Micah says, "But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me."
In Zephaniah, God doesn't suggest or beat around the bush; He comes right out with, "Therefore wait for me,” declares the LORD!..."
The New Testament takes a less direct approach and gives us countless examples of people waiting on various things - miracles, answers to prayers, rain, crops to grow, healing, people to show up, etc... And when you think you're done waiting, Revelation says, "...and they were told to wait a little longer."
I wonder why there are SO MANY verses reminding us to wait patiently? (Maybe because He knew that this fallen world would produce more than it's share of control freaks.) And can I tell you, international adoption is enough to send even the most mild mannered, patient person into a tailspin of worry and anxiousness. You can control almost nothing. Zero. All you can do it wait...just a little bit longer...and a bit more...oh, and what the heck, let's throw in a couple more months of waiting just for the fun of it! ARRGHHH! (Say it in a pirate voice. It's much more effective that way.)
Thankfully I'm patient. Thankfully, Brian is even more patient. Not so thankfully, I like to know what's going on. So for the first 3 months of this adoption process, when all the paperwork was in our hands, I was blissfully ignorant. Now...not so much. I am hypersensitive to that fact that signatures are still missing on Isaiah's birth certificate...that St. Vincent goes to court only on Friday's, which means we have one shot, or we have to wait another week....that I'm not appreciating "island time" (which translates "We get to it, when we get to it" - say it in a cool Caribbean accent. It takes the edge off my frustration when said that way)...that our Embassy is closed on a particular day in March which can set the whole adoption back another 2 weeks. I am hypersensitive to the fact that everyone keeps telling me that God funds what he favors, yet we are still about $10,000 short...that we pulled out of a mission trip to Ethiopia in mid-February because we thought the children would already be home.
I'm seriously trying not to focus on the negatives and the "what-if's". One, because it's completely ungodly! Two, because it's a huge trap of the enemy! By consuming myself with the things completely out of my control, I lose sight of what God has called us to. My attention and my focus is no longer on Christ, but on myself and the children. I forget that He who called us to this adoption, will see the work completed. I forget that God already has this completely planned out. Not a single detail has He left out and nothing I do can or will change that fact. I forget that the LORD has provided ways to fund this adoption and I just need to get my hiney in gear and follow through on fundraising!! I forget that I am NOT the one in control (THANK GOODNESS!)!
Though I don't like it and most times I am dragged kicking and screaming to my knees, (figuratively speaking), I am slowly understanding why God wants us to wait - patiently. It perfects our faith and it develops perseverance. It creates a deeper intimacy and reliance on God when we turn to him, not things or people of this world, when life isn't going according to "our" plan or on "our" timeline.
I think my LORD takes great delight in thwarting my self-redemptive plans. :) Why? Because it's in that brokenness, with pride gone and humility leading, that I cry out for help. It's in that place of humility that God meets me. His ears are opened to my cry and His arms are outstretched.
And the best part of His rescue?? He rescues me, not because he feels sorry for me, but because He delights in me!! He reaches down from on high and takes hold of me so that His name will be glorified through the nations! So that the work He started in me, before time even began, will be completed!
We are not only told to "wait" but we are told to "Wait in HOPE." That is an action verb, not a passive noun. We are to be hopeful as we wait! We are also commanded to "Be strong and to take heart!" while we wait. Again, action verb.
I think Christians can sometimes fall in a trap when we wait for God. We can become one of two things:
1 -We can overcompensate because we think God is taking too long and we kick start our plan into action. (Completely faithless and usually where I find myself.)
2 - We become Eeyore. "Oh, I guess I'll just sit here and wait. Maybe someone will come along and help me. Maybe God might see me and take pity on me. Maybe, if he's not too busy, he'll grant me a wish or two." (Say in an Eeyore voice for the full effect.) The danger of Eeyore is that eventually, your pride will turn completely inward and turn into self-loathing. This quote from Eeyore sums it up,
"Pathetic," he said. "That's what it is. Pathetic."
He turned and walked slowly down the stream for twenty yards, splashed across it, and walked slowly back on the other side. Then he looked at himself in the water again.
"As I thought," he said. "No better from this side. But nobody minds.
That is what "Losing Heart" looks like. DON'T LOSE HEART in waiting for the LORD!
So to recap - whatever is going on, whether it's adoption, pregnancy, moving, marriage, job opportunities, healing, whatever..., don't be anxious or worried about it! Take it humbly and persistently before God in prayer, and then
"Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD." (Psalm 27:14)
And through it all, NEVER forget that the LORD is near.
"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds..."
"Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans."