Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Weight of Waiting

Advent is one of my favorite seasons though it involves one of my least favorite activities: waiting. Though I'm not especially fond of waiting in a long line at the grocery store or waiting for a traffic light to turn green, this is another kind of waiting. This is waiting on the Lord.

I have dreams, plans, desires that I long to see come to fruition. These are good dreams--plans, I pray, that would give glory to God and stir the affections of the saints toward Him. I'm not alone in this. At the moment, I know of two families in particular who are waiting for some very good things. One waits to see if the Lord would be gracious in continuing to grow a precious child in her womb. Another waits to see if He will grant healing and restoration in their daughter's body. The one word in those sentences on which its content hangs is this: waits.

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, I know the Lord could speak one word in the smallest moment and all would be restored--the little life would grow, the broken body would be healed, and my plans would materialize. He is able. But, as of this morning, He hasn't chosen to reveal His will in these matters yet. Both families (and myself) are waiting. This I do know: God has revealed His will for right now. His will for them and for me is to wait.

There is weight in waiting. It is a gravity that pulls us toward Him. Very few things offer relief or respite but the presence of God and the healing balm of His word.

This weight is a heaviness that presses us down, sometimes on our faces. Many times in my waiting the Lord has shown me that I desire the thing on which I wait more than I desire Him. The realization of my idolatry and the unrelenting kindness of God even in the midst of it leads me to confession and repentance.

This weight refuses to let us go about our day without it reminding us of its presence. In my experience with waiting, I find others' fulfillment of what I'm longing for highlighted. Rarely do I glance through a Twitter timeline without seeing even a hint of this. "Everyone" seems to be not waiting.

For those who wait on the Lord, though, it is not a weight leading to despair but instead a weight that invites us to know hope.

Remember my affliction and my wanderings,
the wormwood and the gall!
My soul continually remembers it
and is bowed down within me.
But this I call to mind,
and therefore I have hope:
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."
The Lord is good to those who wait for him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the Lord.
Lamentations 3:19 - 26

By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit from the mouth of Simeon, a man well-acquainted with waiting, as he holds the infant Jesus...

Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace,
according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation
that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light of revelation to the Gentiles,
and for glory to your people Israel.
Luke 2:29 - 32

This is the hope: the salvation of the Lord has come and will come again to make all things right. It has come in the form of Jesus. Because He has come, all things will be used for our good whether our waiting ends as we've hoped or not. In our waiting and in its end, we get Him.

28 comments:

Rachel said...

that Lamentations passage is my absolute favorite. and you capture it beautifully -- waiting brings hope. LOVE. thank you for your words. :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lauren.

emma said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for this. I am waiting for something completely different from you (and those two families) (waiting on a godly husband) and this was such a good reminder of what HE wants for my life.

"Many times in my waiting the Lord has shown me that I desire the thing on which I wait more than I desire Him. The realization of my idolatry and the unrelenting kindness of God even in the midst of it leads me to confession and repentance."
Amen!

Suzy-Q said...

I cannot tell you how fitting this is for me and my family today! Our 17 year old daughter is no longer living at home, believing the lies of the enemy that have been planted by her boyfriend and his family. Tough love is the hardest thing I will ever choose to do and my heart breaks more every day...BUT God is in control. I know this and I trust this and claim His promises daily!
Thank you for the reminder to wait on God!

Katie B said...

Perfect timing for me to hear this (yet again!) Thanks for beautifully writing a reminder for us all.

Desiring Virtue said...

"There is weight in waiting. It is a gravity that pulls us toward Him. Very few things offer relief or respite but the presence of God and the healing balm of His word." I love this. What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing.

E said...

Praise Jesus that we get Him. I am so thankful for my salvation and I appreciate you posting this. While I wait, I will seek Him! Merry Christmas!

Rebecca said...

Amen and Amen :-)

Thank you!

Naomi said...

Thank you for this post. Your husband's ministry has blessed me for a number of years.

My husband and I are currently waiting for our 2 adopted children from Haiti to come home and your words were a great encouragement to me. Thank you!

Sara@www.tablegrace.net said...

Lovely. We know a bit about waiting at our house as well:) Thank you for the reminder of what waits for us at the end. Our hope and our joy. Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Becky said...

I am waiting for His second Advent, full of hope, waiting, waiting, and yes, there are days in which the waiting seems heavy indeed; but His Word is our anchor until that day in which we'll see Him face to face, and we'll wait no more. O blessed day!

Beth said...

Just got out of a 3 year waiting period. I've never had to wait on anything in my life. It was a sweet time to get to know and trust God and His character. Thanks for the sweet reminder that God IS answering even when the answer is wait.

AKA Jane Random said...

What a beautiful passage from Lamentations. It's one of those books that I kind of groan at when I see it coming up but there is most definitely beauty and purpose in it.

I love how you see waiting as a diving appointment rather than just something that is in between receiving or not receiving something.

Thank you.

Danielle said...

THANK YOU FOR THIS POST AND YOUR BOLDNESS TO PUT INTO LIGHT THIS BATTLE WITH WAITING.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the blog... I am in a season of waiting. It is almost humorous how obvious the Lord is that He wants me to wait on him.

Your blog is a reminder to me that I am not alone.

Thanks for taking time to blog your heart honestly - it reached a brother in the Lord that needed a encouragement.

-thanks.

-brandon

Dionna Sanchez said...

The weight of waiting, not knowing the outcome or the answer is the hardest.

Kingdom Seeker said...

It's so true. Waiting can be extremely agonizing. Like waiting for the Lord to give you an answer for something you've prayed for years about.

kingdomeyes.blogspot.com

rsctt said...

Amen!

www.wayfarersquest-rsctt.blogspot.com

Jennifer Rod said...

waiting is difficult, but it draws us close to him like you've said. i pray he is your strength as you wait.

cal+claire said...

There is such a weight in waiting for sure. I'm also waiting on the birth of our little girl and praying every day for her continued health. Praying that she stays inside as long as she needs to. Lots of prayer.

Anonymous said...

Hello, your blog was recommended to me by a friend. What a timely and accurate message matching what God is showing me right now. I loved this line: "Many times in my waiting the Lord has shown me that I desire the thing on which I wait more than I desire Him. The realization of my idolatry and the unrelenting kindness of God even in the midst of it leads me to confession and repentance." When I seek answers, it is because my desire is to please him, but I realize more and more that although those answers would be meant for good... dwelling in his presence is BETTER. Thank you for sharing your heart!

jenn said...

Thank you for posting this! It was something I needed to read. I always enjoy reading your blog!

Cyndi@Walking in Grace and Beauty said...

Hi Lauren!
I am attending the conference with my husband in January at FBJ. Looking forward to your conference.
Blessings,
Cyndi

Kara said...

Love this Lauren...
Sending our thanks and appreciation from Oregon (you'll never know how much)
Blessings,
K

Gabie said...

Thank you. After 15 years, the Lord has seen fit to bless us with another adopted child and there is much weight in the waiting. Some days I struggle with my focus and your comments put things into perspective at a time of need.

Dennis & Stephanie said...

Thank you so much for this sweet post. It was so perfect and fitting for our family! I linked up to this post recently on my blog..hope you don't mind, thanks again.

http://dennisandstephanie.blogspot.com/2012/01/mom-update.html

Anonymous said...

Great meeting you at the weekend! I echo Emma's comments to this post on Waiting.Thank you for the reminder. Hope to visit (again!) the Village this weekend.

Reese said...

"Many times in my waiting the Lord has shown me that I desire the thing on which I wait more than I desire Him."

Thank you for this......

Reese