The waters continued to recede until the tenth month, and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains became visible. (Gen. 8:5)

WAITING ISN’T EASY! Summer hasn’t officially ended, yet already the stores are selling fall merchandise. And it won’t be long before Christmas trees are on display. Even though stores want to hurry the season, there is nothing we can do to make it arrive more quickly. We have no choice but to wait, but try explaining that to a five-year-old!

Waiting can try our patience, especially when an insistent child keeps asking, “But how much longer?” Even more difficult, however, is the waiting that tries our faith. Waiting beside the bed of a sick loved one, waiting for a prodigal to return home, waiting for someone to hire us as our unemployment insurance is running out, waiting for a child or spouse to return home from a dangerous tour of duty, waiting for a relationship to be reconciled—these and so many other situations can make us feel helpless and hopeless. What’s even harder is continuing to wait when God seems silent.

I can’t imagine being confined to a boat packed with smelly and noisy animals for ten months. If I were Noah’s wife or daughter-in-law, I’m sure I would have begun to wonder if I’d ever again walk on dry land. But then, God gave them a glimpse of a mountaintop. He encouraged them to keep waiting in faith. He will do the same for us.

If you’re in a period of waiting, look for signs of reassurance from God.

Marlene Bagnull celebrated fifty-one years of marriage. She and Paul have three grown children and three grandchildren. She directs two Christian writers’ conferences.