I am easy going until I am not. And when I'm not, I'm really, really not easy going at all.
Today is one of those days I am not.
I am a tightly wound mess of heart strings and heaping pile of emotion, and I am waiting.
I am waiting on God for more than a few answers to prayers I feel like I've been uttering all year long.
"I'm sick of waiting," I whine. "I want to know -- just a clear this way or that. Yes or no. Black or white."
With God sometimes there is no black or white but rather there are varying shades of gray and they all mess into each other in the canvas of waiting.
John hugs my body close to his, smiles and teases that I have three days left of being patience according to the calendar, and apparently I need all three of them to fully learn my lesson for the year.
I fall into his body, confident he'll catch me, but I scoff.
"Careful," he says. "Or you might have to do a repeat of your word again next year."
I know he's teasing me, a prod for a smile.
I don't feel like smiling; I don't like waiting.
It's ... uncomfortable. And I can't do anything. Well anything that I like to define as productive -- like make things happen, make decisions clear, make answers known.
A friend and I decided days ago to do a study on waiting. It seemed fitting to us both.
As I settled in and read, this hit me over the head:
"The ability to wait on the Lord stems from being confident and focused on who God is and in what God is doing. It means confidence in God’s person: confidence in His wisdom, love, timing, understanding of our situation and that of the world. It means knowing and trusting in God’s principles, promises, purposes, and power."
So when we wait, we've got two choices: we can wait impatiently or we can wait well trusting in His goodness.
This is good news for me -- because waiting well means doing something. It means coming to God in earnest prayer. It means seeking Him and His word. It means crying out to Him and letting go of my white-knuckled grasp of myriad situations and events and things.
When we wait well, something is changing -- our hearts. And, honestly, what can be more productive than taking our will and conforming it to His?
Waiting is uncomfortable because when we wait well there is change. And change involves growth. It's painful even.
There is a lightbulb that slowly burns a little brighter. It's painful. There is pain in waiting when change is involved.
And then I see it: to wait, to change is to share in Christ's suffering.
"Now if we are children, then we are heirs--heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory."Romans 8:12To suffer is to become sanctified, righteous.
"No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it." Hebrews 12:11He hears the cries of the righteous.
"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." Psalm 34:17So we can wait impatiently.
Or we can wait well, with patience.
"For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day." 2 Timothy 1:12I exhale my weight fully into John's arms trusting that he's holding me as I wrestle with putting my word into practice.
And I realize I can do the same in the waiting with God.
So I exhale, breathe and let myself fall into His arms.
Patience in 2012
Patience in Healing
Patience in Waiting for a baby
Patience in Mothering
Patience with myself
Patience with grief
Patience in marriage