I have been waiting for a long time. I have been waiting for pay day, I have been waiting to graduate, to get married, to be healthy, to have a baby, to be done nursing, to get back to my pre-baby weight, for Sam’s heart to be “fixed” . . . I have waited on people, I have waited on test results. I have waited for checks in the mail. I have waited and waited and waited.
I didn’t even realize how much waiting I had done until Sam was given to us. All of those waitings seemed so silly in light of the new adventure of WAITING we began when he was only 19 weeks in utero. We waited two more weeks for a diagnosis, we waited for he and I to go into heart failure. We waited for the next doctor’s opinion, and then for the next appointment. We waited and waited and waited. I waited in the delivery room as they examined him in the NICU for the first time outside of my womb. We waited to see if drugs or surgery or both would fix his special heart so that he could come home with us.
There was a moment I remember when I was pregnant with Sam, as I was driving up to the hospital for one of so many tests, when I realized that my life couldn’t be about waiting anymore. There was no “until” with Sam. I didn’t want to wait until he died or until—what? He didn’t have a heart condition? I realized that I didn’t want Sam’s journey to be about “untils . . .” Our life now was going to either be a series of “until’s,” framed by doctor’s appointments, or an entirely new kind of journey. I had to learn a new way of viewing my life in a new context: one in which our joy and peace could be constant in the midst of an undisclosed waiting period. Would we waste Sam’s life being consumed with fear? He was alive, kicking inside me, and I had to figure out how that moment could be enough. I had to stop waiting and start living, start living out every moment of my life so that if this day and this moment is the only life my child will ever know, it will be spent in joy and peace and love.
In that moment I realized that this waiting is a problem, maybe even a sickness in my own heart. Why did I think I could wait until? Why did I ever think that the culmination of one set of circumstances would ever lead to my fulfillment? For every hurdle, every mountain climbed or waited out, there was another. Every horizon begets another horizon, and I am forever chasing, waiting.
Isaiah 40:31 is so familiar to me, so comforting. And yet, I have wondered my entire life what it meant to wait upon the Lord? I knew what it was to love the Lord, worship, praise, and thank the Lord. I knew what it was to trust the Lord. But to “wait on Him”? And so it was as I drove up I-5 with my big pregnant belly and the praise music playing that Isaiah 43:10 penetrated deep into the marrow of my understanding:
They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint . . .
Waiting upon the LORD my God means to be constantly, fervently, deliberately, waiting for Him to appear in each and every one of my life circumstances. Am I looking for Him, right now, in the drive up to meet the doctors who will examine our baby and tell us, for this week or month or quarter, if his heart will continue to beat? Am I putting all of my beliefs and all of my hope into Man’s predictions, actions, or opinions? Who is in control of my life, after all: doctors, bankers, employers, oppressors . . . or God?
Spending a life running from paycheck to paycheck, from appointment to appointment, from person to person is exhausting, an infinite mountain range. But what if instead of running the gammet of my life’s circumstances, I just wait for Him to come? What if I just sit, and trust, and believe that His Glory will flood this circumstance, and the next? What if I wait for an indwelling that fills me so fully that I can scale the mountains, face the fear and the pain and the emptiness, already satiated?
Whoa. And there it is: being a Christian won’t dismiss me from engaging life. But if I am filled—every crack and cranny, crevice and craving—with the indwelling of the Most High, what I face on earth is but one small piece of my reality. I am facing this trial, but I am swimming in glory. I am climbing the mountain, but He is renewing my strength.
What are you waiting on? Join me in asking God to fill our yearnings with His glory . . .
Not fainting today,
P.S. Need to Breathe’s “Something Beautiful” brings me to a place of knees on the ground and hands in the air waiting on God. Thought I’d share it:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yq1H3l7kyYU