One of the hardest things to do, I think, is to wait. In a line at the grocery story, in traffic, for resources that we needed yesterday… Waiting challenges us, bringing out our latent tendencies to scowl and fret.
When what we yearn for, need, and desire is greater, more imperative, the conflict within our spirit is heightened and aroused to the point of fight or flight. We are on the look-out, waiting for a sign that God is working, eager to declare a victory that may not be anywhere in sight. How do we keep calm, maintain order and optimism, when everything in our world feels like it is falling apart? That is the question.
We all have one. Somewhere, deep within us is a groaning, a prayer that is so desperate that we are afraid even to put words to it. We can barely profess it, not wanting to give it a voice as if embarrassed just by the sheer audacity of what we yearn for.
We listen to those that love us, hearing their intentions, wanting to believe their encouragement for us. We even preach to ourselves, knowing that God has come through for us in the past and that He will come through for us again. Still, we hold our breath. What if He doesn’t?
There are things in my heart that make no sense. Plenty of things that on the surface seem so apparent, there is no way anyone could possibly see an outcome other than what the world says will happen. There is nothing of substance to support the thing that my spirit beckons me to believe.
Yet it comes to me and night, nudging me awake, “Don’t give up.”
I wonder if resignation is less about giving up, than giving in. We give up the outward appearance and actions of pursuing an outcome, and give in to letting God do things His way. I have come to understand that nothing — nothing — that I have cherished most came about by my own hand. Those most serendipitous, blissful moments came fully by His doing. Meeting someone that would affect my life, falling in love, giving birth… All came at His discretion.
We cannot force our way through a crowded parking lot. We cannot make someone love us back. We can’t snap our fingers and cause a cold or cancer to go away. We can’t take away the burden of someone we care about. We can’t rescue, no matter how hard we try, someone from a path that clearly has danger written all over it.
All we can do is give in to giving it all to God and letting Him do what only He can do. We have to wait it out.
God is the God of impossibility. He renders His verdict, His outcome, on everything we do and believe for in this life. He moves mountains. He calms the storm. He heals us, mercifully, miraculously, wonderfully. He provides for us sustenance, feeding us, when all we have is a little bit of bread and a couple of fishes.
It’s just that He does it in His time, in His way. And that is the the hard part.
To all of you who I know are waiting on Him, don’t give up. I know that it feels like you have been walking in the desert for forty years. I’ve seen you here; we travel in the same circles. We are watching the horizon for what God has promised us. We just can’t know the tracking number as to when He will deliver it.
But He will. Without fail, He will come and it will be right on time. All the dots will be connected. All the groaning of our spirit will come with an acceptance and understanding of why it sometimes seems to take so long. It’s because, I believe, that what is coming will be worth the wait.
In our seasons of waiting, God is tempering us. He’s readying us. He’s perfecting us, even when it looks like we are striped of everything we used to know. We have to be emptied, so that He can fill us up again.
Don’t give up on what God has not released you from believing for. Just give in to knowing He knows what He is doing.
Be patient. Wait for it. His word does not return void.
Don’t give up.