The Waiting Game

“Having patience is so hard!”

She whined at me with the little girl song that is the melody of my day. I looked at her and, with as much compassion as I could muster, replied, “I know, honey, waiting is tough.”
I could relate to her frustration. I know how painfully difficult it is to flex those patience muscles. Most of the time I whine about it, just like she does. I just do so in ways no one else can hear.
I write the words in my journal.
I cry them out to God in prayer.
And, bless my husband, I whine to him, a lot. 
And many of you reading are probably much like me: a little frustrated with having to wait. You are tired of the holding pattern that you find yourself in. You want the next step. You want the answer to come yesterday. You want the provision to fall from the sky, for the phone to ring, for the promotion to come, for someone to see what’s buried deep inside of you and aching to come out. You want to move, yet here you are. Growing and flexing those patience muscles just like me.
Its been in the waiting that I have learned something that has become a game changer: I am not alone. Actually, I’m in good company. As I read through the stories of history, I realize I am surrounded by a great crowd who have all endured the tests and trials of waiting, longing, and perseverance. In fact, the most comforting thought is that Jesus himself often waited.

He waited in the desert for 40 days.
He waited until the wine was all gone.
He waited for the disciples to complain about the hour of the day and the hungry people.
And He waited for the disciples to catch up to the story, the idea, the miracle.
He waited until one of his closest friends has passed into the next life.
He waited for the storm to start before moving toward the boat.
He waited for Peter to fall before He caught Him on the water.
He waited until the woman grasped at his garment.
He waited for Mary to complete the foot bath with the entire jar of perfume before He spoke freedom to her soul.
He waited for Judas to come to Him in the garden.
He waited for the guard’s ear to be cut off before He displayed His power in those dark hours.
Then, He waited on a cross.

Jesus, in all his power, waited. As the Author of time itself, with the ability to predict the future, He waited.

He waited 30 years to begin his ministry. And 3 years to be raised from death to life.

And I would not call those 30 years, or those 3 days a waste. Nor do I believe that Jesus whined, complained, wished away the time, or asked His Father to “speed things up a little.” He may have. But I doubt it. So, from here I take my cue.
Having patience does not mean standing still.Understanding that I am in a holding pattern does not mean holding back.Being content doesn’t mean choosing complacency. It simply means – wait.