I'm typing this blog post on my phone while in dead standstill traffic. It's late, and I’ve had a long day. My oldest child is home sick. My youngest and I escaped the house tonight to go to church. It's typically a 30-minute drive. It took us 1 hour and 15 minutes due to traffic. We are on our way home now. I should actually be at home by now ... but I'm in the car, stuck in traffic … again. My son has requested the song “Tractor, Tractor” on repeat, and honestly, I’m thinking about just parking my car and walking home on I-26 at 8:30 p.m.
I've done a lot of waiting in my life. Waiting for the day I was handed the keys to drive alone. Waiting for ACT scores to arrive in the mail. Waiting for that acceptance letter to the college I wanted to attend. Waiting in line for concert tickets. Waiting for “Mr. Right.” Waiting for the job offer. Waiting for the wedding day. Waiting for the two pink lines to appear. Waiting in line for that Black Friday deal. Waiting for that child who had been inside for nine months and one week to make her debut. Waiting to check-out at Wal-Mart. Waiting to receive the call that my ailing loved one was now walking with Jesus. Waiting for the doctor to say, "Surgery went better than expected." Waiting for the house to close. Waiting for the water to boil. Waiting in the car line at school. Waiting on a publisher to pick up my book and say “yes.” Waiting for the "what next."
I know I'm not alone in waiting. I know friends waiting for their homes to sell ... for marriage ... for a child ... for test results ... for their prodigal to come home ... for a spouse to get a good job ... for the trial date ... for the "normal" to return.
I can't always see the purpose of waiting while I am living it day in and day out, but I know God sees the bigger picture. Waiting is hard, but rest assured, there is purpose in the waiting. Don't waste it with worry, anxious thoughts, anger, discontent, or complacency. See what God is trying to teach you. It may be more than just patience.
He could be pruning you, preparing you for a bountiful harvest. He could be teaching you total dependence on Him alone. He could be asking you to "be still and know that He is God." He could be preparing something better. He could be asking you to be obedient in the waiting. He could be leading you to pray deeper, harder, and more intimately. He could be beckoning you to praise Him in the process. I don't know why we have to wait, but I'm learning more and more there is divine purpose in it.
Tonight, for instance, the waiting was unexpected and inconvenient. But, it did give me a moment to breathe before coming back home to a daughter battling sickness. It reminded me to pray for my church, that a property would open soon to house our congregation so I don't have to travel 30 minutes to take my kids to Awana. It gave me a little extra one on one time with my son, which I haven't had all week. I'd be lying if I said these were the first thoughts that came in my head. But, in the waiting, I was granted a better perspective.
Don't waste your waiting. Learn from it. Rest in it. See what God is doing through it. There is purpose in the waiting.
And, just in case you’re wondering, my son and I did make it home, an hour later. Luckily, he changed his song selection to the Moana soundtrack, which helped a bit. And, would you believe me if I said less than two miles from our house, we got stuck behind a broken-down school bus that had to be towed? You just can’t make this stuff up. There is a purpose, though, even when it may seem like the odds are stacked against you.