I spend a lot of time waiting. I wait for the coffee to stop dripping every morning. I wait for the washing machine to finish so I can move the clothes to the dryer. I wait for my kids in the pick-up line after school. I wait a lot. Since I spend so much time waiting, you’d think I’d be quite good at it. But the truth is, I’m not. I’m terrible at waiting. The worst part is I can’t just be still while I’m waiting.
I’ve spent a great deal of time thinking about the process of waiting as our family is currently in a “season” of waiting. Since February, we’ve been waiting to become approved as foster parents. I’m waiting for the state of Georgia to ask me to take temporary custody of someone else’s child. It’s a strange feeling as I’m essentially waiting for the worst day of someone’s life to happen. And as I wait, I am overcome by the desire to “do something.” Surely there’s someone I can call or email or meet with that can speed up this process. But the truth is we’ve already called, emailed, and met with everyone we can. There is nothing more I can do to cut through the red tape and God is screaming at me to just wait. It’s excruciating because I do not wait well.
In my quiet time with God, I’ve been asking why it is so hard for me to wait. In His great mercy, He has reminded me that I was not created for this world (see Hebrews 13:14, Philippians 3:20). As long as I remain on this earth, I will be forced to wait… to long… to yearn… for millions of different things, but ultimately for Heaven (see Romans 8:23). In other words, waiting is inevitable on this side of Heaven.
So how do I teach myself to wait well? I believe the key is contentment. I imagine contentment as a tightrope I’m gingerly trying to walk across without falling. Of course, I stumble many times. But when I read Paul’s words in Philippians 4:12, he says he has learned the secret to being content. He reveals that secret in the very next verse, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13).
As seasons of waiting ebb and flow in my life, I will continue to carefully balance my way across this tightrope of contentment. I will fall, but because of Christ in me, I will be able to get back up. I will be able to find peace in the midst of whatever it is I am waiting for, and I believe that is truly waiting well.