Waiting is a training of the soul, and those who actively wait with me are some of my dearest treasures on earth. It is not easy to wait. Waiting well for yourself is difficult exercise. Waiting with another well is…well, let me just say that God-imagers who do that well are like diamonds. They reflect and refract light brilliantly, and they are stronger than steel. To those who are waiting with me- thank you for being diamonds in my life.
Why are we Waiting?
My dearest friend on earth is waiting for war to stop raving her country so her whole family can serve the Lord together there without all the back and forth, separations, and air-raid sirens. Another dear friend is waiting for the ability to hold the little boy she is adopting as her own. Another is waiting to see her beloved in heaven. I am waiting for a biopsy result that seems to be dredging on an on in the lab.
Why is it that so much of life is etched with lines in which to wait, milestones for with to work, pain through which we seemingly-endlessly (at times) tread? Well, there’s the fall. That happened. In our freedom to choose to love God or not, we chose the not, and reap the agony of that choice. But God loves us too much to leave us here. And all creation groans in longing for the children of God to be raised up in to all God created each one to be and into a pure reflection of Him.
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.Romans 8:18-19 NIV
What is Waiting?
Even so, I don’t believe that waiting is a negative thing. It is an eager longing for all God to raise us up into all we were designed to be and into all the ways we are perfectly tailored to glorify Him.
Olympic athletes don’t kick back on their couches and lament that the Olympics is years away. No. It is on. They value each moment of waiting for the actual Olympics. Each moment is vital for preparation. It is actively, purposefully spent so that they can be ready for each event where their training counts. They are slicing off seconds, honing muscle tone, and preparing mentally.
Active Listening in the Wait
Many times in courses I’ve taught, we have spent a little time talking about active listening. We speak about 140-180 words per minute, but on average, we can comprehend about 400 words per minute. In short, we listen faster than people can talk to us. Even with all that extra time, researchers suggest we listen with only 25% efficiency. We don’t wait well.
Active listening is like what a baseball player does on the field. They are standing still, but inside, they are constantly moving. Their attention is focused on the ball, moving with it, anticipating the best move and the best moment to act it out.
This is the kind of listening we are to be doing with the Lord while we wait. He certainly has the edge on how to listen well.
We are to be looking to Him, watching where He is moving, aligning with His Word, trusting His Person, following His Way, listening for our part in participating with Him in His work, and receiving all He wants to do in us, for us, and through us. It’s like the baseball player on the field- we are still, but constantly moving internally focused on God.
Waiting With those we Love
Love is essential to waiting well with people. Those who love well, wait well.
Sometimes, the heavy lingers, the loss is felt in waves for the rest of our lives, the season dredges on, the pain increases rather than abates, the answers and solutions don’t come fast, fun, and easy. And people are not comfortable with that- at least not on their own.
Those who feel uncomfortable by all the not-yets in their own lives can have difficulty waiting with others through their uncomfortable mess. When you haven’t yet been trained by Holy Spirit to see the King on His Throne through the fog of this world’s chaos, destruction, groanings, and pain, it is hard to trust Him with ourselves, let alone the people we care about who are in a ringer.
The Arms of God to Me
True friends, the ones who have been the arms of God to me, are the ones who are capable in their souls and willing out of love for me and the Lord to wait with me through intense pain, through learning the boundaries through which redemption can emerge from her chrysalis, and through accident, injury, the beginnings of healing, and now potential disease.
They don’t have all the answers. They just are there for me. They check in on me. They pray with and for me. They laugh and cry with me. Even if we are far away, I feel their hearts with me. Waiting with me. God loves me through you.
When you have walked a hard road, you taste the sweetness of friends who have the capacity and who love you enough to wait with you.
Stop Holding Your Breath
Some people don’t have that capacity yet. They are still holding their breath for you to say it’s all better. Their inner stability and peace depends on the news that the world has not fallen and everyone really is okay and not struggling on with the poignant lingering effects of the fall. Living outside of reality does not protect them, however, nor does it create true Peace.
Peace is a Person. Peace comes from the Sar Shalom, the Prince of Peace, who does not change like shifting shadows. The world unsubmitted to His Authority is an ever changing-for-the-worse mess. But He says, Peace I Give You. His authority is that of the heart of Abba- our Daddy. His Authority is good and loving, He sees all and knows what is best and the best way to get there in every aspect of our lives. What we see as waiting in that, He may see very differently.
He is a gentleman and always lets us choose. We can choose Him- His authority, His perspective. We can choose to love Him, walk with Him, obey Him, and delight in and with Him through whatever we are facing.
Or we can choose not to. But in our choosing not Him, we are choosing a different authority. We are choosing to align our hearts with the authority of fallen spiritual beings that do not have our best in mind and lies about God that keep us in bondage.
Being able to live with the Holy King as your King frees you to see the mess in your own life, let alone the lives of others. It allows you to actually look at it and see it. It gives you the opportunity to ask the Lord to see it through His eyes. We can’t wait with another person if we can’t actually hold eye contact and look at them with His perspective and heart over them. Rest comes when we see Him on the throne and trust Him. We are free to ask Him His will in each situation. To ask Him, “What’s my part?” “What do you want me to do in this situation?” It gives us the freedom of soul to know He is King now and forevermore. We don’t have to be. We don’t have to come with solutions or answers or generate a quick fix.
Our good King gives us the freedom to wait with one another when the difficult lingers and grows. We know Who has already won. And we trust Him to come through for us and those we love in His way, at the time He has chosen.
Thank You For Being the Arms of God to Me
To all who my diamonds who have waited well with me- even if for a season- Thank you. Your prayers, tears, and calls and messages to check in with me are the arms of God to me. He is loving me well and part of that is loving me through you.
Do you have people who have waited well with you?
Please post in the comments what they did to wait well with you.
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