We all have waited for something at some point in our lives. In fact, we probably wait for something every day—waiting in line at a drive-thru, waiting for a bus to get to school or work, waiting for people to respond to our texts or emails, waiting for a slow car to merge in the freeway, waiting for the day to be over, and other scenarios that have become so common in our lives and yet we still find hard to do.

That’s because sometimes waiting is just hard.

And it becomes even harder when we’re waiting for something that really matters to us—a dream job, a family of our own, healing from sickness and pain, direction when we are lost, peace amidst chaos, or relief from the many trials of life. Sometimes we think we have done everything we could to be worthy of such blessings and yet, frustratingly, heaven seems distant.

But God doesn’t make us wait for no reason. He makes us wait because it is in the waiting that growth happens. It is in the waiting that we learn the value of hard work, consistency, discipline, commitment, and resilience. It is in the waiting that we discover our strengths and talents and use them for our mortal and spiritual progression. It is in the waiting when we slow down that we can see God’s hand in the small details of our lives. It is in the waiting that we learn to hope, love, forgive, and appreciate life and our many blessings. And it is in the waiting that we learn to let go of our timetable and trust His timing.

He makes us wait to help us refine our character and increase our faith in Him. Sometimes He makes us wait to redirect us to new paths of opportunities and happiness. He makes us wait to show us that His promises are certain. He wants us to learn that a delay is not a denial of blessings we earnestly seek.

In the scriptures, we learn many stories of people who needed to wait for blessings. One of which is the story of Zacharias and Elisabeth, the parents of John the Baptist. They were a faithful couple who earnestly prayed for children for so many years, and yet their prayers were not answered in the way that they had hoped. Despite this, they remained faithful and hopeful.

They were eventually blessed with a son, John The Baptist, who prepared the way for Jesus Christ and baptized not only the Savior but many who were ready to receive His gospel. How marvelous it must have been when Elisabeth realized that she conceived at a later age so her son could fulfill a divinely appointed calling—to act as a forerunner to Jesus Christ and His ministry.

With the timing of Elisabeth’s pregnancy to Mary’s, I can’t help but think that God also wanted Elisabeth to be at Mary’s side as she prepared for her divine calling to become the mother of the Messiah. In this story, the timing and the circumstances make perfect sense, like pieces of a puzzle all coming together as the story unfolds.

There are more Bible stories of people who waited many years for blessings but the main message of these stories is the same—that delays are not denials, that prayers are heard and answered, sometimes not as we had hoped but in ways that God sees fit for us, and that God is an all-powerful God who can make miracles happen. Staying faithful to His commandments will not only sustain us during our waiting seasons but can also draw us even closer to Him.

Waiting can be hard, especially when you do not know when things will get better. But you can find comfort that the Lord understands perfectly your pain and struggles. He hears your anguished cry for help and relief. To that His answer is, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). As you actively work towards your worthwhile goals and remain faithful to the Lord, He will strengthen you so you can wait upon His blessings with hope and fortitude. And when you receive the blessing that you have prayed hard for, you will recognize His abounding love and that it was Him who made it all possible.

Here’s another article on waiting upon the Lord’s blessings.