Waiting is hard and I'm not very good at it. Waiting in line, waiting through commercials on your favorite show, waiting in hospital waiting rooms, and most relevant to me right now, waiting to see how God will work out a situation. It's all hard (although I'll take the silly commercials over the waiting room any day of the week!). A dear friend sent me a John Waller song the other day that held so much weight for me it was painful. Painful because I realize that in waiting periods I tend to do exactly the opposite of what God would want. I control, I overthink, I stress.
What would it look like if instead I served, worshiped and moved forward in confidence? What if I didn't consult my fears or the nasty "what ifs" that like to creep in my mind?
This waiting thing is nothing new to God's people:
God called Jesus to 30 years of patient preparation before he heard the go-ahead to begin his ministry in Israel.
In Psalms alone, there are 11 references to "waiting on the Lord."
For years and years and years (100 to be exact), Abraham waited for a son to carry on his promised family line.
It becomes clear that waiting periods are powerful tools in God's toolbox — tools used to shape us and change us to look more like Him, to chip away the self so God is more evident. It is so easy in these waiting periods to start to doubt God's goodness and His power to work out a difficult situation. When I'm honest, that's the first place my mind goes. And when my mind goes there, it naturally follows that I then try and control the situation in my strength (not recommended!). I just listened to a Chip Ingrim CD series where he dives into eight attributes of God. One of God's attributes, or intrinsic characteristics is His goodness. God not only exhibits goodness, He is goodness. And if this is true, then it changes how we think and feel while we wait. Instead of feeling paralyzed by the unknown, we can walk in the confidence that God is working even if we can't see past today. Instead of feeling like waiting is a punishment, we can cling to the promise that His ways are higher than our ways; cling ever so tightly to the promise that He works all things for the good of those who love Him.
I don't know how long our family will be in this waiting period. I'd love for it to end soon, but it may not. So I'll wait and with God's help, let Him transform my impatience and fear into a deeper faith. And when fear rises up and impatience takes my eyes off of the Lord (because I'm human), I will wait for the truth that I am forgiven and loved to settle over me once again.