We are not a culture that waits well, and we haven’t been for a long time.
People everywhere are counting the days until that business they’ve dreamed of finally takes off. We long for financial independence, the salvation of a loved one, a letter of acceptance to university, the dream contract… the list goes on. And it all starts with a dream, the longing for more than we can see.
Even though you may have heard a lot on this topic before, stick with me. Grab your coffee and let’s talk about this. Because I believe the Lord wants to give us a greater understanding of how to wait, and I believe that we are better when we wrestle through these things together. After all, I don’t think the Holy Spirit gives revelation so that it can only impact one person; His goal is always Kingdom expansion and that doesn’t happen if we get stingy with the message He gives.
This is one of those days where I seriously wish we were together. There is such an impartation of encouragement that comes with face-to-face conversation. You just can’t beat it. But since that’s not possible, know that I am doing my best to hear your side of the conversation in my head. Frankly, I need your viewpoint on these things. We were created by Community (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and for community. And on this particular issue, I’m quite certain everyone has something to offer to the conversation.
We were created by Community (Father, Son, Holy Spirit) and for community.
As I imagine your words, I hear that you’re tired of waiting for whatever it is that has you feeling stalled. I hear that you’re over all of the well-meaning, yet fruitless encouragement that is out there. I understand that the comparisons of your barren womb to that of Sarah’s in the Bible make you want to scream (who ever said that having your first child at age 90 was the goal?!)
And I understand that for you in your mid- to late-thirties/forties/insert-your-decade-here, being forced to endure the testimony of the adorably petite girl in your small group waiting until the ripe old age of 27 to meet her husband one more time, will make you seriously consider smashing her perfectly crafted cupcake in her perfectly Sephora’d face.
I get it. I am living it in my own way. Maybe marriage isn’t the thing that is currently testing your patience, but there’s something. There’s always something.
Just to bring a bit of logic to the conversation (which is admittedly not my strong suit – see cupcake-face-shoving comment as evidence), we are all waiting for something at nearly every stage of life. That’s the consequence of living in this fallen world. We were designed to linger with our Father, but sin separated us, until Jesus, the answer to all of our longing, made a way for us to be reconciled to God.
Jesus changed the entire world in His tenure on earth. And while we can be in a relationship with Him because of what He did for us on the cross, we are not yet with Him in the way our hearts long to be. Until we are united with Him on the other side of eternity, we will be waiting. Nothing else will ever truly be enough for us. So we have to figure out how to deal with the earthly pain of waiting as we learn to adopt a heavenly perspective on this subject.
We have to figure out how to deal with the earthly pain of waiting as we learn to adopt a heavenly perspective on this subject.
The good news here is that God has given us a way to deal with it. He knew it would hurt. He knew the pain and longing you feel in this very moment was going to happen. So He provided us with the examples we would need to navigate through the pain. Sometimes, just knowing you’re not the first one to feel this way is comfort enough for the season.
If you are thinking that everything there is to say on this topic of waiting has already been said, then I agree with you. And what’s more, it was said long before any of us were here to listen. The Psalms are full of evidence of David’s and other psalmists’ thoughts on how we should navigate our waiting seasons. In particular, Psalm 130 has always resonated deeply with me, especially verse 5 which says “I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope” (NIV). My whole being waits.
I love the incredibly relatable wording of this sentence.We wait with our whole being, and yet it is our whole being that aches for the fulfillment of the promises for which we wait. We wait with our whole being for a word from an authority higher than ourselves. Imagine what that must feel like – to wait with our whole being.
Every thought. Every action. Voices silenced, breath suspended.
We wait with our whole being until His word brings the hope that allows us to exhale.
We wait with our whole being, and yet it is our whole being that aches for the fulfillment of the promises for which we wait.