The late Frederick Buechner wrote, “An hour late becomes an hour and a half, two hours late. You try to find something to take your mind off it-a book to read, the dishwasher to empty, a prayer to pray-but there’s too much more of you involved by now than just your mind, and you feel your face grow gray with waiting. Will the telephone ring like a fire alarm? Or will there be only more darkness, more silence? Or will your prayer finally be answered? (Secrets in the Dark)
Waiting for a much deserved promotion which came after 12 years with the same company. Waiting for the right wife which came after 10 years of praying specifically. Waiting to become a published author which still hasn’t come after attending multiple writer’s conferences and submitting manuscripts, yet receiving a slew of rejections. Waiting for a dysfunctional relationship to turn around. Waiting and wondering if my Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) will raise its ugly head again in the near future.
Yeah, I know a thing or two about waiting. But some folks don’t want any advice. They’ve already given up. It’s not that those same people haven’t tried, they are tired of trying. A lot of good people are just sick and tired of being tired after years of knocking repeatedly on heavens’ door.
Doesn’t it make sense to discover how saints of old handled waiting? However, we’ve got to realize that we leave out one BIG thing when we read the Bible.
We have the entire volume of 66 books, or the whole story front to back at our fingertips. So as we read (for example) chapters 37-50 in Genesis about the life of a man named Joseph, it’s easy to conclude, “His life turned out great!” “He ended up second in command in Egypt after his brothers abused him.”
But we left out one BIG thing as we read his life story: the agony of waiting. Joseph’s story begins when he was 17 and ends when he was 110. In between, he endured family dysfunction, hatred from his brothers, the possibility of being murdered, being thrown into jail, being sold as a slave, and being falsely accused of rape.
There’s a lot of time in between those verses. The speed readers out there miss it. They race by it and slam the Bible shut and move on with their busy lives. But life forces us to take more than one or two exits off of our idealistic smooth-paved road.
The new generation hates waiting. Instead of picking up the phone to engage in a real conversation, they prefer to send a quick text on that same phone. Oh, how God wants you to bring your stuff to Him and talk to HIm. Any relationship requires constant communication or a wall goes up.
The greatest gift you can give God is time. In the meantime, why not talk to Him and discover what He wants you to learn as you wait.