Three years ago I got a seriously awful stomach virus (thank you, students) and had to go to the emergency room around ten at night. I was sitting in the waiting room and in so much pain and I remember rocking back and forth and saying “I don’t think I can make it”. Yeah, the stomach flu, I know. But, the waiting was made so much worse because I didn’t know how long it would be before I could get help, before the medicine would work, before relief would come. Sweet, sweet relief. It finally came, of course, but gosh, that twenty minutes in the waiting room was rough (go ahead, mock me, I know I am a baby).
So, waiting. Not my favorite thing. At all. I do not like to wait. Especially when relief is nowhere in sight.
Right now, I am fighting the waiting because I am in immense pain. I am hurting, scared, lonely, angry, and sorrowful. And it is all I can do not to yell out “I QUIT! I WILL WAIT NO LONGER!”, followed by a long string of expletives and foot stomping.
I want deliverance. I desire deliverance from this hurt, but I have chosen to wait. I am waiting, sometimes for a person, but mostly for God to work. My prayer has been that He will prepare my heart for what He is working. My cry has been that this will all be over soon.
He is answering my prayer. He is not, however, answering it by means of immediate deliverance. He spoke to me this week in a plethora of ways to wait. To stay where I am, rest in Him, and trust that He is working. It is awfully prideful of me to think that I should decide what will happen. It is, after all, human nature to want to be God, but what we desire often is just to stop the hurting, not to learn from it. I often think if I could just stop the pain, then things would be better, but what I really desire is more of Jesus, and that is painful at times. But what I have seen and learned is that I cannot possibly plan what God will do through my pain. After all, I would have never chosen to have anorexia or spend time in a treatment center, but God did plan that for me, and in that pain, my family was reunited and large wounds were healed. I would have never chosen to have a man break my heart at the age of 21, but God planned it, and through it brought me to the Village church and to many wonderful people to live this life with. I would have never chosen for my dream of living in Honduras to be put on hold, but I would not have given back the time I have gotten to spend with my nephews because I am here in Texas. You see, God works, and His story for us often means we wait on Him. Even in the extreme pain, extreme heartache, and extreme fear of the future. But, God’s work is always beautiful and sweet in the end result. He is good and His plan for me is beautiful, though it may not look like it now. So, for now I sleep in my half-empty bed, waiting to see the end result of God’s mighty hand, and through my tears and pain, and sometimes in my anger, I am anxious to arrive at the end result. Because, although I cannot see it now, God is working, He is moving, His hand is guarding me and His plans are unfolding. So, even though I yearn to scream and punch and kick, I will wait on Him, out of love, out of faith, and out of pure curiosity to see the outcome of His workings. Because I know He is good, and as a friend reminded me this week, even though we want out, the end result of waiting is often sweeter than our immediate out.
I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.
The folly of not waiting for God is that we forfeit the blessing of having God work for us. – John Piper