Waiting. It’s one of my least favorite things to do. And, I’m not always very good at it. I know I’m not alone, most folks hate to wait. Yet, we are required to spend much of our lives doing exactly that…waiting.
Some waiting is good. Any pregnant woman will tell you that the wait seems like it will last forever. But, the sweet anticipation of the promised blessing is so strong, it can’t even be dulled by morning sickness or stretch marks.
Last year my best friend planned a surprise trip for my birthday. I knew when we were going, but not where. She put a countdown on her phone and everyday I would get a hint about where we were going and an update on how much longer we had to wait. The planning and waiting were almost as much fun as the trip.
But, not all waiting is fun. Often, our waiting feels interminable. Like, waiting on the doctor to deliver specifics on bad news. Or, waiting to hear if your job is one being cut. Waiting for a fire truck or an ambulance. Waiting by the bedside of a parent just hours from death. Those are the times that waiting just hurts.
My best friend is in a similar time of waiting now. Her mom has lived a long, full life. The last few years have been marred by a battle with Alzheimer’s that have taken much of the person she once was. last week, her family gathered to help celebrate her 90th birthday. Just days later, it seemed as if she had finally gotten tired of fighting and the end was near. Her son and daughter made the hard, but good, decision of moving her to a hospice house. Now, we wait.
The problem with this kind of waiting is that it feels as if everything else has ceased and all that’s left is the pain of the here and now. The rest of the world moves on as usual while we feel as if the earth has slipped off its axis a bit.
So, what to do? When we’re waiting and it feels as if it will never end. When we feel like we can’t endure one more moment. When the beginning can no longer be seen and the end is just beyond our reach. Can there be hope in the waiting?
I think so.
Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Barnes Notes on the Bible states that the word rendered as “wait upon” means to wait expectantly, to wait for God’s help or to put your trust in Him. The promise that comes with that wait is clear-you will have the strength to do what you need to do.
Psalm 40:1-3, “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings. And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the Lord.” The commentaries seem to agree that “waited patiently” could be translated as waited and waited.
There it is, that hope. In both of these verses, we see that the key is waiting on God. The waiting, the trusting, is reward with strength and rescue.
Are you in a period of waiting? Put your hope in God, He will meet you.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.