The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. Lamentations 3:25 ESV
Over the last eight years I have spent a good portion of time in a waiting room. In 2005 my oldest son had a traumatic illness occur and thus started the journey of my time in the waiting room. The journey began on August 17, 2005 where we spent 51 days in the PICU (Pediatric Intensive Care Unit) at the local children’s hospital. He was eleven at the time and for about three days we had no idea what was going on with our child and due to the trauma his body was going through he was put into a medically induced coma.
Completely clueless as to what was going on and what had happened to our healthy little boy we trudged through those first few days completely unaware of how dramatically our lives would be changed. That was a long hard 51 days for our family, but thankfully our little boy is now a nineteen year old college student. I would love to say he is completely healthy and things are back to normal, but that is just not our reality. There were complications from his trauma and he was left insulin dependent (he lost 90% of his pancreas) and is now diabetic.
A few years after that he started to have seizures and so back to the hospital we went in search of answers as to why this was happening to our boy. Tests, exams, scans, MRI’s and everything in between was run to find out what could be going on inside of his body. Each test was more time in the waiting room, and if you’ve ever been in the hospital then you know that nothing happens quickly. More time not knowing. More time to wonder. More time to worry. More time to let your imagination go off the deep end.
Since then we are in a specialists office every three months for follow up and adjustments to his care. Looking at him you would never know that he has been through so much. He looks healthy. He looks strong. He looks like any other nineteen year old boy–but he’s not. You see, while we have been in those waiting rooms, we are constantly reminded just how precious and fragile life is. We also learned that waiting doesn’t have to be passive, it can be active…like a verb.
According to Dictionary.com, here is what it means to wait;
1. to remain inactive or in a state of repose, as until something expected happens
2. (of things) to be available or in readiness
3. to remain neglected for a time
4. to postpone or delay something or to be postponed or delayed.
5. to look forward to eagerly
Take a look at number two and number five, those do not sound like being passive, do they? They are another way to look at your waiting, as in they are actively waiting.
Did you know that wait is in the Bible 133 times in the ESV version?
To me that leads me to believe that God knew that we would struggle or even wrestle with waiting. I know it’s not my favorite thing to do. I’m a “get it done” kind of girl and too often I get ahead of myself and try to get things done on my own, when what God really wants me to do is to actively wait for Him.
Listen, we all wait on something.
What if we were to “shift” (my one word for 2013) our thinking on our waiting then maybe we can see more clearly what God is trying to show us in our wait.
Let’s take a look at some examples of how to turn your wait into a verb.
- Pray First – Ask the Lord to show you what He wants you to see while you actively wait for Him in the middle of whatever you are going through (prodigal child, illness, marital issues, medical concerns) (Matthew 6:33)
- Memorize Scripture – I like to keep a spiral index card set with me to write out Scriptures that will keep my mind focused on Him and His Word. Scriptures specifically selected for that particular season and need. (Psalm 119:11)
- Seek Him in All Things – Actively seek out His purpose behind the wait in everything you do, turn your life into worship, whether it is doing the dishes, laundry, or your work, everything you do can be for His glory. When you actively seek Him He will reveal Himself to you. (Colossians 3:23)
Doing these things doesn’t mean that the light bulb will go off and suddenly waiting will be easy, but here’s what it will do, it will draw you so close to the heart of God that even though you may not want to wait you will see God in the middle of your wait and that, sweet sisters, will be like salve to your waiting soul.
What about you…
Which of the five definitions of “wait” resonates with you the most?
How does shifting from passive to active change your outlook on waiting?
Which of the three things to change your wait to a verb can you start today?