Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Waiting

We're all waiting for something, right?

For warmer weather. For a night "off". For reconciliation in relationships. For pregnancy. For a new job. For health. For me - marriage.

As Lent begins, I think about waiting. Much like I think about waiting during Advent. Let's be honest - I think about waiting a lot. I've been waiting for marriage for ten years. That's quite a bit of time to ponder waiting.

I think about the disciples and what they must have been thinking and feeling while they followed Jesus. They didn't know what He knew, but they were told to follow Him. I think about Mary and the range of emotions she must have been feeling while she waited to deliver her Deliverer. What a strange twist in what she thought her life would look like.

What was going on in their hearts regarding the unknown aspects of following Jesus? What was happening in their hearts as they waited to see how God's plan would play out?

A friend emailed me a verse from Isaiah 64 last week. It says "God acts for those who wait". When I first read it, I thought, "Oh good! I've been waiting! So at some point, God will act and give me the desire of my heart!" But as I've gone back to this verse over the last week, it has jumped out to me that God acts. As in, right now - He acts. He HAS acted. He DOES act. He WILL act.

While I wait. He acts.

I read this article about waiting yesterday. This portion stood out to me:

trust in the Lᴏʀᴅ . . .
delight yourself in the Lᴏʀᴅ . . .
commit your way to the Lᴏʀᴅ . . .
be still before the Lᴏʀᴅ.
This is the character of our waiting — of the life of faith. It is thoroughly active. We are called to trust God. To really trust him. Not just on the sidelines, or in the books, or only in theory. But to trust him out there. We are to trust him and do good, which implies that our faith rolls up its sleeves and digs into this grimy earth. We trust God while the dirt of Adam’s world gets buried beneath our fingernails.

Active waiting. Not sitting-and-doing-nothing waiting.

So......what does that look like?

For me it has meant not waiting - literally. Not waiting until I'm married to cultivate serving and patience and humility in my life. Not waiting until I'm married to buy a house. Not waiting until I'm married to have hard conversations. Not waiting until I'm married to go on vacations.

And it's also meant waiting - literally. I don't know what the plan is for my life, so....I'm just waiting. And I'm doing the next thing. Do I really want to be in school again? No. I want to be married and home with kids. But that hasn't been in the plan up to this point. The Lord opens doors, and I do the next thing.

And I trust.

I'm single because it is for my good. I have relied on God more because of my singleness. I have trusted God more because of my singleness. I have loved God more because of my singleness. That's all for my good. Because God is acting.

Today is March 4th, and I've seen it stated "march forth" in a few places. I feel like that's in line with active waiting. I can't dwell on the disappointments I face because I'm single. I need to march forth. God is doing work in my life, and I need to trust that.

Another friend sent me an email with this gem: A relationship is a gift, but it is not THE gift - Jesus is! Whatever you are waiting for is not the gift, even when it feels like it is.

I have Jesus - the greatest gift. I have access to all of his power. Even while I wait. I pray that I will be married some day, but if I never am, my status as a saved daughter of the King will never change.

Like the disciples, I don't know what God's plan is. Like Mary, my life does not look like what I thought it would. But that's all in God's plan - just like it was for the disciples and for Mary. My life is full and richly blessed. And there is purpose in the waiting. God is acting on my behalf, and I will actively wait.

13 comments:

Laura said...

Thank you for sharing. I understand about active waiting on The Lord. Not for a spouse, but for pregnancy. And for general life direction (where should we live? Pennsylvania? Minnesota? Lithuania? Etc). Also for what it's worth I dreamt you got married this summer. Outdoor wedding. Casual. I'm fuzzy on who the groom is (sorry, obviously should've been an important detail to remember!).

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