Sunday, June 5, 2016

#Hate The Wait

“Ah, Sovereign LORD, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17

The phrase #HatetheWait  has been popping up on social media to capture the feeling of people who are caught in long TSA lines at the airport.  Most of us hate to wait, we want fast food, instant gratification and no lines.   I heard a quote from someone who had recently moved to a communist country, she characterized the people in that country as very good at standing in line.  I am not good at standing in line.  
My son went to a new charter school and one of the kinks they had not worked out was carpool line.  The line stretched around the building and around the corner into a local neighborhood.  I sat in line every day praying for God to fix the line because I live by the motto- Nothing is too big or too small for God to fix.    I did my best to use the time I was in carpool wisely, I talked to my sister, edited my bible study and listened to praise music.  I tried to have a grateful attitude- I mean, really, what a luxury to spend over an hour a day waiting to pick my child up from school.  As much as I realized the gift- I hated the wait.

Waiting is hard- it is hard to wait when we know the blessing to come and it is even harder when there is uncertainty and disappointment in the wait.  It is hard to have patience and trust God when we don’t see the line moving and when it seems as if nothing is happening.   I have been thinking about the balance between patience and doing the work in relation to a farmer’s life.   The farmer has a lot of prep work to reap a harvest.   She has to buy a field and then prepare it.  Next she plants the seed and waters it.  Once the seed goes in the ground- the time of waiting begins.   For weeks after planting the seed, it appears as if nothing is happening.  I wonder if a farmer has ever prematurely dug up a just sprouted seed to see if it is growing but in her impatience harmed the baby plant? Impatience can lead to long term consequences just look at Sarah and Hagar.  The farmer could have doubts- did she properly prepare the soil, did she plant the best type of seeds for her land, are the seeds getting enough water, will she ever reap a harvest?

James 5:7-9 encourages us “Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. Don’t grumble against one another, brothers and sisters, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!”
The farmer had done all that she could do- the successful harvest was dependent on the Lord sending the rain.  God had said He would do it and had done it before, the farmer just had to wait.  I think it is interesting that this passage captures the idea when we are in the process of being patient and waiting- we need to guard against grumbling.  We need to do what God has called us to do, stand firm and persevere.   Trust God is at work even though you don’t see any change.  Miracles are taking place below the surface.  New life is being formed.  Hearts are being changed and prayers are being answered.

Back to my car pool situation, I continued to pray.  I put it on my weekly school prayer request list and gave it to God. I didn’t complain though I hated the wait. I trusted God was doing things in my impatient heart or there were things I needed to do while waiting.  Then one day, an announcement came out that the carpool line was changing. It seemed the local neighborhood had gone to the police and requested a change.  Small tweaks were being made to have double lines in the parking lot.  In what seemed like a flash the wait dissipated.  I no longer had time to edit my book or talk to my sister; sixteen cars at a time peacefully rolled through the school pick up line.   It was time for harvest and a time to celebrate.  This was a little thing but "Nothing is too big or too small for God to fix."

Do you #hatethewait?  How do you keep from grumbling?  
Have you experienced a time when wait came to an end and you were able to reap the harvest?

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