Waiting on God -- What do you do when God says wait?
By Debra Torres As kids projects go, the one my daughter brought home the other day takes the cake.
After having five kids, you can probably imagine that I’ve seen my share of what Styrofoam cups, Popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners have to offer in children’s crafting.
But this project was different. It was an Easter garden complete with clay saucer base, pebbles and a healthy mound of peat.
And because of my interest in gardening, you can imagine that my ears perked up when I found out that seeds were involved.
As I gave the garden a closer look, a tiny clay pot tomb caught my eye. It lay on its side and its open end poked out from the mound of dirt. Three twig crosses on the hill above it were a somber reminder.
It was a heart-stopping diorama and I had a hard time taking my eyes off it.
Grass seed sprinkled on top of the dirt blew away with the wind as we took the project inside. But enough remained for us to soak it with a good spray of water twice a day.
Anxiously, we watched and waited for my daughter’s garden to sprout. But each day that we searched the dirt for even a tiny showing of green, we were left disappointed.
Yesterday, when I voiced my doubts to my daughter about the garden’s delayed germination I immediately regretted it. Crying a bit, she brought the garden to the kitchen table and said that it would never grow.
I have to admit that all the while I tried to encourage her I had my own doubts. Maybe the seed was bad or it was the wrong kind for this sort of project. But this morning as I sat down to breakfast, I looked at the garden again and was amazed at what I saw.
Sprouts of green grass that weren’t visible even the day before now flecked the mound of dirt above the Easter tomb!
“It’s growing,” my daughter squealed with delight when I called her down.“I can’t believe it’s growing!”
Why is it when we are made to wait for something, our minds often jump to the dismal conclusion that the thing hoped for will never happen? Sometimes it seems that when God makes us wait we equate that with a big “No.”
Maybe this is because giving up is somehow easier. Waiting requires faith and perseverance through some pretty dark corridors of doubt. It requires a lot of prayer and hope even when there is none to be had.
My friend Melissa took on the waiting journey of her life a few years ago when she and her husband made the decision to adopt two little Haitian girls. God had already been speaking to their hearts about adoption and on a mission trip in June 2011, they found 11-month-old Ruth and her twin sister Naomi in an orphanage and fell in love.
But Melissa will probably tell you that making the initial decision to adopt the girls was a whole lot easier than the pain involved in her “roller coaster” waiting process.
Even now, after their share of of ups and downs, political problems still stand in the couple’s way of bringing the girls home.
I asked Melissa to share about her waiting process she said, “When God promises, it's a promise. We don't have to worry “IF,” because God “WILL.” He's the true meaning of trust. We question because we know broken trust. But God doesn't. He is able to be trusted! When he calls you and me to something- He will fulfill it.
“That has been the most encouraging fact to me in these days of turmoil and fighting for our girls. I am confident He has led us to Ruth and Naomi at this time. I do believe there are lessons to be learned in the waiting. That's where the preparation takes place. It's not fun and not easy, but I am grateful that I serve a God who knows what I need, better than I know myself. I would be foolish not to trust Him.”
Maybe, as Melissa puts it so well, waiting has a whole lot to do with trust. And if we’re found lacking in that area, we’re quick to believe the worst.
Can you imagine the trust-challenge the disciples must have experienced when Jesus died? They had sacrificed all they had to follow him. The Jewish people had waited many long years for the Messiah and the one the disciples trusted in now dies?
Do they wait some more, or do they just give up hope?
As we all know, even though the disciples couldn’t see it, God was still at work fulfilling his promise with a resurrected savior.
We may need a lawnmower for the grass in our Easter garden soon and now there are even little flower seeds starting to sprout.
Waiting has had its rewards after all.
What are you waiting for?
**Just a week after after I wrote this article, Melissa and her husband received word that their adoption decree is now final. This means that their adoption is now recognized by the Haitian government. Melissa says they still have a ways to go before Haiti will issue the girls' passports and then they will also need U.S. visas before they can come home, but this is a huge step and Melissa said she's very encouraged!
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!
Psalm 130:5-6 New King James Version
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, And in His word I do hope. My soul waits for the Lord More than those who watch for the morning-- Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.
Psalm 25:4-5 The Voice (VOICE)
DEMONSTRATE Your ways, O Eternal One. Teach me to understand so I can follow. EASE me down the path of Your truth. FEED me Your word because You are the True God who has saved me. I wait all day long, hoping, trusting in You.