When it Doesn’t Feel Like God is Doing Anything

It seems that I know dozens of women who are in a season of waiting. Waiting for God to send a godly husband, waiting for a ministry to take off, waiting for a baby, waiting for school to be finished, waiting for an adoption to go through, waiting for instruction to her children to make a difference…

I, too, am in a season of so much waiting. It feels some days as if God called me to the edge of the map and then left me there — upriver without a paddle, just waiting for Him to work, for Him to show me the next steps, for Him to DO something in my life.

But everything stays the same, and I’m still left waiting.

Or so it feels…

I know when I am in a season of quiet like this I feel frustrated, impatient, and worried. I wonder if God ever will answer my desperate prayers and I wonder if I can really trust His answers.

In these times we can find ourselves wondering if it is our fault — if we just trusted more or prayed more or did something differently, then God would be able to work. Somehow, we must be getting in the way.

Or we wonder if we just aren’t deserving of the gift we are asking for. Am I not worthy to be a wife? Would I not be a good mother? Should I not really be heading in this direction?

But that is not the truth that God lays out for us in His Word about seasons of waiting.

Do you struggle with seasons of waiting, not knowing what to do and wondering what God is doing? Here is what to do when it doesn't feel like God is doing anything

The Truth

All through the Bible, we see that God uses times of waiting as ways to work His purposes in us. In fact, if you look at all the histories recorded there, you see people waiting a lot more often than they are doing anything else. Most of the greatest works that God has done through someone started with what looked like a whole lot of nothing.

A baby was the longing of Sarai (later Sarah)’s heart, but in Genesis 11:30, the Bible says that, “Sarai was barren; she had no child.” She had even been promised that she would have a child (Genesis 17:4) yet it wasn’t until the age of 90 that,“…the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken” (Genesis 21:1). Talk about a hard wait!

Then there was Noah. In Genesis 6, God commanded him to build a boat because there would be a flood. And Noah obeyed without question. The Bible says, “according to all that God commanded Him, so he did” (Genesis 6:22). I’m sure that Noah felt frustrated that while he had obeyed all that God commanded him to do, the floods never came and never came and never came.

And I can’t imagine the emotions running through Mary as she waited for her baby to be born, then watched and waited as He grew up, knowing that someday He would become the Savior of the world.

Or Moses as he waited to find out what the purpose of his life was (he was 80 before he led the Israelites out of Egypt!)

But in all of these histories, we see a common thread: God is never doing nothing.

Even when Moses thought he would live a humdrum life, God was training him to lead a nation through the wilderness. Even when Sarai thought that she would never be blessed with a baby, God was working on her heart. Even when Noah was telling people over and over that there would be a flood and yet there was no rain, God was working in the hearts of the people and giving them the chance to trust in the one true God.

God uses times of waiting to grow our faith, to teach us to trust Him, to give us opportunities we might never have dreamed.

God is never doing nothing.

No matter what it feels like.

With that in mind, I have to ask myself: Why is God bringing me here to this situation? What is He trying to teach me or what is He trying to grow in me? Am I really leaving my situation in His hands for His timing?

Psalm 37:4 promises, “Delight yourself also in the Lord and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” If, in this season of waiting, we focus ourselves on God and delight ourselves in Him, He will align our desires perfectly to His plan and His timing. Who knows what that might be? Maybe something we have never even dreamed to hope for.


Headshot 2Meredith is the wife of an amazing husband, a lover of travel and baking, and a servant of the King of Kings. She writes at Life Along the Way, a project created with her husband as a place to share the ups and downs of their lives following Christ and to explore what it means to live a life truly based on the Bible. Connect with her on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter!

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  1. Yes waiting is part of the process, and we can wait with expectant hope, or in strife of doing – I choose expectant hope and rest in His promises!!!

  2. I am wondering if you can recommend anything to address my current situation. I’m not just waiting, I feel like I’ve been eviscerated. My brain knows and believes, but my heart is dead. Losses have been rapid-fire, and now I drag my way through each day with a sick body in the midst of emotional and mental chaos. Educating my two boys is all I can seem to hold onto to give my life any meaning… once that’s completed in six years, I just want to be finished. I see no other purpose or meaning. I’m marking time here, waiting to leave.

    It’s strange, when I speak to my sons about the Lord and I encourage them to take hold of His Word and promises, I feel alive for the moment. However, that passion and energy no longer extends to my own life and situation. The carnage on my personal battlefield, stench of broken dreams and dashed hopes, and the weight of repeated injustices are overwhelming.

    My mind says that Jesus died so that I might have an abundant life. At 55, I look back over my life and see losses, mistakes, and very little accomplished. I just want, wish and hope for better lives for my children.

    1. No, overwhelming victory is yours through Christ who loves you, Kim -despite all these things (Romans 8:37-39). The promises of God are not only to encourage and lift you, but they are fulfilled in the life of every believer. Get them into your own heart that they may live and become active. You must purposefully speak them aloud, back to God, every single day. You are pouring out but not being filled. The enemy wants you defeated, and we are having none of that. Jesus desires to heal, deliver, restore, and bless you. The holy Spirit can revive your passion and purpose.

      Anyhow, I just wanted you to know your comment touched me in ways you cannot imagine, because I can relate to your grief. I sat here and mourned and cried with you. I’ve been fighting a similar battle myself – still am. So, I am hugging you in my heart and keeping you in my prayers. God will never leave us or forsake us.

      I would like for you to listen to a (3-part) sermon that I know will be of great encouragement to you. I was led and listened to it only last week. Hopefully, the link will be permitted. Here is part one: http://illbehonest.com/an-in-depth-look-at-peters-stumbling-satan-charles-leiter

      God bless you richly, precious Kim…

  3. So many times in my life I’ve tried to take things into my own hands and really not thought second about it until I seen Gods works in my disasters. We have to stay still long enough to let God move in our lives. In his time not ours!!!! Give God all the glory.
    May all have a blessed day

    1. Absolutely! I love your reminder that sometimes waiting means being still and listening for God’s direction or just watching Him work. It is so tempting to give into that need to always be doing something!

  4. Girl! Your title is what caught my attention! This was just the article of encouragement I needed! I’ve been waiting 9 years on an issue of resolve for something that was taken from my husband and I. I know God has a plan for us just as he did for Job. I find myself thinking Lord, have you forgotten about us? But I KNOW that He has our back and He isn’t just doing nothing. Thank you for your words today. Blessings upon you! Joyfully Yours, Lana

    1. Lana, your comment was such an encouragement to me! Your faith in waiting for so long is a challenge to my own faith as well. I love your reminder of Job who not only waited, but suffered, not realizing that God had a plan to grow Job and to show His own glory through Job’s life. Thank you so much for sharing your story!

  5. Wow, this is an incredible thing to share. I too am in a season of waiting and slowly, things seem like they are falling apart and I ask what did I do wrong? But then I listen to that song by Casting Crowns called Just Be Held, which says things aren’t falling apart, they’re just falling into place. I sing that all day every day, praying it and believing it. Thank you for reaffirming what I am trying to believe. I hope that God answers your prayers and you get everything you are seeking.

  6. Thanks for this post Meredith. My wife and I are going through such a time of waiting on a ministry situation. The different stories you shared from the Bible are definitely an encouragement. Thanks again!

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