Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington
Waiting Joyfully

Waiting Joyfully


“Wait” is my one-word for 2022. I confess, for most of this year I have not been waiting well. I’ve wanted to wait better. Really. But an examination of why I haven’t been waiting well yielded the realization that my focus was on the wrong word. In a previous post, How Do You Wait?, I paired waiting with a variety of qualifiers: impatiently, patiently, reluctantly, expectantly, enviously, and contentedly. But I’ve come to understand that one key description was missing.


Words I never would have thought to combine: waiting joyfully. And yet . . .

The past four years have been a season of extreme change in my life. Changes requiring adjustments, the surrender of plans, and, yes, waiting. As I prepared for even more changes in the next year or two, I said I trusted God and His timing. I rationalized all my plans and preparations as being wise during this time of waiting.

Plans and preparations are good. Proverbs 24:27 cautions us to prepare before we build. Luke 14:28 reminds us to count the cost before we take action. So I prepared and planned and prepared some more.

But I didn’t do it joyfully. In fact, I sensed growing resentment when waiting on God did not fit my timetable. My timetable had become my idol. I worked so hard to bring my plans to fruition that I forgot that my plans weren’t necessarily God’s plans for me.

So this past summer, I purposed to not just wait, but to wait joyfully. To wait with the same joyful anticipation that I have while waiting for the curtain to open on a Broadway stage. To view delays and obstacles as God’s welcome guidance in keeping me on His timetable. The result has been greater peace and intimacy as I trust Him.

Waiting joyfully is not easy. It requires constantly reminding myself that trusting God is not limited to merely verbal professions. Rather, trusting God is true in my life when words translate into attitudes and actions. I can be joyful about obstacles and delays, knowing that my heavenly Father is always at work for my ultimate good and His eternal glory.

Does God have you in His waiting room today? What might be preventing you from waiting joyfully?



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  1. Nancy Elizabeth Head

    I love this message, Ava, God’s way of working in and through us is beautiful, and that’s what this post shows. I don’t know if I’ve ever waited well. Thanks and God bless!

  2. Angela Van Etten

    Very timely post. I’ve been waiting 18 weeks to replace my crashed car with a wheelchair accessible van. Joy is not a word that comes to mind. I’ve been working on patience and gratitude for all the people who have helped us get to church and our many appointments. Now I’ll add joy to the mix.

  3. Barbara

    Thanks for this much needed message Ava. This reminds us that God uses every circumstance to draw us closer to HIM. I love the word joy.. and to remember what I always say to myself “ The Joy of the Lord IS MY Strength.” Nehemiah 8:10.

  4. Melissa Henderson

    I love this message. Waiting joyfully means I will trust in God and remember His timing is always best. Thank you for this great reminder that waiting is only for a time. God’s plan is working.

  5. Jessica Brodie

    Great message. There is a peace and surrender in waiting JOYFULLY, with hope and faith that God will work His plan through us. Amen!

  6. Yvonne Morgan

    I am learning to wait joyfully but sometimes I still struggle. I’m also learning the blessings that come when I wait well. Thanks Ava.

  7. Melinda Viergever Inman

    Ava, I truly appreciate how you always share so openly as you write about a real personal struggle, decision, or action. Because you move through each stage from awareness to conviction to action to application, and on to obedience, we see your heart attitudes that motivate each of these steps. As a result, this draws us personally into your applications, convicting us of our own need to evaluate whether we are following in these same steps of obedience to Jesus. Well done, as usual!

  8. Karen Friday

    What a great reflection on waiting with an attitude of joy, Ava. And I love the description you use of waiting joyfully as the same as when you joyfully anticipate the curtain opening on a broadway play. God help us wait with this kind of joy!

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