Tom and I are sitting in an Amtrak Station. We love to ride the train, but we have yet to ride an Amtrak train that arrived on time. Today a culvert collapsed in Tacoma, damaging the tracks and making it impossible for any trains to get through. So we are waiting for a bus to pick us up and take us to the train north of Tacoma.
I stink at waiting. It is one of the reasons I knit. I always have my knitting with me so that I have something to do. This keeps me from pacing, getting angry, and – probably – attacking someone or getting arrested for creating a public disturbance. I can calmly knit while Tom paces and creates the public disturbance.
Prayer is like knitting. It gives me something to do while I am waiting. A big event that seems to take forever to arrive – I pray that it will go well, that the participants will be blessed, that God will make it wonderful. Something that I especially want to happen – I pray while waiting.
This may make me sound calm while I wait. I am not. God has three answers to prayer – yes, no, and wait. And I confess that the waiting is the hardest one for me. If God says yes – then move forward, have at it! If God says no – then get over it, move on, find another way.
But when God says “wait,” oh how I struggle. I want to ask “for how long” or “when?” Patience may be a virtue and a fruit of the Spirit, but it is not one of my gifts.
Maybe the lesson God wants me to learn is in the waiting. Perhaps I won’t be ready to accept his direction or correction until I wait. My impatience may demonstrate a lack of faith and trust in God. If I believe he is really going to take care of it, wouldn’t I wait with patience and hope?
Psalm 130:5-6 talks about waiting:
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning.