Nearly every day of our lives we are involved in some sort of waiting, whether that wait is a mere pause or a prolonged period of expectation.
We have happy waiting: for marriage…a baby…Christmas…a birthday.
We have annoying waiting: for a red light…being put on hold…a construction zone…a crowded restaurant.
We have dreaded waiting: for a job interview…for a doctor visit…for a test result…for a lay-off.
In our nation and in our world right now, we are waiting in a way that none of us could have anticipated even a month ago. Will we get the virus? Will we get laid off? Will we have a shut-down of our state?
Will we have enough food…and toilet paper?!
Yesterday I realized another form of waiting happening in a group of people that I honestly had not thought about.
The grieving. The ones who have lost loved ones to death and now must wait in most cases to properly grieve that loss.
I was scanning the obituaries in our newspaper. Read some of the instructions that were printed concerning funerals or memorial services:
…at a date to be determined, once restrictions are lifted on gatherings in public.
…to be held at a later date when everyone is safe to attend the services.
…delayed due to the current virus pandemic.
Friends are welcome to stop by in groups of 10 or less.
In light of current gathering restrictions, a private memorial service will be held at a later date.
…service will be held at a later date due to current events.
Just today I heard that an old friend’s husband had died. He was a decorated veteran. Sadly, his funeral tomorrow will only be attended by family. Friends who would want to visit the family must wait until our health crisis has passed.
Waiting to comfort.
Waiting to grieve in the way needed.
These very strange times are bringing new challenges to us every day, it seems. There are so many ways that this Coronavirus pandemic is impacting us! Ways that make us shake our heads and say, “Goodness, I never thought of that!”
But this is also the time for a certain waiting that will be the best waiting of all.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)
This waiting is not waiting for an event. It’s not waiting for the next news report. It’s not waiting for the next shoe to drop.
When we know the Lord and we walk with the Lord, then we learn to wait for the Lord.
We live in continued confidence, as my ESV note says.
All around us things may be crazy and uncertain and scary and disheartening. God didn’t say He would make all our surroundings a bed of roses every day.
But He did say that in the midst of the crazy, we add waiting for Him to the top of our waiting list.
Wait for Him to speak to us.
Wait for Him to show His power.
Wait for Him to comfort us.
Wait for Him to meet our needs.
Live in the continued confidence brought on by the strength and courage He gives us, and by knowing that He loves us.
Live in the continued confidence of knowing WHO God is.
God isn’t surprised by any of this virus business. I believe He’s taking away some things we’ve come to rely upon more than Him… giving this old world a chance to know Him before it’s too late.
Maybe God is waiting, too.
Waiting for each of us to stop and think about Him…talk to Him…accept the gift of His Son in our lives.
Let’s not waste this waiting time.