Zechariah was godly, blameless, righteous, holy and faithful, but the years of disappointment had made his spirit hard and crusty with unbelief. Even a visitation from an archangel like Gabriel could not penetrate through the hardness of his heart. God used the prison of muteness to soften Zechariah’s heart and restore him to faith and prophetic discernment. Let God’s holy saints learn a lesson, that we not allow the years to harden our hearts and dull our spirits to God’s powerful purposes. —Bob Sorge
“Disappointment had made his spirit hard and crusty with unbelief”—every time I read these words they are like an alarm resounding within my soul, like an arrow shooting straight into my heart; I question, “Have I become hardened in the waiting? Have the passing years and disappointments formed a layer of unbelief within me?”
Because waiting is not neutral.
A season of waiting will lead in one of two directions; the heart will be drawn into dependence on God or it will be pulled away distancing from Him. There is a subtle residue that wants to settle upon the soul in waiting, a slow hardening from the heat of delay. The pause is simply our opportunity to respond. When we find ourselves in a season of waiting we can either lean into God or withdrawn from Him—distance or dependence.
We get to choose.
In the trail of waiting, a dependent heart continues in perseverance—believing endurance—which produces hope within the soul. But a distant heart grows weary in the waiting and begins accusing; unbelief slowly takes root, which produces bitterness within the soul.
It is in these moments, when the familiar cycle of pain comes again, when the hour is incredibly late and the night is the darkest it has ever been that we get to choose—distance or dependence.
If you are in a season of waiting or have been disappointed once again do not loose heart. Persevere. Choose now—this very moment—to lean into the One who upholds all things.
And remember that you are not alone. Scripture is filled with the friends of God who endured long years of waiting with many disappointments along the way.
Joseph waited with a dream in his heart but was exiled from his family and ended up living in prison for countless days before it came to pass. David was anointed king but had to wait for the throne and even became a fugitive in the process. Abraham waited and carried a promise of descendants—as vast as the stars, as many as the sands of the seas—but did not carry a child in his arms for decades. And the list goes on throughout those sacred pages.
Why? I believe it is because the Lord is after something in the journey.
Waiting is a fire that burns away that which resists His leadership. It burns hot until all that remains is a weak but steadfast resolve to say, “yes” to His ways.
Trusting in the Lord is not just waiting for the answer but it is trusting IN the One who is the Answer. Perseverance is not just waiting for our circumstances to change but it is waiting ON the One who never changes.
How do we persevere? Prayers mixed with tears are the weapons with which to fight the subtle hardening that tries to form within our hearts.
In the wrestle we must let the tears fall while our prayers arise—pouring out our soul to the Lord—this is the way to dependence. In the long hours remember who He is and confess the truth again, saying it right to Him—“You are good, always good.”
Perseverance takes place here in these quiet moments, in these simple exchanges, when our prayers ascend and our tears descend.
An open, vulnerable, trusting, heart continues to look up through the waiting, to look up after a disappointment; like a child looking expectantly to his father once again. If we keep our eyes fixed on Him, over the passing of time our hearts will remain soft—believing.
We get to choose perseverance—no matter how long the season of waiting lingers we can put our hope fully in the God-of-hope because He is faithful. We get to choose dependence—no matter how impossible the situation looks—we can rest in the God-of-the-impossible because He is good.
Trust. Rest. Wait. And then wait a little longer. Persevere. Endure. Lean. And then hold fast—one more day. It is a holy season, a sacred time when you find yourself in waiting, because we only get to choose dependence on this side of eternity.
To the one waiting, in any capacity: you have been given a holy holding place. He loves you that much that He is willing to create this circumstantial nexus that would call forth what moves Him: you, cracked wide-open before Him — vulnerable, bleeding … and hungry. Let me hand you a permission slip. Hope again. Wrestle with the God of hope. Your heart, exposed, will graft a new way to His. —Sara Hagerty
“He loves you that much that He is willing to create these circumstances…”
Can you look at your delay or disappointing circumstances and see the deep love of the Father pursuing your heart? If not, look a little closer. He is working it all together for your good because He desires all of you. He is actively, presently and continually pursuing your heart—until He has it all. A fully given and dependent heart is what He is after.
And He is waiting too; He is waiting for you to look up.
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1–2