“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'” Lamentations 3:24 (NIV)
My three young kids were playing near her feet in her assisted-living home. “How busy things must be at your house these days. Why I’d give anything to be able to spend an ordinary day with my children all little again. What joy!”
What joy? What was my husband’s 90 year-old grandmother talking about?! As a worn-out mom I wanted the kids to get to the next stages in their lives and fast! For one to walk, another to stop wearing diapers and the third to learn to read. I wasn’t joyful. I was anxious.
Now that two of my three kids have graduated from high school, I know what Grandma meant. I’d love to rewind the clock and experience one more ordinary day with my babies. If only I could make time wait, instead of waiting on time to pass.
Even so, I still have a hard time applying this lesson in the wait. Each morning I wait in the school carpool line. In the afternoon, I wait for my son’s football practice to wrap up. Sometimes the coach keeps the team after for a pep talk. Some days it’s a lengthy one. And so I sit. The minutes tick by threatening to tick me off.
You see, I don’t like to wait.
Just this past week I waited in line at the grocery store, sat in the waiting room at the dentist’s office, and lingered at the airport, anxious to board my plane. I spent hours at the DVM (Department of Motor Vehicles) so my son could get his driver’s permit.
While these types of hindrances are short-lived, waiting for the next big thing can take longer and be harder. We wait on Prince Charming to appear, our house to sell, our child to take his first steps, a better job, financial relief, or physical or emotional healing to come to us or a loved one.
Just like when my kids were young, instead of patiently embracing these harder times, I have a tendency to want to rush them. I long for my circumstances to hurry up and change. To fast-forward to the next thing. But Scripture teaches us how to make it through these difficult seasons.
In those waiting times, even when life is hard, God says to us, I’ll be what you need while you wait.
God steps in to be our portion for that day. He is in the wait and we’ll sense that if only we will look for Him rather than always looking ahead to the next stage of life.
He was my portion as a little girl while I daydreamed about becoming a woman.
He was my portion as a woman when I waited to become a bride.
He was my portion as a new bride as I longed to become a mom.
He was my portion as a young mom as I looked forward to easier days.
And He is my portion now as I am learning to look to God when my impatient heart waits for the day when my husband and I retire and can travel more.
The point of life is not to keep looking ahead, but to look to the Lord to be our portion at every stage of life. Will you seek Him as you sit and wait? It makes the lingering have meaning. And tethers our hearts to His as we use these times to pray and ponder His goodness. Yes, right in the midst of those in-between times. It even makes the waiting sweeter.
But I still suggest you bring along a good book to the DMV!
Dear Lord, help me embrace the wait and look for You to be my portion during the in-between times of life. In Jesus’ Name, amen.
Need more encouragement to embrace the wait? Click here to visit Karen Ehman’s blog where she’s interviewing author Jeff Goins and offering a giveaway of his new book The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.
A great book to give you God’s perspective in times of waiting (and to read at the DMV!) is our brand new Encouragement for Today: Devotionals for Everyday Living.
Reflect and Respond:
What next big thing are you waiting for in life? How could focusing on God as your portion help the wait to be easier?
Romans 8:25, “But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV)