A very dear, young friend of mine is getting married in May. Of course she’s excited. All the buildup, anticipation, longing, and….waiting. But her wait will have a greater reward than most brides I know. She and her fiance have been together for over five years. Best friends for about that time too. And above all else, they’ve been ‘waiting’ for their wedding day. These aren’t teenagers either. They are in their mid-twenties and they made a promise to each other to glorify God and honor each other by waiting until their wedding night to fulfill the ultimate vow to another human. Complete giving of oneself.
It’s been a VERY long and hard wait. If any of you have ever been there, you know what I”m talking about. Self-denial. Massive temptation. Longing. Desire. Whew… This is NOT your McDonald’s fast food kind of waiting.
Mothers-to-be can relate. Especially if it’s your third kid or above. The LOONG wait to see your feet again, or walk ten steps without catching your breath, or going an hour without having to run to the bathroom, or sleep without stomach cramps.
What about the wait through an illness, the long hours of staying by a bedside or watching a loved one’s mind leave her body.
But Spring…and Aslan are on the way.
When God answers ‘wait’, it becomes a period of learning, like all of God’s other plans. For me, waiting feels much more difficult than a ‘no’, because it requires…patience. One of my (not so ripe) fruits on the spiritual fruit tree.
But let’s consider what happens during the wait.
My young friend and her fiance are learning self-control, a virtue that comes in handy in every detail of life. They are also learning self-sacrifice, which is the hallmark of marriage and parenting. They’re honoring God in heart and body, and God is blessing them in remarkable, tangible – as well as spiritual- ways.
Waiting teaches us trust. To build confidence in God’s choices.
Waiting may even be a way that God gets our attention. To help us see that what we prayed for isn’t REALLY what we want.
I’ve seen this with a lot of couples who actually wait long enough to figure out if the person they’re with is someone they’ll want to BE with in ten, twenty, or fifty years.
Sometimes waiting gives us time to adjust to a ‘no’ answer. For example, my mother-in-law has dementia. We’re watching her slowly fade from this world. It’s a tough journey, but the waiting from this world to her step into the next world, helps those left behind to emotionally prepare and actually GROW through the process.
Waiting might give us time to adjust to a ‘yes’ answer from God. Childbirth comes to mind. It takes every day of those nine months to get your mind wrapped around having a child, or another child, in your life.
The ultimate wait is Heaven. So while we’re waiting for our ultimate answer to prayer, let’s take the time (while we’re in this waiting room called Earth) to learn how to praise Him. Learn how to thank Him. So…when our wait is finally over, we’ll be ready for the best “yes” answer in all of history.
11For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. 12It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13while we wait for the blessed hope—the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.