As I write this, we are waiting for word on the condition of my Father-in-law. This morning, he suffered a second, significant stroke, the first having come in May. My wife is with him and her Mom and brothers and sisters at Mayo Clinic. The doctors have said that for the next 24-48 hours, we wait and see. (Please feel free to keep him in your prayers. His name is Lyle.)
As I write this, our youngest son is anxiously waiting for the arrival of the postal delivery truck. Today is the day that “the letters” that tell students at Fernbrook Elementary School who their teacher is going to be. His good friends all called him around noon today to tell them who he got and to ask if they are in the same classroom. But we live farther down the mail delivery route…our mail typically doesn’t arrive until around 5pm. Sam is “playing” outside right now, waiting for the truck to pull up to our mailbox.
As people of faith, sometimes, we are called to do, and to act. But sometimes, we are called to wait.
I have to admit. I don’t wait well.
Scripture tells us “Be still, and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10) And “Those who wait upon the Lord, shall renew their strength…” (Isaiah 40:31) But I am, by nature, impatient.
It makes me wonder sometimes what it must be like to be God. God, we are taught, created the whole of our world, and had a vision in mind of what the world would be like. And yet, because of human sin, because of our brokenness, while much of that vision has come to reality, much still feels distant. There is death. There is war. There are broken relationships.
I remember being a kid in elementary school who struggled with arts and crafts. It wasn’t my gift. But I’d try to create what the teacher wanted, and I just couldn’t quite make it match up to the sample she had pinned to the bulletin board. I would get so frustrated. What must it be like to be God, who has a vision for creation, and that vision isn’t…quite…there…yet…
And so God waits. God waits for God’s people to become the hands of God, the voice of God, and the heart of God to a broken world.
God waits well. God waits because God loves. God loves creation, with all of its flaws. God loves us, despite our brokenness.
And so I will pray this week. I will pray for Lyle, for our whole family and his health. And I will pray for a good classroom experience, and a good teacher for my son. And I will pray for the sick, the hurting, the lonely, the homeless and the hungry. I will pray for wisdom so that I know when to act on behalf of those in need, and for the courage to do so boldly. But I will also pray this week for patience. I will pray that I can learn to wait, when waiting is all that’s left to do. Because sometimes, that’s all that is left to do.
Peace in waiting,