This post first appeared on OverACup 4 years ago. Surprisingly, its lesson is one I recently remembered and am trying to reapply to where I am now. I’m no longer in a period of waiting, but I still want to practice keeping my hands open and holding the blessings God’s given me during this season loosely. I never again want to return to a place where I hold my blessings so tightly that when He asks for them, I refuse. I hope this post and its lesson on waiting bless you like it did me 4 years ago and today.
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“Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the LORD, O my soul and forget not all his benefits…” ~Psalms 103:1-2 (You may also want to read Psalms 103 and 104.)
Usually, I’m writing from a place of fullness and the overflow of my writing, time, and specifically time with God. This week, to be perfectly honest, I just feel empty. But I am committed to keeping to a posting schedule, so here I am.
Right now much of my emptiness can be chalked up to being in a place of waiting. Right now I’m living in limbo. Though waiting to buy a house is not as stressful as selling one per se, it is every bit as frustrating. You think you found the perfect house and someone else’s contract is accepted. Or wait, there it is, and boom! it’s gone before you can even see it. Or you just can’t find exactly what you’re looking for.
It makes me recall other times I’ve had to wait and how exhausting they can be. Waiting for school to be over, waiting for babies to come, waiting to get pregnant with babies, waiting to find a job, these and other times of waiting just wear me down!
Why is that? Why is waiting so physically exhausting? For me, often times it is because there are repercussions for being in the waiting place. Right now on top of being two, Ethan is making it abundantly clear he is not happy living in an apartment and wants to go home. He just doesn’t understand why we don’t go back to our old house or buy one of the handful of new houses I’ve drug him through in the last few weeks.
It’s also due in part to the work going on inside us while we wait. “The testing of your faith producing patience” is not a painless process. Just like any type of growth, it often hurts and requires us to push the boundaries of what we are comfortable with. It requires us to trust when we cannot see.
This situation reminds me of the Israelites at Mt. Sinai in Exodus thirty-two. They often get a bad rap and looked down on for making the golden calf while Moses was up on the mountain. God has just brought them through so much and shown up in many big ways, and yet they lose faith, become afraid, and look for something tangible to hang on to. But don’t you and I do the same?
Don’t we find it hard to trust when we’re peering into the darkness? When God hasn’t yet revealed the path ahead? Don’t we become afraid and find ourselves ringing our hands and panicking because deep down we’re not sure he’s going to show up this time? We wonder, “he brought me this far, but maybe, this time, he will leave me hanging? Maybe this will be the time he doesn’t show up?”
Or maybe you have had great faith in the past. You just knew God was going to come through. And he didn’t. The last song was sung, the curtain closed, the audience left, and he didn’t show. Oh, later you may have seen how he did show up in a very different way, even a much better way, but the pain of perceived betrayal still hurts.
And so we wait. Hoping and praying that this will be the time God comes through. That this will be the time he comes with all the fanfare and others will see in a big way that we can give him the glory. Yet, like the Israelites we to want to reach out for something a little bit closer to home, a little realer and tangible.
So while I wait, while I’m exhausted and worn out from being in the waiting place. During this time, I’ll practice keeping my hands open. Open so that I can release any physical, tangible things that I’m putting my trust in instead of God, so I can worship him and be open to receive his best for me in whatever form it comes, especially if it’s in a way I don’t expect.