Waiting does not tend to have great connotations. To say we are waiting on something tends to imply that the condition or state we are in is going to improve once said thing arrives. We don’t like to wait to be seated in a restaurant, sometimes because we are hungry and other times simply because it’s annoying to not get a table immediately. If we are stopped in traffic, we don’t like to wait to move. Sometimes, this is because we have somewhere we need to be. Other times, it just bothers us. Why? We want what we want, when we want it. Taking it a step further, many of us might verbalize that we are in a season of waiting. Often, this is correlated with season of life. It seems as if we are always in anticipation for the next season of life, whatever that season might be. In singleness, for dating. In dating, for engagement. In engagement, for marriage. In marriage, for children. With children, we are either waiting until they get out of the house so we can be “empty-nesters” again; or we are wondering what we will do once we finally reach that destination. Other times, we are a people who wait for the next thing on our calendar. Whether it’s a friend’s wedding, tax season to be over, residency to be finished, the chemo to stop, five more pounds to come off, our husband to come back from Afghanistan, more money to come in, the results to come back….we wait. But for what?
Waiting can be defined as this: to stay where one is or delay action until something else happens or a particular time occurs. I have done this in so many different ways in different seasons of life, and I would certainly describe this time in the same way. I am waiting. Waiting for a diagnosis is what I would tell you. But for what?
Here is the thing: the feeling in our hearts that urges us to look for something else, something better, is absolutely a God thing. We were not meant to be satisfied in the here and now, and so the desire for something more is not wrong in the least. The problem with how we tend to wait is that we wait on something temporary that is going to continue to leave us longing. I love my husband, and cannot imagine a better partner to walk through this life beside. However, I wish I could have told my single, dating, and engaged self this concrete truth: Stop waiting for the next thing to come. Enjoy where you are because you are going to look back and realize how wonderful it actually was. To my single readers: marriage is great. There are many perks, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. However, it is not where life is found. Particularly as women, I think we idolize marriage as finally settling, finally feeling secure. I remember thinking that so much of sin and temptation would disappear once I got married…haha! It is quite the opposite. As a married person, I know it is easy to give out words of wisdom after the fact, but I truly exhort you to trust me that whether you ever get married or not, you will not reach some different level of satisfaction once you do. I digress.
Concerning other matters, I think experience is in fact the best teacher. Think about all the things you have spent time waiting on. I remember thinking as a child that if I could only get a dog, life would be perfect. (I miss those days of simplistic naivety!) I gave my parents a serious binder, filled with pages on why it was reasonable for us to get a dog (maybe I should have been a lawyer?). Finally, they agreed. Guess what? Having a dog was great for a while, but it didn’t take long for the luster to wear off (And we had to get rid of him fairly quickly but that’s another story for another day!). Isn’t that how everything tends to work? As teenagers, we look forward to prom, only to have an “okay” time. We all spend time preparing for holidays, celebrations, parties, and other events; and no matter how great of a time we have, in the blink of an eye it is over and we are left the same as before. Waiting for the next thing.
I know that even as I write this, a part of me feels like once we receive a diagnosis, closure and relief will be experienced. While this is partially true, I beg my heart to process the truth that a diagnosis is not going to change anything. If there is a day on this side of heaven that we find out what is going on with our sweet girls, that day will start out and end just like any other. Still left wanting for something more. The Word of God talks a lot about waiting, but it only fixes our souls on one thing: waiting for the Lord. Why? God Himself knows that when we put our hope in anything else, we will not be filled. Psalm 130:5 puts it this way,
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.”
Isaiah 30:18, Romans 8:23, Hebrews 9:28, and 1 Thessalonians 1:10 echo a similar cry. If there is anything worth waiting for, it is Him. All other things will pass and fade away. Anything else that we are waiting for, however glorious, is rags in comparison to what will happen to our souls and bodies when we see Him face to face. I recognize that this doesn’t change the emotions or hardships that come when we are waiting on something, albeit temporary, that we desire. And, Morgan, some of you are thinking; God promises me He will give me the desires of the heart, and He has not yet. Yes, friend, this is a promise in His word. But do not miss this part: Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart (Psalm 37:4). The amazing thing about life is this: when we are delighting in the Lord, His desires become our desires. So, if He does not grant us the thing we “wish” for, we recognize this not as a desire unmet but as a prayer answered from God in His wisdom who knows best and who will withhold no good thing from those who love Him (Psalm 84:11). As we delight ourselves in the Lord, the desires of our heart change and we simply desire that which He places in our hands. No more waiting. As we spend our time focused on Him and the things He HAS placed in front of us, a beautiful thing happens: He puts a NEW song in our mouths while we wait! A NEW song that doesn’t demand its own wants but that trusts in Him and praises Him for whatever lies behind, presently, and ahead (Psalm 40:1). But this cannot happen if we are constantly fixated on the next big thing or the thing we think we should have, now.
So friends, I have decided I am done waiting. Yes, I will be grateful if God chooses to give us a diagnosis. I will be thankful if His plan includes us gaining that knowledge, and I pray for it every single day. But today, I choose to trust that there is nothing He is withholding from me therefore waiting for anything less that Jesus Christ Himself is futile, fruitless, and fleeting. Life is not found in a diagnosis. Life is not found in ANYTHING outside of Him. I want to spend my life living, not waiting. I don’t know what you are walking through exactly, but I do know that chances are, you are waiting on something. Whether it is as seemingly simple as a ring on your finger, or as heavy as a lab result that could change what you thought the future looked like, I urge you to stop waiting. The plan is His regardless of if we choose to let go or not. Let’s live in the present, focus on what makes our heart’s happy today, and choose to wait expectantly on Him alone.