About this time last year I would have shared my experience in waiting to be married, as Brooks and I were in the midst of the season we know as engagement. A few months later, I could have told you about waiting for his return home from the field during his time in IBOLC [Infantry Officer training]. And we all remember the days I anxiously awaited the arrival of the mailman in hopes of receiving a letter from my husband during his time away doing some Army training. Upon his completion of the course we waited to find out when we would move from Georgia to Texas...
waiting: to stay where one is or delay action until (someone) arrives or is ready
I've noticed a few things in the midst of these practical lessons. Waiting is actually a very Biblical concept. In the past, I viewed it as a more of a delay in action [which irked me, since I thrive in seeing tasks through to their completion]. However, from my more recent experiences, I've learned that waiting actually provides me with an opportunity to be weakened or strengthened in the midst of such seasons.
As I wait, I am faced with a choice:
Will I allow myself to question God's character as I wait? Or, will I embrace the opportunity to exercise, and grow, in my faith?
I've seen myself respond to waiting in a couple of different ways. I've allowed myself to become impatient, questioning God's timing in the matter. At times my impatience has led to anger: whatever it is that I'm waiting on needs to hurry up, so that I can get things done! I need to be productive so that I can feel better about myself. I've also allowed myself to become discouraged. This is when I begin entertaining the "What if's?" and start grasping for some sense of control.
But I'm [slowly] learning that waiting isn't just about what I'm hoping for at the end of my wait. As a judger [Myers & Briggs, anyone?] this is difficult for me. I want to see the end result. But God is more concerned with what I am becoming as I wait. Waiting provides me with "time to consider the glory of God and to grow stronger in my faith" [Paul Tripp]. God is committed to rescuing me from myself and to conform me into the image of His Son. Waiting is one of the many tools He uses to make me look more like Jesus. Thus, I've resolved to embrace these seasons of waiting, much like a good workout. A faith-muscle builder, if you will. It's difficult. It's painful at times. But waiting produces in me spiritual strength.
This post was inspired by one of my favorite songs at the moment. It's called "Waiting Here for You," by Christy Nockels. With all of these experiences in mind, the lyrics hit me at the core as I listen to it over and over.
So with great faith we wait, anxiously, for His presence and for His return one day. And as we wait, may we sing, "Hallelujah!" with our hands lifted high in praise. May our waiting be an act of worship.