are all waiting. For something. For someone.
I’m horrible at waiting. I avoid
it all day long.
Some waits are annoying and
mundane: choosing the shortest line at the grocery store; getting
peeved when my computer doesn’t give me what I want in a nanosecond;
waiting for people who are late. And when I’m in the drive-through lane
at McDonald’s, don’t you dare make me pull forward and wait for that
McRib without onions.
Some waits are full of
anticipation: Christmas, birthday celebrations, vacations . . .
But for my purposes, I’m going
to ignore these mundane waits and anticipated waits. They aren’t the
issue. My issue.
The waiting that challenges me
are the waits that involve yes-no issues: waiting for a yes on a
contract or a job, waiting for medical test results, waiting for news
that a loved one is safe, waiting for our daughter to get pregnant with
a longed-for child . . .
Waiting for life-changing
moments can be excruciating.
In The Message,
Romans 8 says that waiting “does not diminish us, any more than waiting
diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of
course, don’t see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the
larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” Think of our
waiting as the expanding belly of a mother. How visual is that?
Things happen to us while we
wait. We get a chance to learn patience (you notice I didn’t say we learn
patience, but we get a chance to learn patience);
we are usually brought down to our lowest lows as we expect the worst;
and we feel a desperate ache inside, a hole that needs to be filled. As
people of faith, sooner or later (may it be sooner) we realize the only
One to fill that hole and relieve that ache is God.
turn to Him and cry and beg and give Him all the rational and emotional
reasons behind our desires and hopes. We may even doubt He is
listening. We complain about the wait. We beg some more. And usually,
finally, we give up—not on the prayers, but on believing we need to (or
even can) determine the outcome. In that surrender we become “enlarged”
and fully pregnant with the waiting. We’re pregnant with anticipation
of His will being accomplished. We’re ready for the
baby to be born.
Romans 8:28 says (MSG):
moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside
helping us along. If we don’t know how or
to pray, it doesn’t
matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our
wordless sighs, our aching
groans. He knows us far better than we know
ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before
God. That’s why we can be sure that every detail in our lives of love
for God is worked into something good.
all want answers now.
But if we acknowledge there is a purpose to the waiting (making us turn
to God), there is growth in the waiting (making our faith grow), and
even power in the waiting (God’s power, accomplishing His will), then
we can see the waiting as a blessing.
Yes indeed, we are all waiting
for something and someone. We’re all
waiting for an eternal life spent in Jesus’ presence. And yet, we have
that now. Here. For He is with us always. “I’m absolutely convinced
that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or
tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing
can get between us and God’s love because of the way that Jesus our
Master has embraced us” Rom. 8:38–39 MSG).
He is worth
By the way . . . our daughter
just found out she’s pregnant.
God is never late and never
early. He knows what He’s doing, even—especially—in the waiting.