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Life’s Dramatic Pauses

Sometimes the greatest chapters in life are preceded by dramatic pauses. Times when God is silent. Times when the world around us seems meaningless, empty, void. Times when we find ourselves waiting and waiting and waiting. Waiting for what? We don’t really know, but we can’t deny the feeling of being in a holding pattern.

“Waiting. Waiting for a train to go, waiting around for a yes or a no.” These lines, from one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books Oh, the Places You’ll Go allude to those precarious, maddening times in life when we have no control.

Sometimes waiting leads to good things. Waiting through engagement for marriage; waiting through nine months of pregnancy for a precious bundle of joy; waiting for our birthday to come — at least before age 25! — and for Christmas Day; waiting, only to find out we got the promotion at work.

But there are also waiting periods filled with pain and fear. Waiting only to find out we lost out on the adoption. Waiting for a diagnosis in the doctor’s office, or holding a loved one’s hand as they lie in a hospital bed, life slowly ebbing away.

God knows that we cannot handle lives of constant action and that we often need waiting times to slow us and help us refocus.

The greatest symphonies incorporate breaks and pauses. Sometimes the pauses are necessary for musicians to catch their breath; sometimes the pauses are dramatic and cause the audience members’ hearts to pound as they anticipate the next movement. Where would storytellers and comedians be without the necessary pause before a well-delivered punch line?

Do you feel like someone hit the pause button on your life? Do you feel at times like you’re the punch line in some great cosmic joke? Yet without pauses, when would we have time to reflect and anticipate, to remember the past, to consider the future or to be thankful for the present?

If we will let Him, God often grows close to us in those quiet times of waiting. He waits to reveal Himself in the quiet, still aloneness that follows disappointment, loss, fear and suffering. Learn to appreciate the dramatic pauses in your life: they are special gifts, though so often wrapped in trials.


God knows that we cannot handle lives of constant action and that we often need waiting times to slow us and help us refocus.

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3 Comments to “Life’s Dramatic Pauses”

  1. I love this. Very poetic, gripping and a wonderfully wise perspective. Those pregnant pauses of life are often so difficult to bear – especially with a go, go, go personality like mine. But it’s so true – we often need to just wait a minute for the soup to cool. Doing so causes us much more enjoyment. Such is life!

  2. Wrestling with this very thing for the past couple of weeks as we wait for Friday. That scan will reveal whether Samuel’s cancer has returned or if it has been kept at bay.

    You summed up so much of what I have felt in my heart.


  3. Wonderful insights! I like the concept of “dramatic pauses” – it sounds so much better than just a time of waiting! Thank you for putting this in perspective today.

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