My son doesn't understand that hot food will burn his mouth. When he is hungry, he wants food now. NOW. He doesn't realize that sometimes the food just came out of the oven (or microwave more often) and will hurt him if I give it to him NOW. So as we wait until it is ready for him, he cries and whines and does his toddler-highchair-tantrum thing. And I empathize with him because I know what it feels like to be hungry - but I make him wait, because if I didn't, he'd be hurting bad.
I know this is so often how God deals with me. I say, "God! NOW!" and do my toddler-highchair-tantrum thing. I ask God why must I wait? And why aren't you listening? And I want what I want. right. now.
And I know God understands my longings and pains and frustrations because he has had a body and walked this earth, too. Jesus. And I know he sees in full while I only see in part. And I am thankful that God wants to keep me from eating food that will burn me.
But knowing that doesn't necessarily make the waiting easier for me. Maybe you feel this, too. I've had lots of conversations this week with people who are waiting. for a job. for a family. for healing. for a change. for reconciliation.
And we hear God saying I hear you and see you - and it's just not ready yet
What does make the waiting easier - for me at least - is when I listen. I listen to the Psalmists who had to wait, too. And they tell me to take heart and be strong. I listen to Isaiah as he tells his audience that God hears and saves and will do whatever he wants to. I listen to Jesus telling his disciples that there is nothing impossible for God's immeasurable power. I listen to the men and women in my church singing "Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow," and I know each one of them waits on God for something, too. And I listen to the voice of the Spirit as it whispers comfort and assurance during the waiting.