Growth through Waiting

Posted: April 20, 2015 in Family Life, Thinking Theologically
Tags: , , , , ,

image3Waiting is a hard game to play.  I can’t think of a time where waiting ever seemed like a worthwhile or pleasant experience.  Even waiting in line for the best roller coaster at the theme park is still waiting… and it’s not that enjoyable.  Then you enter in times of waiting where you are hoping and waiting for an unknown outcome… the result could be good, but it could also be bad.

I think waiting also tends to numb us to reality.  The old “out of sight out of mind” adage comes to mind (no pun intended, that would be too much use of my mind).  All that to say, that the waiting can lull us to sleep at bit.  And left unchecked can lead to bitterness, disappointment, lack of purpose, prayer or even hope.

Did I mention waiting is hard?

And to top it all off we live in a culture that doesn’t exactly lend oneself to cultivating a discipline of patience and waiting.  Whether it is food, my commute, a webpage loading, a return phone call or email – fast is the operative word.

But where does “fast” fit in the spiritual journey God calls us on?  Are we given permission to skip over the periods of “waiting”?  Scripture is replete with images of serene, peaceful and even patient times that find deep resonance in our souls… if we are able to get below the surface and connect with them.  I believe the promise of Lamentations 3:25 that, “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks Him.”  I find resonance with the Psalmist who writes, “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I hope” (103:5).

 But how do these become practice and not mere platitudes?  How do we truly wait with hope?
Practice.  I’m sure there could be a more spiritual answer, but what I’ve found to be true is that it simply takes practice.
And nothing has given my family and I more of an opportunity to practice than on this journey with Cole.  We are in the “waiting phase” of this Perthes disease.  As if waiting through a disease isn’t hard enough, it has it’s own built in waiting phase.  And it’s a waiting without knowing.  We don’t know how the next 3-5 years of waiting will shape out.  And we most certainly can’t see the future or know the long term outcome… so we do what we really don’t do best, but are learning to do better… we wait.
For Cole, he’s having a blast during the waiting.  With some special shoes to level out his walk and run, he’s full speed ahead (with a slight limp) all the time.  We’ve gone from soccer season to baseball season and at times step back to reflect on what a miracle that is.  But then we stop for x-rays and we are reminded that… we are still waiting.  We’re waiting, but we’re waiting with hope.
We will travel to Alabama tomorrow to see how these last few months of waiting have been.  The x-rays will be read and we’ll move into the next few months… of waiting.  But we are so grateful that we wait with hope and we don’t wait alone.  And we are praying and claiming the promises of Isaiah 40:31…
“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
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