Here’s a simple truth: Waiting is a most difficult thing to do.
Increase the uncertainty of the outcome, and waiting is even harder to do.
Today I face a fairly good chunk of discouragement. It seems that a conversation hasn’t been had in the last very long while where friends, family, and loved ones who sit on my couch to cry, lament, and rant that the thing they have been waiting on—desperately waiting for—is seemingly delayed. Some have waited a very long time.
Waiting is tiring. It’s a helpless place.
In this day of instant everything, waiting is completely counter-intuitive. We are so accustomed to getting what we want now. Self-made men and women ought to be able to get the job done…and done quickly.
So why so many riches to rags stories?
What happens when you’re waiting on God and His train is delayed? What happens when you have prayed your words away and you still have no answer? Or you’re watching your coach turn into a pumpkin with only the company of a chiming clock’s echo?
Did God even get on the train?
I get it. Sometimes it feels like you’re trapped inside a sinister episode of Punked. I’ve been there. Frequently. It’s a place that God seems to like to put me—that is, a waiting place with nowhere to go and nothing to do; a dependent, desperate place.
You probably know one of these waiting places too: The return of a prodigal. A pulse in a dead marriage. A doctor’s diagnosis. Healing for a hurt bigger than any bandage. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Understanding. A phone call from an absent friend. A positive pregnancy test. Release from addiction. A check to pay the bills. A new job. Justice. The ache of a missing loved one to diminish. Companionship. Someone to love you.
The waiting place can be a deceptive place. When we’ve waited long and waited hard and there is still no sign of relief, we call our self “fool” and begin to believe that our waiting was just wasting. Wasting our time. Wasting our faith. Wasting our common sense. Hope brutally crashes on rocks of wasting.
In the wasting we forget who God is. We get all wrapped up in what He isn’t doing or what He seems to be ignoring.
I took some time today to remind myself of who God says He is:
“The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin” Exodus 34:6-7.”
Do you hear it? God is not in a hurry. He will take His time. He will take as much time as lovingkindness needs to abound.
Friend, if you are waiting, don’t give up. Remember who your God is. Stop worrying about what He will or won’t do. Just know that His compassion and grace is on the other side of your waiting. Hold on. Don’t give up.
Simple truths are not easy truths. The waiting isn’t easy, but it will be worth it.