June 18, 2019
Writer: Jaime Strobel
Waiting; we all have to wait for so many reasons. Common reasons include crossing a street, checking out at a grocery store, finding an answer to a prayer, getting married or having children. Linda Draper, communications marketing and strategy coordinator at BYU-Idaho, listed these reasons at the BYU-Idaho devotional.
Waiting can be frustrating. However, Draper said, God’s timetable is different than ours.
“That is a beautiful phrase--- wait upon the Lord,” she said. “It is also a marvelous principle. By waiting upon the Lord, we will “grow, develop, and be strengthened throughout own experiences. Waiting upon the Lord is a necessary part of our mortal existence.”
Draper remembers approaching many crossroads in her early 20s and not knowing where to turn or go. She remembers being anxious trying to wait for answers from the Lord.
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, she said she wanted to speak to the students during her devotional talk as if she were speaking to herself when she was in her 20s. She wanted to try to answer questions regarding any uncertainty.
One of the most important things she has learned from waiting upon the Lord is that God doesn’t want us to worry.
“Worry is actually my own attempt at trying to feel like I have control over something,” she said.
It’s taken her time to trust in the Lord and to be at peace knowing the answers will come.
In her devotional talk, she asked the question, “Why do we experience these periods of waiting?” She then quoted Ecclesiastes 3: 1-2, 4-5, and 7.
“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;… A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;…A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;…A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.”
In her interview she said it can be tempting to become paralyzed by uncertainty and moments when we are waiting on the Lord.
“We don’t live as fully as we could while we wait for something to occur or an answer to be received or an event to unfold,” she said.
Serving others while waiting upon the Lord becomes fulfilling and enriching.
“It’s very freeing to wait upon the Lord in an active way,” she said.
For those who have feelings of uncertainty, impatience or anxiety, she counsels students to stay close to the Lord and to strive to be worthy to have his Spirit with you. In the meantime, she said to stay busy.
“Don’t wait to pursue the things that will make you happy, that will bless the lives of other people,” she said. “Life is going to go by and you don’t want to discover that you’ve waited to fully engage with life for no good reason.”
In her talk, she shared a story from President Gordon B. Hinckley’s mission. When he was discouraged, his father told him to forget himself and go to work. When he took his father’s advice, not only did his mission change, he changed.
Once Draper took the same advice Hinckley received, her life was filled with much more meaning and purpose, and she ended up forgetting about the things she was waiting for because life was so good.
She quoted Elder Neil A. Maxwell, “Therefore, we should be ‘anxiously engaged,’ even when it seems to us we are doing no more than waiting. Thus we can be about our Father’s business even when it seems for the moment that we are overcome by ordinariness and routine. Our enduring is easier if we see it as a part of God’s unfolding.”
We learn to become more like the Savior during these periods of waiting, she explained. It helps us acquire attributes such as, humility, meekness, patience and charity.
“God does indeed hold our hand, quiet our fears, and help us through periods of uncertainty, particularly as we learn to have hope and trust in the Lord and His time,” she said.