When politicians are waiting for the results in a Primary election, your son is waiting for admission to Harvard, an entrepreneur is waiting the bank’s approval for a financial loan, everyone frets about the outcome over sleepless night.

We have a proverb, “人事を尽くして天命を待つ—Do your best, and wait for God’s will (decision)” for such an occasion. We also say “果報は寝て待て— “Go to bed early (have a good sleep) and wait for the good news” to the same effect.

I’m curious to know if there are similar English sayings to “Go to bed early and wait for the good news,” meaning “It’s no use to worry about after everything is done. Just leave it to the hands of God.”


I happened to find the phrase which I think, is pretty close to “Go to bed early, and wait for good news” in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s remarks in the recent Diane Sawyer’s interview quoted in Maureen Dawd’s article, “When Will Hillary Let It Go?” in today's (June 14) New York Times. It reads:

She continued: “I am over it, over it. I think I have changed; not worried so much about what other people are thinking.” She vowed to now “say what I know, what I believe, and let the chips fall (where they may).”


  • 14
    You need the typical Japanese calmness and patience to be able to sleep while waiting for big news :)).
    – user66974
    Commented Jun 13, 2014 at 11:50
  • 3
    go to sleep or santa claus won't come.
    – user31341
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 0:57
  • 2
    You should say either wait **for**** or *await. You should not say wait the good news or waiting the bank's approval.
    – Drew
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 4:47
  • @Drew. I was under impression that 'wait" can be used as a transitive verb as well as an intransitive verb, and can take an object without 'for.' It seems I was wrong. Thanks for your advice. I corrected accordingly. Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 5:59
  • @Yoichi Oishi We have here in India a similar saying "Neki kar dariya mein daal" which means "Do good (deeds) and cast it in the river (put it behind you or simply forget)
    – AMN
    Commented Sep 26, 2018 at 10:23

12 Answers 12


I'd say something similar would be:

A watched pot never boils

Waiting for something to happen makes it seem like it is happening slower, whereas if you go away and do something else then time will seem to pass faster.

  • Similar: I can't look back because my bags are packed. Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 10:35
  • 3
    This is wrong. It really has no connection to the "leave it be" sentiment.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 8:59
  • The leaving it be is implied, admittedly
    – Ilythya
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 8:17

It's in God's hands now is something that English speaking people of faith often say in similar situations. I don't know if it counts as an idiom, however. It's more of an actual statement of faith, and as such wouldn't typically be used by people who weren't believers.

(As a comparison, there are also common English expressions like God only knows that are used simply as idioms, without implying any personal religious belief.)

  • 8
    "It's out of my/your/our hands now" is a secular variant
    – Max
    Commented Jun 14, 2014 at 22:00
  • 2
    I completely disagree that this is "only for religious people." Totally non-religious people often blaspheme, use idiom containing "God" and so on. Setting that aside, this is a great suggestion.
    – Fattie
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 9:00
  • 1
    @JoeBlow As I mentioned in my answer, there are plenty of idioms referencing God that are used freely without implication of religious belief, but, in my experience, this isn't one of them --at least not in the US. Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 13:06

There's no use worrying about it.

This is a common expression, although more literal and not really a "saying". Note that often it is shortened by omitting the "There's".


Those who are fatalists or polytheists might well say

Leave it in the lap of the g/Gods.


I would suggest "what's done, is done".

How now, my lord, why do you keep alone,
Of sorriest fancies your companions making,
Using those thoughts which should indeed have died
With them they think on? Things without all remedy
Should be without regard: what's done, is done.
Macbeth Act 3, scene 2, 8–12

While this may have a backward-looking sense similar to "no use crying over spilt milk" (i.e., one must let go of the past), it's often used with a mind to the now-impending consequences. A similar phase would be "the die is cast" (Alea iacta est, uttered upon Caesar's "crossing the Rubicon").


I can think of these - but they handle only half your proverb

Everything/Good things comes to him who waits

Patience is a virtue


Close to your meaning but not an exact match is the proverb:

A watched pot never boils.

Which means in this context that watching out for news won't make it arrive any sooner.


Growing up on a farm in my early life I heard trees that grow slow bear the best fruit. Which means chill out and think good thoughts and you will be rewarded.


"In the lap of the gods" is close to what I think you're looking for. It's taken from Homer's Iliad. The more religious (or more monotheistic) version is "in God's hands".


The Spanish import phrase "que sera sera" ("whatever will be, will be") only dates from the 1950's, but is well-known enough in English that I'd say it qualifies as a proverb.

It denotes an attitude of acceptance and resignation to fate, not unlike your "It’s no use to worry about after everything is done".

There's also "don't worry, be happy" (after the Bobby McFerrin song) which is certainly a well-known phrase if not exactly a proverb.

The Serenity Prayer also springs to mind.

  • 1
    Your first link suggests "que sera sera" appeared in England in the 16th century in both Spanish and Italian styles, and then was included in the first scene of Marlowe's Dr Faustus
    – Henry
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 13:05
  • @Henry Good point!
    – A E
    Commented Apr 24, 2019 at 16:52

Expect the worst, hope for the best

In some situations you resign yourself to the worst outcome so you have nothing to lose. However, you may just be pleasantly surprised when things go your way after all is said and done!

Many examples fit here, such as being the underdog in a sporting event or playing the lottery. When you lose, no big deal as it was expected.


I don't know if these qualify as "proverbs" in the sense of common usage among the population generally, but many Christians are familiar with the following passages that speak to worry/leaving things in God's hands:

Psalm 55:22 (NASB)—Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

Psalm 56:3 (NASB)—When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)—Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.

Phillipians 4:6-7 (NIV)—Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I won't quote the whole passage, but here are some key excerpts (these are the words of Jesus):

Matthew 6:25-34 (NASB)—Do not worry then, saying, "What will we eat?" or "What will we drink?" or "What will we wear for clothing?" . . . But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. . . .

Hope this helps. :)

  • 3
    No, none of these are proverbs, so they don't relate to the question. This is English Language & Usage, not Bible Studies.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Jun 15, 2014 at 15:06
  • 1
    @DanHulme Huge overlap between Biblical text and proverbs though.
    – Casey
    Commented Sep 14, 2016 at 19:18
  • @Casey Sure, lots of proverbs originate from the Bible, but if someone asks for a proverb, quoting Bible passages from them is not helpful.
    – Dan Hulme
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 6:48
  • 1
    @DanHulme I think this is a kind of grey area where the passages are well-known enough that they're almost idiomatic.
    – Casey
    Commented Sep 15, 2016 at 13:13

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