I will readily admit – patience is not one of my virtues. Yet it seems God often requires me to learn more about patience in his school of waiting.
After two years living in limbo land, I am still waiting and wondering…when will the answers come?
How much longer do I need to wait? What is the deciding factor that is keeping me in this place of limbo?
Is there a deeper purpose than even the waiting – a reasoning God wants me to grasp, a circumstance someone else needs to piece together – something that affects both of us?
On a larger scale than just my small life, when will our communities learn that diversity is a good thing – that we can add to each other’s lives by embracing our differences as much as we do our commonalities? When?
A Facebook friend has watched her little boy endure countless surgeries. He’s lived in the hospital longer than he’s lived at home. When will their endless waiting end? When?
The 36-hour day team-tags caregivers to Alzheimer’s patients. The body refuses to die even as the brain deteriorates. When will endurance result in release? The only way to end the Alzheimer’s journey is to hold the hand of a loved one as she is ushered into eternity.
Writers wait to hear from publishers who hold their words hostage within committee meetings. The words scream to be heard and passed on. When will the answer come?
In their workbook, “Living Into the Answers,” authors Isenhower and Todd write, “If we leave ourselves open to God’s leading, even in the midst of asking the questions, often God sends us into areas we have not considered.”
New areas we have not previously considered…or possibly…God will lead us into a spiritual haven where we can reframe our questions.
How can we find hope while we wait? How can we best live in our waiting rooms without giving way to the frustrations of impatience?
When, God, when?
I wonder what it must have felt like in the 400-year silence between the Old and New Testaments. For centuries, one decade after another, the people waited for their Messiah.
Generations died out. Saints did not receive the promise, yet somehow hope lived on.
Grandfathers continued to share the stories of a miracle-working God. Mothers tucked their children into bed and whispered, “Maybe tomorrow Messiah will come.”
Yet the tomorrows stretched into the next year and the next.
Then – when he did come – he was so radical and so unlike the Messiah they expected – they didn’t recognize the wait was finally over.
Instead of rejoicing, they rejected him and killed him. Now, 2000 years later, they still wait because they haven’t recognized what happened.
As we seek the end of limbo land, maybe we are looking in the wrong location. Maybe the happy ending already happened in a manger in Bethlehem, a hillside sermon, an empty tomb outside the city of Jerusalem.
As I wait for my limbo land to end, I wonder…has it come and gone and passed me by? Did I somehow miss the answer and if so, how do I retrieve it?
Perhaps our When questions are wrapped in the discontent of our days. We can’t truly find the resolve because God’s When is not controlled by time.
Maybe the eternal one who longs for us to trust him plants the answers in the everyday-ness of life and then waits for us to locate him.
Yet as we wait, God sustains and holds us in the palm of his mighty hand.
Instead of waiting and longing and yearning for a change, perhaps we need to just accept today and find the joy in whatever positives surround us.
All the answers will someday be given by the One who is wisdom itself.
Maybe the restlessness of my spirit is merely my heart’s cry for a deeper intimacy with the One who provides the answer in Himself.
At least with Him beside me, I can imagine Hope.
©2016 RJ Thesman, Author of the Reverend G trilogy