You might be thinking…hmm, 2 years? Why bring this up today? It’s on the forefront of my brain today. I’m battling doubt. I’m battling self-pity. I’m being really honest here. I’m not sitting down and allowing these defeating thoughts take hold of me, though. I’m battling.
It feels like this is the status of my life: waiting and battling the doubt. Each season of life carries with it a hope not yet attained. I do not know a soul who has not had to wait for something at each age and stage of life. We’re all waiting on something: school to end, a job to land, a marriage, a baby, school to start, finances to breakthrough, a vacation, a friend, a special day, an answered prayer. If we’re living, we’re waiting. And though I have been in this waiting stage many times before, as I’m sure you have, it never seems to get any easier.
I watch my kids when they are told to wait and be patient. It doesn’t seem to matter if they’re waiting for their cup to be filled or for a special day to come, when their impatience sets in, their reaction is generally the same. First, the whining comes. Next, it seems as though their bodies cannot stay still…they wriggle and even throw their arms around (while also whining). Finally, an all out rebellion ensues. There is screaming, stomping, slamming, throwing. Thank God this doesn’t happen every day. As a mom, I’d be exhausted and frustrated! But the reality is that we are born with impatience, and it seems that it takes most of us a lifetime to acquire the fruit of patience.
I am so much like my children. I can sit still and quiet for awhile. However, it’s when I think that I’ve waiting long enough that I start to whine. God, don’t you remember what you promised? Just so you are aware, I’m still here and I’m still waiting! When the whining doesn’t work, I can’t sit still. Fine, I’ll just take matters into my own hands. You obviously need my help. When that doesn’t work, as it never does, then I seem to explode. I give up! I’m done waiting! Why have you forgotten me?
Impatience + Time = Doubt.
Maybe you are not as dramatic as I am…I admit, I tend to feel rather deeply. But I think everyone has been at this place in some way, shape, or form. The mutation from impatience from doubt can take days, months, years, but we are left throwing our hands in the air and settling down with a choice: Do I or do I not believe that God is who He says He is and will do what He says He’ll do?
Today my answer is yes.
I find comfort in knowing that I am not alone. David, a man after God’s own heart, felt this way too. If you read through his psalms, he cried out over and over just as we do. Why have you forsaken me God? Can you still see me? Have you abandoned your promises to me? And through all the wrestling with the Lord, through all the questioning, the crying out, David gives arrives at a simple solution: rest in Him and rediscover your hope.
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:15
We cannot hope without resting in God. The moment we become dislodged from His rest, we have lost hope and start writhing around in our own strength.
I’ve mentioned before that my family is memorizing operational definitions of character qualities so that we can learn what is expected of us and model that behavior. The definition of meekness struck me recently when I was perusing the chart:
Meekness: yielding my personal rights and expectations to God.
Wait, didn’t Jesus say “Blessed are the meek, for they will receive the
?” Could it be that if I yield my personal rights and my expectations, then I will receive
something even greater than what I expect?
Could it be that our sovereign God knows, better than me, what would
ultimately be for my good? Do I trust that? Do I teach that to my children when they are
having a difficult time trusting? kingdom
Like so many other things, I know these concepts in my head, but they are still on the way of seeping into my heart so that my first response in waiting is not a whiny why? I find myself telling my kids “be patient.” As if that is something that is easy to do. If I’m just starting to figure this out in my 30’s, how can I expect my 2 year old to naturally catch on? God has lovingly laid out in His Word the benefits of waiting. He intentionally instructs us on this very subject. He says that His ways are higher than ours. He says that we will receive strength when we wait. He says that we will actually be able to soar like eagles! It’s a reverse concept from that which our culture would feed us. Get results now. Why wait? Life is short, get all you can now. These are two-year old/preschooler concepts that we as mature adults still subscribe too! I am committed to being still in the waiting so that I can instruct my children the way that God gently instructs me.
So, what do we do practically when these battle days arise without warning? We go back to basic training. We speak, out loud if we need to, what we know is true.
I know that God is good. I know that He made me, and loves me more than anyone else in the world. Then, I must believe that He has my heart and my life among his priorities. He will complete the good work He started in me. He will work all things together for my good, because I love Him. He has not forgotten me. I just have to wait. In my waiting, I will say:
You, oh Lord are my portion. I will put my hope in you. (Lamentations 3:24-26). Though I cannot see past my own desires right now, I will look to the Lord and wait for Him, because He will hear me! (Micah 7:7) I will not sit back in despair or confusion, but I will set my face like a flint, knowing that my God will help me and not let me be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:7) I will hope, despite time, circumstance, or what I can see. I will hope in Him and his promises. In this hope, I will not be disappointed, but instead will be filled with His love. (Romans 5:5). Be at rest, oh my soul, and know that someone greater than what we can see is in control.