There’s a thrill that comes with waiting. We are waiting for something good. Yet, as I was listening to Tom Petty vocally wail this week:
“The waiting is the hardest part
Every day you see one more card
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
The waiting is the hardest part”
I’ve asked myself the question, what is it about waiting that’s so hard? In fact, let me be honest and ask you for an honest response as well… what is it about waiting that is brutal? As I have read the Scriptures it seems as though God is an expert in making people wait. God certainly can answer/act in a timely manner that is much quicker. But there are numerous examples of God’s skill at making His people wait. In fact, I would even go as far to say that the majority experience of His people is waiting…
Actually, I’ve thought about why I hate waiting. For all the answers like, “It’s soul building”, “You become a better person”, “God has something better for you”, I’ve come to realization that I dislike waiting not because I’m addicted to instant gratification but rather because it seems unproductive. Waiting equals doing nothing productive. It’s wasted time, there’s nothing to do. Over and over it keeps coming up: I was made to do something.
Metaphorically speaking it’s killing me to have to wait to get out to Indiana and start the new job. I want to get in the mix, I want to learn the culture, I want to get settled relationally! Yet, this period is to be spent waiting for the home to sell, waiting to pack things up, waiting to start this adventure in a new season of ministry. I wonder what you are waiting for… a new job, marriage, children, a new semester at school. What are you waiting for? And what is the hardest part about waiting for you?
The waiting is the hardest part because it seems like it drags on forever, with every day revealing one more card but no finality. Even in the waiting it’s a reminder that our life is spent waiting for something redemptive. The Scriptures do graciously point us to the “something”. Ultimately we are waiting for the Lord to redeem us fully, in actuality. Everything my heart longs for in “ever after” will arrive in complete loving fullness when union with God is made complete. This is what theologians call the beatific vision. The period of waiting is this reminder in existence that one day our deepest dreams will come true, not just for an instant and then be gone, but for an eternity. That thought doesn’t totally remove the angst with waiting but it does put it in a framework that helps me be present to the Lord where I am at right now.
“Wait for the Lord; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14, ESV).