Someone recently asked me, “what are you waiting for?”
My response: “that’s a loaded question.”
After I thought about it for a few seconds, I answered that I was waiting on “what’s next”, then admitted I just gave a very loaded answer in response to a very loaded question.
The truth is though, we’re all waiting on something. A birthday, finding our spouse, a holiday, graduation, first day of a new job, retirement, a career change, being in a relationship, a move, etc.
Some of you are waiting on something and you know when it’s coming. The baby is due November 18. You’ll make your last student loan payment March 5, 2011. You’re leaving for the vacation you’re saved up for on October 5. Some of you know. But some of you don’t. Some of you are waiting on something that there is no date attached to. Finding your spouse? Yeah, not so much. The tests finally coming back negative? Sure wish you knew. The day when your heart stops hurting from unexpected loss? Where do you put THAT on the calendar?
As for me, yes, I am waiting on “what’s next.” But while paydays, holidays and friend’s weddings are marked on my calendar, “what’s next” is nowhere to be found.
Hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. – Romans 8:24-25
I believe there is something very healthy about waiting and wrestling with an unrealized hope… something that is consistently just beyond our reach… something that keeps wonder alive in our heart… something that interjects intrigue into the most mundane of moments. While there is definitely a powerful life element to waiting without knowing, the truth is it can often be frustrating.
We spend so much time asking God “why”… “why don’t I have it”, “why hasn’t this changed”,”why am I still here”, “why don’t you fix it???”
Walking by faith and living with the questions is completely counter-intuitive to a culture that has every other answer they could ever want just one Google search away… every answer but THIS one… the one that won’t let you sleep at night.
I’ve come to believe that a significant part of prying the grip of frustration from around a heart in wait is learning to ask a different question. If we could only begin to shift the focus from asking “why” of God to asking “how” of our own heart, we could begin to understand and unlock the power of waiting well.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with asking “why”. I just think it is often a fruitless, cyclical pursuit of answers that are not always ours for the having and doesn’t change the origin of the frustration. On the other hand, learning to square off with our own heart and continually evaluate “how” we are waiting could very well be a catalyst to heart change and deliverance from our own entitlement to know “why”.
Asking “why” probably won’t change the situation, but asking “how” will likely change ME.
A big part of waiting well is understanding the redemptive nature and character of God and realizing that He never wastes a season of your life. There is value and perspective to be extracted and juiced from every moment, if we will commit to the pursuit of it. Too often, we pass up the opportunity to find the life to be had in each moment and season we’re given and settle for worry, fear and complaining.
How do you wait?
Do you hope or complain?
Do you engage or isolate?
Are you thankful or bitter?
Is your heart expectant or jaded?
Does your heart trust or is it suspicious?
I often wish I were better at waiting well. Some days I’ve got a better grip on it than others, but in my “waiting for what’s next” I don’t think I’ve waited too well this past week. Yet I continue to hold the feet of my heart to the flames and move toward, knowing that how I wait is more important than why I am waiting.
What are you waiting for? Do you wait well?