How to Survive the Wait
I hold her in my arms, and she smiles, her laughter is my undoing. Carried in the safety of her mother for the better part of a year, now carried in her arms every six months. Each half-year we will see the doctor, the threat of a disease we never knew existed, and I still cannot pronounce.
We pray for the Lord to say the doctor is wrong, we pray for no more signs, we pray believing, we pray knowing that He is with us and hears every word, and each mother’s heart sigh. We pray, and we watch, and we do the hard thing…we wait. Waiting is so difficult, like lifting a weight that is greater than we have ever lifted before, strengthening our faith. Flexing our faith muscle making it useful to us.
What good is faith if all is perfect? What need is there for Christ if we could handle all of our problems?
And we wait…
Another young mother comes in, tension aging her forehead, and the gravity pulling down the corner of lips that should be smiling with joy at her new life. I pray silently for her treasure as well. She comes alone with her child. Does she have a mother to pour her fears out to? Does she know the savior who gives strength for the journey?
We make eye contact and I smile, while silently praying.
And she waits…
As I wait, on God to answer the ocean of thoughts and requests I have before Him, I have found it very helpful to begin to praying for others in the same situation. Go to others and ask them how you can pray for them. I have seen situations change more quickly as I include others in my prayers who are in similar circumstances, whether I have met them or not. When I include others in who are experiencing the same sorrow, I find greater comfort as I wait and frequently I have seen change come to the situation, more quickly. My prayers done with the inclusion of others seems to touch the heart of God. To be burdened by a sorrow, yet reach out to help others, is a characteristic of Christ that God will not overlook. Let us consider two thoughts.
- Delay is not Deny. Though the answer seems delayed doesn’t mean God has denied your request. Sometimes he allows us to experience the wrong answer so we will recognize the right one when He sends it our way. We frequently need to observe and discern differences in a matter. It can be difficult to recognize the correct answer on the first try. When we are waiting desperately we might grab the first thing that comes alone. A little instruction and time can keep us from making a mistake.
- Patience gains the Promise. 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow about his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.” When we are hurting with our situation, it is difficult to see past our own pain. Perhaps when answers and promises are delayed, it is not about you, but the Lord is bringing others into the fullness of His plan.
Our Lord delights in creation, process and revelation. He wants us to seek Him and find Him.
Deuteronomy 29:29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this Law.”
God’s patience in the answers and promises allows us time to share with others what He has revealed to us and to teach His words to others to explain the hope that is within us. Once we have a piece of the secret things, we teach it to our families. Now what has been hoped for has become a generational blessing and an inheritance for the next generation.
Sometimes not knowing the exact answer or timing allows us to explore all areas looking for Him. In doing this we will inadvertently engage in jobs that seem mundane, Like Adam might have felt after the first day of naming animals,and by being faithful to the task that is before us, He will be faithful to bring us face to face with the promises and answers we seek.
In addition, what we consider mundane, will very possibly lay a foundation for those who come behind us. The things we touch, like a pebble thrown into a lake, causes a ripple effect. May our prayers, and faith in waiting for the promise, cause a ripple effect touching generations not yet born.
I’m posting exerpts from my book String of Pearls this week.