By MVC Guest Author, Karen Barstow
It seems that much of our life involves waiting! As infants, we cry out awaiting the relief of
hunger or discomfort. As toddlers, waiting for our turn with a toy or turn to get pushed on the
swing seems such a long time. Waiting to go to school with older brothers or sisters, waiting for
the bus, waiting for mom or dad or grandparent to pick us up after school—minutes and minutes
can seem like hours of waiting. How did that waiting time impact you? Hopefully, you came
through those times with the experience that your adults responded in time to make you feel safe
and comfortable and loved.
As teens and young adults, we experience waiting all of the time! Waiting for a boy/girl to call,
waiting for an invite to a significant event, waiting for graduating from one grade level or school
site to another, waiting for test results or grades to come in, waiting for college or career days,
waiting to be old enough to date or stay out after an early hour, you can surely reflect back on
your personal times of waiting that were unique to your life!
As adults, married partners, parents, employees, or employers, our lives are full of waiting!!
Waiting in happy excitement for your wedding day, waiting for those babies to arrive, waiting
for summer to arrive, waiting for school to restart so those kids go back to school, waiting for
vacations from work though you might dread the work to prepare to get away, waiting for your
husband or wife to fix something he/she promised to work on months ago. The waiting periods
in our lives occur throughout our days and years in constant repetition.
Waiting can be frustrating, annoying, boring, and sometimes frightening even, however it can also be
a busy time when we are preparing for an event to complete like building a home or preparing a
nursery. How much time have you spent sitting at stop lights, standing in line at the grocery
store or bank, waiting in the child pick-up line at school? How about waiting for the doctor to
call with test results, waiting to learn whether your loan application went through?
The question I ask here is How Do You Handle Waiting? Do you plan ahead to use the time
productively, do you work to breathe through it so that impatience and or boredom do not flare?
I learned as a busy, working mom that times alone waiting were frankly useful: do menu
planning, update your “to do” list, make the grocery list. It wasn’t until my more mature years,
that I learned that waiting times were one of the best times to simply close my eyes and talk to
God, the Holy Spirit, or to Jesus. It is a great time to give thanks as you look at those around
you. It is a good time to ask for guidance in the tasks ahead. It is a perfect time to ask for peace
and assurance before getting into that appointment or that check-out time, or the car loaded with
noisy kids each wanting your attention all at once.
As Christians, we learn from the Word that our waiting is filled with Hope. Kelsey described
“Hope” last Sunday morning as “waiting with confidence.” I have often been impatient with the
Lord wanting answers to come more quickly or “my” plan to evolve. But the Lord has always
come through in His time with His plan and so I smile while I wait with patient assurance.