After four unsuccessful tries of keeping my bright blue kite afloat for more than 10 seconds, I wanted to try my own ideas. Having my grandmother stand 7 feet across for me and launching it when the wind approached didn’t work. I wanted to do it my way.
I began to run and release the kite, hoping my tiny seven-year-old body would pick up enough momentum to keep it flying. “Just wait! The wind will pick up again,” my grandmother shouted in Chinese, convincing me that my technique wasn’t working.
I held tightly to the string, frustrated as she took the kite back into her hands and we retreated to our original positions. The one day we decided to fly my kite, the Windy City wasn’t very windy. I dug my feet deeper into the sand on the shores of Lake Michigan as we both waited.
Finally, the wind came. My beautiful kite soared in the sky so freely for the most perfect 30 seconds before crashing down again.
"Can you trust me?"
I struggle with waiting on God’s timing in different areas of my life – in ministry, in relationships, and in my future career. I have a habit of taking things into my own hands whenever I grow tired of waiting. God knows waiting patiently and contently is not my forte.
When I reflect on these past three years of college, I realize that learning to wait on God required me to trust that the Lord is good and sovereign over my whole life. But trusting in God was a completely different spiritual discipline to learn. Countless times in ministry and relationships, I found the Lord asking me, “Santine, can you trust me? Can you really trust me?”
As much as I wanted to take control and move things faster, I couldn’t. I wanted to see my Greek IV chapter grow closer in community, but I couldn’t make that happen faster by my own plans. I wanted to see more minority Greeks present at large group, but it’s only by God’s timing that racial reconciliation in the Christian Greek culture can happen. If I wanted to meet my future husband tomorrow but God’s timing says I will meet him in 2 years, I have no control over that moment. Once I first learn to trust that God is sovereign, then I can begin learning to wait on God and his perfect timing.
What You Learn by Waiting
God chose to sift and shape me to be a woman who waits on the Lord by putting me through situations that were completely out of my control. Our Greek IV leaders wanted to be a community that relies on God’s power for transforming Greek lives through prayer. Every Friday afternoon, we gathered to pray for each other and Greek chapters. Most of the time, only six of us in leadership showed up; other days it was just me. I grew tired of waiting for people and I became frustrated that I couldn’t make people pray. I had to wait for God to move in people's hearts to foster a culture of prayer.
Most of the time, it didn’t make sense to me why waiting was needed. But by the end of the year, I saw we were going in the right direction of our vision. Then I realized that learning to wait on the Lord’s perfect timing required me to have faith that God would come through. I couldn’t learn one without learning the other.
I can still see the 7-year-old Santine in all areas of my life attempting to “try my own way” because I am tired of waiting for the wind to pick up. But just as flying a kite requires waiting for the perfect gust of wind, waiting on God for his perfect timing is a discipline we need to learn – and something I’m still learning. Whether you are waiting for a relationship to heal, a chapter to grow towards God and each other, a non-Christian friend or family member to come to accept Christ, or the future to unravel, trust that God is a sovereign God whose timing is perfect.
"When I was waiting quietly for the Lord, His heart was turned to me, and He gave ear to my cry." Psalms 40
Santine Hsueh is a student finishing her BSN degree at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. She serves as a member of the leadership team for Illinois Greek InterVarsity on her campus and blogs at santinewashere.wordpress.com.
This post is the first in our summer discipleship series, written by students. Tune in each Tuesday for more!