Waiting In Faith Is A High Form Of Worship

by Kristen Gilles

in Coping With Miscarriage/Stillbirth/Death

You’re almost there.”

This was God’s audible reply to me as I walked on my lunch hour, and precisely at the moment of my tearful prayer for His help to keep waiting in faith.  “Father, I believe you’ll do what you promised.  Please help me to wait in faith.”

There have been many times since our son Parker was stillborn last October when I felt overwhelmed by the enemy’s barrage of lies and temptations to doubt and give up hoping in God.  This was one of those moments, but more intense than all the others.  As I expressed my war-weariness and my desire for relief from the relentless assaults, I cried out to my Father to strengthen my faith and help my unbelief.

Then I remembered Jesus praying for Peter that his faith wouldn’t fail even as Satan sought to sift him and his brothers like wheat (Luke 22:31-32).  And I was encouraged as I heard Jesus say to me, “Kristen, I’ve prayed for you too, and your faith won’t fail.  I will uphold your faith.”

Just then, a cyclist came up behind me and as he passed he looked right at me and said,

“You’re almost there.”

I began to weep even more because I knew this was my Father’s reply, this was my brother Jesus cheering me on, this was my Comforter the Holy Spirit breathing encouragement into my heaving heart.

I am desperately longing for relief from the anguish of the physical labor I endured with our son Parker.  In John 16, as Jesus neared His terrible baptism of suffering at the Cross, He told his disciples that, “You will weep and mourn over what is going to happen to me . . . You will grieve but your grief will suddenly turn to wonderful joy.  It will be like a woman suffering the pains of labor.  When her child is born, her anguish gives way to joy because she has brought a new baby into the world.”

My anguish has not yet given way to the joy of bringing a new baby into the world.  Truly, I have experienced the tremendous joy of witnessing the salvation of my firstborn son and I will always praise the Lord for the triumphant joy of being united and reunited with Parker as we are now family in Christ!  This was the answer to my greatest prayer.

And yet as I linger here, I cannot help but daily bear the anguish of laboring to bring forth a child whose cries and laughter I never heard, whose colorful eyes I never saw opened, whose breath I never felt on my skin, whose smile never warmed my countenance.  My soul is still languishing and longing for the labor to end and give way to joy, just as Jesus described.

This anguish also corresponds to the Holy Spirit’s groans within me for the promised return and reign of Christ upon the new heavens and earth.  I know that God is making all things new, and until that work is complete Jesus will languish with me, ever-present in my suffering.  He is not silent in my grief.  He is reminding me of His promises and upholding me with His unfailing Word.

His Word tells us that all of creation is languishing with labor pains, longing for the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.  And that future day will surely come when God will give us our full rights as His children, including the new bodies He has promised us.  We were given this hope when we were saved.  But if we look forward to something we don’t have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently.

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress for we don’t even know what we should pray for or how we should pray.  But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.  And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them.  (Romans 8:19-28)  

We have seen God working everything together for our good when Jesus triumphed through the Cross over Satan, sin and death, and made provision for our grief to be suddenly turned to joy. His promise to return remains our hope: “So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy” (John 16:22).

Until that future day when Christ descends, the last trumpet sounds, the dead in Christ burst through the earth and we are all transformed, we must wait in faith.  This is a high form of worship as we effectively say to our Father, “We believe you are who you say you are.  We believe you will do what you have promised.  We praise you for upholding our faith as you uphold Your word and are faithful to perform it!”

We’re almost there, dear friends.  Let us continue to worship the Faithful One as we wait in faith.

Photo by Dino amad ali, used via Creative Commons license


SewAudacious October 1, 2013 at 11:29 pm

I don’t know if there is a way to tell you how helpful this article is to me. I lost my 17 year old brother to an accident that I was sure God would pull him out of, but it wasn’t in the plans. I’m not sure of the why’s or the plan but I know that insecurity in my faith and high doubt run rampant in my heart and have built a wall between God and I that, until tonight, I never thought I would be able to climb over. Thank you for your transparency and your vulnerability in this post. It has helped bring relief in knowing that I am not the only one and hope that maybe I’m almost there.

Kristen Gilles October 4, 2013 at 10:02 pm

Thank you for sharing this part of your story with us and for testifying of God’s faithfulness to encourage you through our story. We are asking Him to finish His healing and faith-building work in you and to continue encouraging your heart as you persevere in trusting Him and waiting in faith until the day He finishes making everything new!

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