what are you waiting for?

Waiting sucks. There, I said it. I used to love the anticipation that accompanied waiting for something, but lately I’ve lost that sense of excitement and replaced it with a much more watered down version of enthusiasm known as mild annoyance (and perhaps some of you who know me well would argue for a bit stronger descriptor!).

The truth is ~ life is full of waiting; waiting for circumstances to change, waiting for plans to come to fruition.  Unfortunately, I think it’s all too easy to become complacent in our waiting ~ to feel stuck, jaded, ignored, or resentful.

I am very blessed in my life to be surrounded by people who encourage and support me in times of waiting.  They listen patiently, pray earnestly, and drop nuggets of wisdom in my desperately outstretched arms.  But, I have to be honest; there have been multiple occasions during these times of frustration where I’ve been offered one little phrase that really drives me absolutely bonkers.

“Just wait.  Once you finish/get through/accomplish A, then B will happen.”

Hearing that phrase makes me want to pull my hair out…one tweeze at a time.  Why?  Because waiting will always be replaced with more waiting.  Think about it for a second ~ doesn’t it seem like you’re always waiting to overcome a hurdle, accomplish a task, take a journey, repair a relationship, end a trial, change careers, conquer a project, reach a goal, experience relief…and the list could stretch miles.

Waiting is inevitable.

So, I want to be known as someone who waits with passion.  Someone who presses forward in the midst of all the delays and holds ~ frustrations and all (because let’s be honest ~ the unpleasant emotions will always be there.  They’re not going anywhere people, so you’d better accept it).

Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD” (Psalm 27:14).

How ‘bout you ~ are you willing to wait with gusto?

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5 Responses to what are you waiting for?

  1. Sarah M says:

    So, I just finished studying Jeremiah, the weeping prophet. When he was young, God told him He had set him apart to be a prophet to the nations. And He told him from the beginning that the people would oppose him, but that He would strengthen him. Then, for the next 40 years (yes, 40 years), Jeremiah’s pronouncements of God’s message were met with abuse, imprisonment, chains, torture, kidnapping, loneliness and eventually death. Really God?

    But it struck me that Jeremiah’s patience and his waiting weren’t predicated upon the promise of better circumstances down the road. They couldn’t have been because there were no better circumstances waiting for him. Rather, he was able to wait and endure (even with passion, as you say) because his waiting was predicated upon the very being of God. Lamentations 3 shows this show clearly. Jeremiah had every reason to give up and he sounds like he is going to, until verse 19. In the midst of his lack of hope, he remembers God and that He alone is the prize. “The Lord is my portion, therefore I have hope in Him.” My hope cannot be in the promise of the better circumstances, or the next big thing. I will be let down and will not be able to wait with gusto, or at all for that matter. But when I realize that God, and not a better circumstance, is my great reward, I can wait because in effect, I already have what I’m waiting for.

    • Wow ~ this was such an encouragement Sar! What wise words and so true. I love reading the prophets. To me, that are the greatest testaments to endurance, faith, and steadfast trust in God’s provision, especially in the midst of incomprehensible obstacles. Jeremiah is certainly no exception. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Sarah says:

    I love what your friend wrote above, “My hope cannot be in the promise of the better circumstances, or the next big thing. I will be let down and will not be able to wait with gusto, or at all for that matter. But when I realize that God, and not a better circumstance, is my great reward, I can wait because in effect, I already have what I’m waiting for.” Right on! I find myself constantly waiting for everything. . .and not very patiently. Truthfully, I’ve progressed beyond waiting into downright ungratefulness. What’s the solution to this? I don’t know, but the more I think about it, the more it seems like the key is to STOP waiting. . .to find a mate, to land a great job, to lose 10 pounds, to go an vacation – heck, to get through the day. I find that I’m always waiting for something more or better rather than appreciating what I have right now, today. What if I consciously chose to think of life in terms of, “I’m so glad that today is ____ and I’m blessed with ____,” instead of “I feel incomplete because don’t have ____ yet”?

    Hmmmm. . .good thought today. . .very challenging. I’m definitely going to need to ruminate on this one some more. Thanks for posting!

  3. Becky VanValin says:

    It sounds like you are also describing the difficult art or should I say discipline of contentment. I think it is one of the most challenging spiritual disciplines.
    Discontentment creates a longing for what is coming next – a goal, a change, end of a trial… rather than embracing “with gusto” our present circumstance. Hmmmm- embrace………….. sounds familiar. 🙂 For me, contentment begins to emerge from gratitude, solitude, prayer, fellowship, praise and giving to others. Thanks for your eloquence and honesty, Debs, and revealing some of the many, many thoughts you ponder. They sharpen us.

  4. Sandy Jenkins says:

    WOW was this timely for me having had to wait for over 24 hours for news of my daughter’s first child (still waiting). Such a helpless feeling – I can’t do anything (at least not anything in my power) but knowing that she, her husband and the baby are in God’s loving hands comforts me and helps relieve the anxiety. And in those moments when it feels like the waiting will last forever I pray and use DBT skills. So thanks Deb for takig the risk and putting your thoughts out there – they have been comforting and encouraging.

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