When I was a kid it felt like an ETERNITY until 5 pm when my favorite show Saved By The Bell would come on.
Car rides longer than 10 minutes were excruciating.
And waiting for Christmas to come was like waiting for NASA to figure out how to send people to Mars.
I often asked my parents, “Are we there yet? How much longer? How many more days????”
I see it happening with the Happy Buddy now… He asks me every night before bed how many hours it will take until morning. The back of my chair has permanent footprints from his are-we-there-yet-protests. I wonder a lot if we will even survive that hour until I get dinner on the table. 🙂
And don’t even get me started on how often we talk about how many days until his next birthday, beginning day 1 after birthday.
We don’t like to wait, do we?
We freak out now when our internet takes longer than a millisecond to load a page.
We want diets that will melt the pounds instantly.
Hello instant coffee and the microwave.
And then what about the waiting for things that are bigger than a loading YouTube video or for your skinny jeans to fit again?
Like waiting for your wedding day.
I’ll never forget how difficult those 370-something days after our engagement were.
The Happy Hubby and I were desperately trying to make it to our wedding day keeping the marriage bed pure and LET ME JUST TELL YOU – being two young lovebirds – this was no easy task.
Then there were the 5 years of waiting for a baby.
The months pass by pretty slowly when you’re hit with a steady stream of one-lined pregnancy tests.
Most recently was the waiting we endured before finally getting to take the Happy Baby home from the hospital.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this waiting because the Happy Baby was born last year on the Tuesday during the week before Easter.
When he was admitted to the NICU, the Happy Hubby and I were told he’d get better in a few days.
We set our hearts on taking that precious little bundle home before Easter Sunday.
Then the weekend hit and I remember praying my heart out that we’d have a miraculous healing and get to take him home on Resurrection Day itself.
I thought, “Now wouldn’t that be fairy tale-ish?”
But then that didn’t happen. And instead we were loading him into an ambulance to have him transferred to a different hospital where we began our journey of one of the toughest waits of my life.
Here’s the thing.
We don’t like waiting because waiting is hard.
It is hard to keep your hands off your hot fiancé.
It is hard to attend 8 thousand baby showers and have to command your spirit to be happy for your easily pregnant friends when you wonder if you will ever get to open a Diaper Genie of your own.
It is hard to have to put away the special Moses basket you had ready next to your bed for the newborn who longer fits in it because he has been in the hospital for so long.
God, however, has a plan for our waiting.
In fact, He delights in our waiting.
All you have to do is look at the people in God’s Word. You’ll find that most of them had to endure some pretty intense seasons of waiting.
First, there’s Noah. He had to wait many years while building the boat and then the 40 days while on the boat (and we should remember that he didn’t know it was going to be 40 days… Imagine what he must have felt like day after day trapped on that boat with all those stinky animals!).
Then there’s Abraham. He was 100 years old before he got to be a dad.
Jacob had to work for Laban for a number of years before getting to marry his dream girl, Rachel.
Speaking of Rachel, she experienced a long season of barrenness while her sister, Leah, Fertile Myrtle-d her way through life.
Joseph waited in prison under a false accusation for over 2 years.
The Israelites were in bondage in Egypt for hundreds of years.
David was anointed to be king as a young boy of about 12-15 years old, but he didn’t actually become the king until he was 30, with those years of waiting filled with all kinds of drama between him and King Saul.
The list goes on!
But why, you might ask? Why does God make His people have seasons of waiting?
I asked God this question a lot while waiting for the Happy Baby to come home.
I even questioned His goodness because that kind of waiting seemed torturous and, at times, unbearable.
And here is what He showed me about waiting.
*Waiting makes you depend on God.*
Every single day of the Happy Baby’s hospitalization, I was in communion with the Lord.
I cried out to Him. I searched His Word for hope and comfort. I spent a lot of time listening to worship music.
I had no other choice, really, because if I didn’t do these things, I was having panic attacks and recurring bladder and mastitis infections.
Some of David’s most beautiful and heartfelt Psalms were penned from caves where he was hidden away from the crazed King Saul – waiting for deliverance.
A dear friend of mine always reminded me when I would call her crying about the Happy Baby, “This is just a season, Julie. It won’t last forever.”
And you know what? She was right.
*Waiting ends at some point.*
We did eventually break free from the hospital.
Noah eventually got off the boat.
Abraham and Sarah had Isaac.
Jacob married Rachel.
Rachel gave birth to Joseph.
Joseph was freed from prison and given a pretty awesome promotion.
The Israelites got out of Egypt.
David eventually became king…
I tell you this because it is hope for the weary, waiting soul.
One day you will be delivered.
We must remember, however, that sometimes our deliverance is not exactly as we dreamed… Like we were delivered from the hospital, but it was after almost 100 days and the Happy Baby had a feeding tube along with a long list of what-ifs concerning his health.
*Waiting helps us realize that we are not in control – and that is a good thing.*
We can look back now and reflect on how He grew us and stretched us as His children through the waiting.
We learned to lean on Him in the waiting. We learned to trust in His perfect plans and unfailing love.
And because of that love we can see how His deliverance from our waiting (although having a feeding tube wasn’t our favorite) – it was exactly what we needed, when we needed it.
Although he only had to wait 3 days in the belly of the fish for his deliverance (I think any longer than that would have made any other person in his situation go a little nuts!), Jonah was delivered when he surrendered completely to God’s calling for his life.
He learned that God’s way was better.
When Jesus waited for them to take him away to be crucified, he knelt before the Father and cried out, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
This is the reason we wait.
*Waiting is about surrender.*
I’ve noticed that when things in my life are going easy, my flesh is more tempted to cast God aside, skip reading His Word, do my own thing.
When things are easy I am less apt to kneel at His feet, arms open, asking Him to take it all.
I believe this is what it means when we hear, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4
Not that God is some genie that will make all our waiting requests come true with a magic poof, but that when we are fully surrendered to trusting in His plans for our life, the desires of our heart become more about wanting what pleases Him instead of what pleases ourselves.
Just a few verses later we are reminded to, “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” Psalm 37:7
Now we get to wait for His second return.
And we do so with hope.
We will survive (and even thrive in) the waits of this world because we know that we are waiting for something far better than anything the waits of this world have to offer.
Hang in there, precious, waiting Sister.
He is coming.
“Our willingness to wait reveals the value we place on the object we are waiting for.” Charles Stanley