A close up of a birdDescription generated with very high confidence

Worship While You Wait


Waiting is the hardest thing I am ever asked to do. If I am waiting for something good, then it is difficult because I am so excited and can hardly wait for the party or the present or the event to happen. If I am waiting for something bad it seems even harder. I don’t want it. Yet, I know it is coming so I just want it to happen already. How good are you at waiting?

When it comes to children and waiting…well, if you are a parent, you know how draining that can be on everyone. In my last blog I talked about the importance of waiting and gave several examples of God’s commands for us to wait. Telling ourselves or our children to wait is not enough. We need to teach our souls how to wait well.

I am convinced that the key to waiting well is worship. I believe that “worship while waiting” is best exampled by the life of Horatio G. Spafford a Presbyterian layman from Chicago, (1828-1888). According to hymnologist Kenneth Osbeck, in November of 1873 his family was going to Europe to help D. L. Moody with his campaigns in Great Britain. Spafford had to remain in Chicago on business but sent his wife and four daughters on ahead. He planned to join them in a few days.

On November 22 the ship was struck by an English vessel and sank. When the survivors finally landed in Wales, Mrs. Spafford sent her husband a cable that she alone had survived. Imagine the strain on this man as he set sail. He was grieving the loss of his children. He was anxious to hold his wife safely in his arms. Yet, sailing from Chicago to London takes time. It is said that that he penned the words to the great hymn, It Is Well With My Soul, as he approached the area where the ship bearing his family sank.

Spafford understood that worship is the key to waiting well. He was waiting to see his wife. He was waiting for that day when he would be reunited in Heaven with his daughters. He was waiting for that day when He would be in Heaven face to face with Jesus where every tear is wiped away. Let’s follow his example and teach our children to do so as well. Teaching children hymns and the story behind will prepare them for living and waiting well.

It Is Well With My Soul     By Horatio G. Spafford

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

It is well with my soul,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!—
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.

But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!

And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."

One Comment

  • sonshine

    Powerful illustration

    Alway always well done …powerful ..and may I learn to worship while I wait. Timely post.