Editor’s note: We congratulate our friend and long-term contributor Michele Howe on the publication of her latest book, Burden Lifters: Every Woman’s Daily Guide to a Healthy, Happy Life. In this book, Michele offers a generous supply of buoyant, faith-full, healthy-living guidance for everyday life utilizing real examples of other women who have triumphed over hardship, hurts, and disappointment. This book looks like a true gift for many! LMH
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Psalm 27: 14
“How do we get to the morning, to the sunshine, to the joy? There is only one way. By waiting for it.” Ken Gire
I hate waiting. Like everyone else, I struggle against the ticking of the clock when I feel such a sense of urgency inside for something to change or for relief to come right this minute that I can scarcely breathe. By far, the longest “wait” I’ve ever experienced came the night I thought my daughter was dead. I remember sitting in the dark kitchen at 1:00am staring out the window into more blackness and pleading with God to bring her home. Was I sure He would? Not really.
Waiting: When Inner Calm Trumps Control
At that period of her life, my daughter was partying and clubbing and putting herself into one dangerous situation (and relationship) after another. So smack in the middle of that tortuously sleepless night as I waited for her to call or to respond to my text message…for any sign of life from her, I wondered if I would make it through the night. Somehow God reached into my heart and gave me just enough strength to keep breathing (and praying) as I waited, but it was the longest, most painful “wait” I’ve ever endured. This in part because I was keenly aware that there was nothing I could do but wait. In those terrifyingly dark hours, I honestly didn’t know how God would answer my prayers. I didn’t know if I’d ever see my beautiful daughter again. One I did know one thing for certain…that God waited with me.
What have you waited for? All of us have had experiences of desperate waiting, haven’t we? We can all recall a few (or more) heart pounding, pulse-racing moments when God seemed absent but was really there right with us. Every one of us has experienced those times when we really believed we couldn’t wait another moment for help or relief from a tragedy too large for us to handle. But what about those times when we’re called to wait on the not so urgent? Those countless daily opportunities when it’s not a life or death situation…it’s purely “uncomfortable” and we simply don’t like it?
We’re a sorry bunch of “waiters” aren’t we? Our entire nation wants, no, demands that needs be met immediately. Whether the coveted object(ive) is small or large, matters not. Americans young and old are continually being fed the fabrication that if we desire something, it is within our power and rights to immediately obtain it. No delay required.
Real life begs to disagree. And disagree it does. Consider all that you’ve waited for in your own life. We wait to get better after feeling ill. We wait for someone to reply to an urgent request. We wait for doctors, dentists, hair stylists, spouses, children. We wait in lines. We wait for our turn. We wait to be heard. We wait to be found or found out. We wait for a better job. We wait to receive an education. We wait for repair technicians, for parts, for labor, for bills. We wait to hear the weather. We wait for the sports news, evening news, bad news, and good news, any news at all. Let’s face it, for a huge portion of our lives we must wait.
Since in large measure, waiting is life and life is waiting; why not learn to wait the best way we can? Let’s switch around former assumptions and learn to view wait time as the opportune time to: develop quietness, listen better, see more clearly, contemplate tough decisions, reflect and be thankful. We can do this. We can. If we choose to use all that anxiety-ridden energy and channel it into a different direction, our waiting will be transformed.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.”
Copyright 2013 Michele Howe