald groans a big groan.

But then- at the very end of the book- the sun sets and the stars come out. Piggie and Gerald are out in the country and can see all the stars in all their gorgeousness. Gerald is awestruck because he’s never seen a starry night before. And he decides that his waiting was worth it.

Waiting is not easy.

In fact, waiting is super-duper hard.

Waiting for something that I really want is hard for me. I’m a very impatient person most times. When I don’t know what I’m waiting for- like Gerald in the book- I become even more impatient.

When my friends tell me they have a surprise for me, I finally learned NOT to ask any questions about it… because if I do then they’ll refuse to tell me anything and I’ll torture myself by trying to figure out what the surprise is.

Waiting on God is also hard.

We as Christians are called and commanded to “trust in the Lord with all [our] hearts,” but it can be so hard to do so when He keeps us waiting for answers for so long (Proverbs 3:5).

Waiting is not easy. Just ask Gerald the Elephant. Just ask anybody! But even though waiting is NOT easy, it's definetly worth it. Here's why...

What are you waiting for?

A job?
The chance to see an old friend again?
The opportunity to return on a mission trip?
A boyfriend?
A proposal?
Your wedding?
A baby?

If you’re waiting for any of those things and you feel like a terrible person because you’re a terrible wait-er… breath. Waiting is not easy.

Waiting is sometimes the worst thing ever.

But keep waiting. I want to encourage you not to give up. Don’t “throw the towel in” as the saying goes. Keep waiting and keep trusting God.

Waiting is not easy… but it is worth it.

When I was babysitting this past summer, one of the girls I nannied for asked me if we could go to Walmart so she could buy a lego set. She had saved her own money, and it was alright with her mom, so her younger sister and I climbed into the car with her and drove to Walmart.

Lana- her five-year-old sister- was content to make the trip to Walmart… at first. But, once she saw all the “shiny” legos, she became discontent. She started asking me if she could buy legos too. I explained to her that her sister was able to buy herself legos since it was her own money. I told her that someday she would have money to spend on legos too.

She huffed and proclaimed, “Waiting is NOT easy!”

Having read the Elephant and Piggie book with her numerous times, I chuckled. “Is that something Gerald would say?”

“Yes.” Lana folded her arms stubbornly. “Waiting is NOT easy!!”

“What did Gerald have to wait for?” I asked gently.

“The stars at night.”

I smiled and bent down to look at her eye-level. “Was it worth it?”

She nodded her head. “Yes! He loved the stars!”

“Right! Gerald found out that even though waiting is not easy, it’s worth it. And someday, when you can buy your own legos, you’ll know that waiting is worth it too.”

It’s a silly example, but I hope you can see the point.

Even though waiting is not easy, it is 100% worth it.

But this is where I need you to pause and hear me closely: Just because you wait, doesn’t mean you’ll get what you’re waiting for.

Let me say that again:

Just because you wait, doesn’t mean you’ll get what you’re waiting for.

You may wait and pray and pray and wait for God to give you a husband. But He might say no. He might have a different plan for your life. Would you be okay with that? Will you choose to trust God in your season of wait?

I have no way of knowing when Lana’s parents will start giving her allowance. I don’t know when she’ll be able to buy her own lego set. But do I still think her waiting well for legos is worth it?

Yes- yes I do.

In a few years, Lana may decide she doesn’t want legos anymore. She might start waiting for some other new toy. Or she might start waiting until she’s old enough to go to summer camp like her big sisters.

The point is, she’ll always be waiting for something. To me, as her babysitter, I loved being able to show Lana the value of patience that day.

In the words of Phylicia Masonheimer, “You’ll always be waiting for something, so learn to wait well.”

The same is true of us as well. We will always be waiting for something, so we should learn to wait well too.

Waiting isn’t always easy, but I believe it’s always worth it.

Through our seasons of wait, we learn to rely on God in ways we wouldn’t if we immediately got what we wanted. Through our seasons of wait, we are challenged to give up our plans for His plans. These seasons enable us to encourage other people and point them to God in their seasons of wait as well.

But how do we wait well?

Great question!

If you’d like to join me on a coffee date {in the form of a book ;) }, we can discuss this further. In fact, in my book Single Conversationsyou and I can spend a whole chapter discussing how to wait well. So I definitely invite you to come on a coffee date with me that way. :)

But until we meet there in the pages of that book, here are two takeaways for you pertaining to this question:

  1. Pray and read your Bible. Spend your season of wait in prayer and in God’s word. Draw closer and closer to God. Then, even if you don’t get what you want, you’ll get what you need- Jesus!
  2. Talk to someone about how hard it is to wait. Not in a complain-y attitude, but in a genuine “please keep me accountable and pray for me in this” attitude.

In my opinion, “waiting well” just means drawing closer to Jesus and pointing others to Him whilst we trust Him to provide for all our needs.

I hope that today you’re able to see that even though waiting is super-duper hard, it is also incredibly worth it. :)

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