When Patience is Hard: How to Find Peace in the Waiting | alyssajhoward.com

When Patience is Hard: How to Find Peace in the Waiting

Let’s face it. As a culture, we love the idea of instant gratification. And when we don’t see results right away, we tend to struggle wondering if and when our results will come. If there’s one things I’ve learned, however, it’s that the most rewarding things take time. It’s through waiting that we begin to truly appreciate all that we are working towards. Truth be told, finding peace in the waiting is easier when we can at least see some progress along the way. So what happens when it feels like nothing seems to change? What do we do when we see no progress whatsoever?

When Patience is Hard: How to Find Peace in the Waiting | alyssajhoward.com

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When it feels like you’re watering the dirt…

I’m not a gardener. Perhaps in the future I will be but with two young kids, it’s just not something I naturally have the time for right now. In spite of this, I have a friend who once shared a gardening truth that has long stuck with me.

Once a seed is planted in the ground, you cover it with dirt. You fertilize it and water it often, but it will be a while before you see any actual results. In the beginning, it will simply feel like you’re watering the dirt with no growth at all. But the truth lies beneath the surface. Even though it will be a while before the sprout makes its way out of the earth, that doesn’t mean the seed you planted hasn’t begun to grow.

If you’ve ever spent a season praying and waiting on God for something, you undoubtedly know the feeling. Some days when you pray, it feels like nothing is changing and you’re simply watering dirt. You may even begin to wonder if the seed was planted at all. But the truth is that when God gives you a promise, either through His Word or by speaking to your heart, that seed is planted and is growing. It just may take time to see the growth on the surface.


God is always at work…

If you’ve ever waited on God for something, you know how hard it can be. And experiencing God’s peace in the waiting may feel impossible. Perhaps you’ve been praying for the salvation of a loved one. Or maybe you’ve been holding on to hope for your marriage or a difficult financial situation. Whatever the scenario you find yourself in, waiting on God for answers or change can sometimes be the most difficult part.

But the truth is that God is always at work. His Holy Spirit is always moving, and He never sleeps on the job. Living in a physical world, we can’t necessarily see what’s going on in the spirit realm… just like we can’t see the seed when it begins to sprout beneath the surface. But that doesn’t mean God isn’t working on our behalf.


Keep watering. Keep praying.

Continuing to pray and wait while no tangible progress seems to be happening is when God often does some of His best work. He not only works on our behalf by answering our prayers, but He uses this time to do in work in our hearts as we learn to trust and abide in His promises.

So do you ever feel like you’re simply “watering the dirt” when you pray and thank God for promises you can’t see yet?

I want to encourage you to continue to trust. Growth and change is happening, and it will happen in due time and season.

In order to find peace in the waiting, we have to continue to trust… continue to pray… and remind ourselves that God is faithful.


So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. - 1 Corinthians 3:7


*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.

**Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash


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