Introducing....Lila Mae! The first Lugbill cousin...we love her to death!
I think remembering the anticipation of this day a year ago as well as our current waiting situation has made me want to reflect even more than usual on this concept. Waiting is so hard!!!! That's my conclusion after tossing the idea around in my mind for hours! Ha! Seriously, though, what is it about waiting that makes me feel like my insides are being tied in knots and everything in me CAN'T......STAND......TO......WAIT......ANOTHER......SECOND/ MINUTE/HOUR/DAY/WEEK/ MONTH (you get the point!)? And yet, often, that's exactly what the Lord asks of us?!? What is that?!? Well, I don't have any definitive answers, but I do have some promises from God's Word and some personal experiences to draw on. First, the Scriptures:
- "The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, 'Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved. In quietness and confidence is your strength. But you would have none of it.'" Isaiah 30:15
- "Even youths will become exhausted, and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:30-31
- "Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act..." Psalm 37:7a
- "I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry." Psalm 40:1
So, God says that in waiting we will be saved, find new strength, allow God to act on our behalf, and God will turn to us and hear our cry. Wow. These are definitely all things I want. All things I need. I need God to rescue me. I need Him to give me new strength. I need Him to act. I need Him to see my tears and pain and be the Comforter in the midst of them. But why does that require waiting?
My guess is based on what I have experienced in the wait. Usually, dare I say always, when I am in a season of significant waiting, I turn to the Lord. Not that I am necessarily away from Him leading up to these times, but there is a desperation during this time that forces me to turn to Him and rely on Him like never before. I find myself seeking His face, His voice, His Word, His Holy Spirit...anything that draws me to my Savior! Besides tragedy, I don't think anything can do this quite like waiting. That has been my experience. And it is SO hard. And SO painful. And, if I'm totally honest, I really wish God could do it another way and I wouldn't have to go through the waiting. But, luckily, He is wise and in charge, and knows what He's doing. So I trust Him. Completely. I have faith that He will give me the strength and courage and perseverence to wait, and in that waiting, I will emerge closer to His heart. Whew! Do I ever wish there was another way!!!
I like how my NLT Life Application Bible puts it: "Waiting on the Lord is the patient expectation that God will fulfill his promises in his Word and strengthen us to rise above life's difficulties." Patience has never been a virtue I found easy. I guess I really will be relying on the same power that raised Jesus from the dead to give me the strength I need in the wait!