When I was a kid, I would spend what felt like hours, waiting at the window for a ride to pick me up. With the perspective I have now, I’m sure it was just a matter of minutes each time I had to wait. But I remembered thinking, “I can’t wait until I’m grown up, and then I’d never have to wait.”
Oh, but that’s not really true, is it?
A couple of weeks ago, I had to spend a week or so waiting for some answers in regard to my move to Denver. Before this time of waiting, I was at peace thinking the answer was “no.” But the moment the “no” became a “maybe,” my anxiety rose.
Why is “maybe” so much harder than “no?”
In my wait, I had time to ponder that question. I realized that for me, “no” wasn’t too difficult. I could picture what my future would look like, as if I controlled it. “Yes” too, wouldn’t have been too hard, because I could map out my future and make plans. But with a “maybe,” all I could do was wait. I didn’t know enough about the future to make any plans. It was out of my control.
The thing is, none of us really know what the future holds. I had allowed my ability to plan for the future to fool me into think that in so planning, *I* was orchestrating the future.
“Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit’— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.’ ” – James 4:13-15, ESV
I was foolish to think that I ever control my future. For someone who likes to be in control, this is a struggle. I’m somewhat embarrassed to say that I had to lean on the examples of those around me in order to wait quietly (or at least more quietly than I wanted to!).
Job could say, “Though he slay me, yet I will wait for him.” (Job 13:15) Surely I could say, “Though I don’t have an answer I want, yet I will wait for him.”
Ann Judson set sail to an unknown destination with her husband of one-week, anticipating that she’d never see her family again. She had no answers on where they would live for almost a year and a half, as they got kicked out of one country after another. Surely, I could wait a week for an answer to something far less important.
I write this here sheepishly, but I know that it’s a story worth telling. It’s not a story that I can take pride in…it’s a story I can take pride in God in. He was faithful to me like the patient parent comforting their ignorant child who thinks that they’ll get to their destination faster by asking, “Are we there yet?”
No, I’m not there yet. For as long as I’m on this earth, he will continue to use the frustrations and disappointments of this world to draw me to him and to make me more like his Son. And for that, I can be thankful in the waiting.
Photo by Bushra Al-Dalwood