God often uses the experiences in our lives to teach us lessons. The answers to our prayers, the yeses, nos, wait and see all can be used to help us grow. I think God is often trying to teach me patience and trust in His plan. I've chosen a career where the payout is long term, because I will literally be in school forever, so I have to trust that each step of the way is contributing to the long term goal of my vocation. I've seen countless friends enter into relationships and get married, and while that area of my life is still in writing, I've learned patience and trust in God's long term plan (still working on that one), and I've seen how the opportunities in my life and where God is calling me to serve may not have been possible if I were walking a different path.
So God uses our experiences to teach us all the time, to teach us to trust in Him and his timing. I've always known that, but I've still held on to some semblance of control in a lot of situations, choosing where to go to school, choosing to say yes or no. But recently God has been teaching me about his timing through someone else's suffering, and nothing about the situation is in my control. It is hard to cope with watching someone suffer and knowing that there will be an eventual outcome, but it is made even more difficult when you don't know what the timeframe is. You want to keep them around for as long as possible, but you also want their suffering to end. You feel guilty wanting things to be one way or another, and wonder if it is selfish to want them to stay and selfish to want them to be free. It takes endurance and relying on God to understand his mercy and to understand the lessons we learn through suffering. It takes strength of character to truly say in your heart "not my will, but yours" and give the anxiety and the heartache over to God. I know trials teach us something in the long term, but sometimes it is not visible at first. Again, this takes trusting that God will eventually reveal to us how those experiences shaped us. This verse spoke to me this morning, and gave me reassurance that even if we don't get the answers or the relief in this life, God has bigger plans for all of us.
"The God of all grace who called you to his eternal glory through Christ Jesus will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you after you have suffered a little. To him be dominion forever. Amen"
1 Peter 5:10-11
I could say a lot more about timing and suffering and mercy, but wiser folks than me have shared those messages before. All I'll leave you with is this: Surrender yourself to trust in God. He will never lead you astray.