“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the Creation waits in eager expectation . . . . “ Romans 8:18-19a
How are you when it comes to waiting? Looking back, I have to admit there were seasons in my life when, waiting was an agony to press through to where I thought I wanted to be. It was in such times when I made foolish demands such as, “I want it yesterday!”
Living in such a fast-paced, go-to culture, waiting is something most people try to avoid. A Colorado tourism commercial I saw recently reflects our human aversion to waiting as it presents an enticing backdrop of the natural wonders of the Rocky Mountains:“No longer should we wait . . . Not for the second-hand . . . not for the stop light . . . not for some sign from the sky. Our skin was meant to feel the sun . . . our legs to travel . . . our eyes to see great things. We will not wait another day, for waiting . . . is the opposite of living.”
What I find interesting about the ad is how it showcases Creation as glorious with tall mountains, blue sky and flowers across an expansive meadow. Even as the text is read, reference is made to there being intent and design in how we (people) were Created, “to feel the sun . . . to travel . . . to see great things.” Yet from the beginning of the commercial, there is an overriding sense of rebellion against waiting for time or neighbor as the idea of a Creator is derided as “some sign from the sky“:
“No longer should we wait . . . .”
Even in Christian circles the idea of waiting/patience is joked about– “If you pray for patience, you’ll end up stuck in a two-hour traffic jam!” Yet, waiting is an important discipline within the Christian walk and, in fact, is a reflection of the freedom won for us by Christ. In our call to “walk by faith, not by sight” much of that walk is spent in waiting. The point I am trying to communicate here is that how we wait should reflect His Presence in our lives.
As time has passed I have learned to be grateful for the opportunity waiting provides, to appreciate the nuances of “life” happening around me:
I have discovered a gracious freedom in waiting, as my focus has become less on my desires and the things of this world and more on the Sovereign Goodness of God.
To give you a recent example:
Several months ago a military friend received orders to leave his wife, family and friends to serve in Iraq for a year. These days, you might wonder why such news would be a surprise? But nearing retirement, this was not exactly the ideal assignment our friends were hoping for. Tears flowed at the prospect of such a prolonged separation and the danger involved. Much time in prayer was invested as plans were adjusted and preparations made for Tom’s departure date. There was a farewell gathering and then the unexpected happened . . . No Visa so his departure was delayed!
One week passed . . . everyone tiptoed around, not wanting to be the one to burst the bubble. Then came week two . . . still no visa . . . Tom began to fidget, wondering what was going on? This past week the visa arrived . . . tears flowed as prayers were extended in hope to the Lord of Creation . . . .
Tonight Tom leaves as his wife, his family and his friends who, along with all Creation, “wait in eager expectation” for God to continue to work out His perfect will in Tom’s life and in ours.
Waiting can be hard but there is freedom in waiting for those who trust in a God Who is always and forever Good:“Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might He increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; 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.” Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV)
All to HIs Glory!