What images come to mind when you think about waiting?
Are you 15 people deep in the grocery checkout line, guests arriving in 30 minutes and you forgot to wipe down the guest bathroom?
Have you calculated how many times the light will turn red before you have the chance to drive through on green?
Or maybe you’re whispering to yourself, teaching your tongue it doesn’t have to have its turn this time, because if you actually listen through the waiting you might hear the very story you planned to tell.
I waited patiently for the LORD ~ Ps 40:1
It is always in hindsight that I see my impatient toddler dance, as though projected on a screen and I flush red that I couldn’t wait more patiently this time. I’m sorry, Papa, but I needed a friend in this new place so bad. Nine months doesn’t seem so long now, nine slowly rounding months before breathing in sister-smiles and placing my name in new hands to hold. I am so quick to judge my faith as immature because one more time I forgot how faithful He’s proven every time.
Today I decided the impatient toddler, the one waiting with wide-eyes for the ice cream cone to be handed over the counter, allows her parents to taste joy.
The child who can hardly sleep in anticipation of Christmas, waiting through the extended hours of earth’s daily rotation with each hour stretching past 60 minutes, she places the gift of sweet anticipation fulfilled in her parents hearts.
Waiting patiently is not the only acceptable way to wait.
Today on my way to the bank account tab I accidentally opened one of my favorite Church tabs, and scrolling across the page was the recent sermon series, Follow. And I teared up.
How do I know my soul waits on you, Papa?
Decision by decision I may struggle with patiently waiting on God’s provision. But the in-my-face little memories of His faithfulness, whispering follow me across my screen when I was off to balance my checkbook, these hard stop moments with God surface a longing in my soul for Him that always bring me to tears.
Am I waiting patiently on the Lord? Absolutely.
When Ken is away for days, and those nights stretch long and sleepless without skin on skin, my longing for him aches quiet in a place I’ve folded the corners tightly over. Daylight and I have my things to do, life to live and people to love. But sometimes I pass a memory, smell his shirts in the closet or hear his voice from my son’s mouth, and the waiting turns impatient and I want.him.here.now.
I have learned how to suppress an aching wait. I wait patiently on the Lord by suppressing the grief I often feel from being separated from him. And because I know this kind of waiting requires a bit of exterior numbness, it seems the best way to wait and still breathe. But I don’t want to live partially anesthetized in this life. Today I asked Him to show me how to live with joy even in His absence. How to recognize His complete presence though I can’t smell Him, touch Him, or hear His voice. He stood watching me at the ice cream counter, where I entertained a Muslim woman and her children in my home for hours, with food and storytelling and cradling children with laughter, and my Papa tasted joy in my delighted toddler dance.
This. This is to wait patiently on the Lord. Because I want.him.here.now. And until He is I will live this gift-life with love and be grateful that my heart aches in anticipation of His return.
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ … Titus 2:11-13
Waiting patiently with you, Favored One.