Originally published on May 25, 2020
“Wait patiently” are two words that keep rolling over and over again in my mind. I’m not sure what I am waiting for! Is it my ability to go to a restaurant with friends, to bring the grandkids bowling, to return to Bible studies with live bodies and not just beautiful faces on zoom, to start new relationships, to get back into my routine or maybe just plain answers?
Our Bible study group had just completed the introduction to the book, “Hope in the Dark”, derived from the Old Testament book, Habakkuk, when Covid 19 effectively shut everything down and imprisoned us in our homes. All that is “normal” was put on hold, so we began waiting patiently. As I continued to study and prepare for our return to normal, I came across Habakkuk 2:3, which states, “ But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!
Hence, the two words rolling around in my head, WAIT PATIENTLY. I’ve always heard that God is rarely early, never late and usually right on time. I believe that to be true, but can I learn to trust in God’s unfamiliar sense of timing?
I like to be active (my husband thinks I’m hyper-active), so I have answered just about every call to do something, especially something “spiritual”. When Dennis challenged us to recite and reflect on Psalm 23 upon waking and retiring each day, I did. I especially centered on verse 2 in Psalm 23, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters.” So, whenever I was stir-crazy, cancelling appointments and obligations as mandated by government and spending whole days in my house, my Shepherd would bring me to a place of rest and quiet.
Then, as the isolating days got more tedious and worrisome, someone suggested that I read a Proverb each day, which I did every evening. This made me long for wisdom and understanding so I started waiting for that!
I could make quite the list of completed and partially completed projects that I have undertaken over the past couple of months, all work performed within the shrinking four walls of my lovely home. I intended to just keep myself busy; remember that my husband thinks I’m hyper-active plus I wanted to feel like I had a purpose. God, however, had a better plan for my days. During this time of “stay at home” busy, I found myself reflecting more on Jesus, learning more about Him. I could almost literally hear the Holy Spirit whispering to me, telling me that this time of waiting will grow my patience and my faith. Some recent self-discovery made it clear that I have a need to know, that I am an investigator of sorts. That trait doesn’t always mesh well with a God who keeps His plans to Himself. Again, if I wait, I will see.
God also delighted during this time of confinement to reveal some of my carefully hidden sins, YIKES. It seems that I am not always quick to obey, I am concerned a little more about financial security than I should be, I am quicker to judge than I wish to be, I often speak to people and about situations that are inappropriate. DOUBLE YIKES. I’m pretty sure the pandemic wasn’t planned for the sole purpose of my self-improvement; but I’m also pretty sure that most of these sins would still be hidden if I hadn’t been home waiting.
Interestingly, as my sins were being exposed, I felt an overwhelming sense of God’s love for me, not condemnation. You see, Dennis’ series on Hope, The Anchor of My Soul, has spoken to me. Jesus sees, cares, touches, loves and transforms. It was especially different celebrating Easter Sunday in the midst of the lockdown, but in the midst of all the things that I was learning and discovering, it impacted me even more to discover the extent of God’s love as revealed in the death and resurrection of His only Son. That loves is incomprehensible.
After this week’s sermon on Heaven, I realize that we are going to be waiting until we go home, to our Father’s house. Through His ever-present Holy Spirit, He will wait with us.
So what specifically should I be waiting for? I cannot put my finger on a definite list of things; and, honestly, I don’t think the Lord wants me to come up with that list. He wants my love, trust and devotion on a moment by moment, daily basis no matter what I think I am waiting for. So I will keep seeking the will of God daily and will rest in the promise of Psalm 27:14
“Wait for the LORD: be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
I Know full well that the hours spent waiting are not lost time, so with eager and patient anticipation I wait for whatever He has planned for me.