Summer 2024

THE INCREASE: Mark Mitchell - Waiting is Hard

“I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what He will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.” — Habakkuk 2:1

Have you ever wondered, “Why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” Some point the finger at the one praying: “You’re praying with wrong motives.” Or, “You don’t have enough faith.” I suppose either of those things could be a factor, but do we really have to prove ourselves worthy of answered prayer by perfect motives and unwavering faith?

Over and over in Scripture, God invites us to pray. Why would He set us up for disappointment when He doesn’t respond to our requests? We often turn to God in our most vulnerable moments with a desperate need only He can meet. Why does He sometimes remain silent?

Could it be that God’s silence is often a call to wait? Could it be that good things happen in my heart as I learn to wait on Him?

Habakkuk was a prophet who learned this lesson. He served during troubled times; Israel had been split in two. The southern kingdom of Judah was being ruled by a wicked king and they were being threatened by the Babylonians. In the midst of this, he directs two questions to God: “How long?” and “Why?”

Watching and waiting is hard; it takes time. We want answers now. It’s hard because we’d rather do something. It feels so unproductive to just wait. And it’s often such a lonely job; the watchman normally waits and watches by himself.

We have to stay focused even though there’s so much to distract us. But often, God calls us to wait.

— Mark Mitchell, San Francisco Giants chaplain

The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit for more stories and videos.