I’ve spent a lot of my lifetime waiting. Much of it while complaining. (Is it coincidental that those two words rhyme?) I’m not a great wait-er. Like one pastor said, “If you’re at the grocery store and see me in line, don’t get behind me. You’ll wait longer than ever because God seems to put me in places where He teaches me to wait. So if you’re looking for the fast lane, don’t follow me.” Man, I can relate.
Our church sets aside 21 days in January for prayer. We pray on Wednesday evenings like we always do, but it becomes more intentional and shall I say “passionate?” during those 21 days. Some people fast their lunch hour and spend it in prayer at the church. Some gather on Saturday morning for an hour and pray together. It’s really a blessed time that I look forward to and I usually come out of those 21 Days with renewed passion and vision.
But then there’s that not so fun part: waiting. Pray and wait. Wait and pray. Hopefulness. Weariness. Despair. Fight. Believe. Pray some more and…wait.
But here’s something I’m learning: God doesn’t waste your waiting. It feels like wasted time to me. (Shouldn’t I be doing something? Did God not hear me? Did I not pray “in faith”?) But not one minute of wait time is wasted time.
Like Moses…you may wait in the desert of Midian until you are completely prepared for deliverance from your Egypt.
Like Paul…you may wait for God to take away the “thorn” but God is using that waiting in weakness to reveal His strength.
Like Mary and Martha…you may wait for Jesus to come as Healer (of Lazarus) but God is coming as Resurrection and the Life.
No. God doesn’t wait my waiting. Even if I wait until the end of this life, it isn’t the end. As C.S. Lewis wrote in the Chronicles of Narnia,
And for us this the end of all the stories, and we can most truly say that they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever; in which every chapter is better than the one before. (C.S. Lewis “The Last Battle”)