By Khristy Hullett
Waiting stinks. For all that we counsel our kids to be patient and reel it off as one of the fruits of the spirit, do you actually know any patient people? People who truly don't mind waiting in traffic, waiting at the DPS, waiting in the school line, waiting to check out at Wal-Mart … ? My patience-ometer is kind of schizophrenic. It veers way up and way down with little warning, depending on how tired I am, how hot it is outside, and how much the kids are fighting.
Not to mention we live in a world that virtually condemns patience. Instant gratification is the name of the game. We TIVO our shows; we buy everything on credit (often at 0% interest, but still); we buy phones that do everything except fly the space shuttle so we can make the most of every minute. I mean, can you imagine living in a world where you had to do a daily shop and couldn't defrost or cook things in the microwave? People used to set out meat to thaw? Really! Okay, I'm being a little sarcastic now, but there is still a grain of truth buried in those sentences.
I've found myself in a bind over the last few months. I know of some bad things that have happened and of some changes that need to be made in my church. Change is required—demanded even, by justice. Here's my conundrum, however; I want to snap my fingers and for everything to be made right, hearts to be changed, wounds instantly healed. I'm afraid, though, that God's timing and mine are not in sync. I want him to wave his magic wand and make it all better. Unfortunately, that is not going to be the case, as best I can tell. I've had to readjust my thinking and remember that without valleys, there are no mountain tops. I've hated every second of it. For all that I've prayed about the situation, I never quite accepted the fact that I was not in control, that I didn't have all the answers.
Which in a completely roundabout and convoluted way, brings me back to my life, my family, and my children. PATIENCE is becoming my daily prayer. Don't laugh, other mothers of young children. I know we often pray for patience as the tenth piece of food flies to the floor, as yet another shoe disappears never to be seen again, as we break up the 23rd fight of the morning … but I'm not talking about that often-prayed-for patience to survive the day with everyone still intact mentally and physically. The patience I'm talking about is the patience to wait on God even when He doesn't give us the answers we crave. When will I finally get pregnant? Why did I miscarry? Why does my child have a hole in his heart? And then moving on to the later years: Why can't my child read? Why did her friend stab her in the back? When will she stop seeing me as the enemy? How do we break the hold of drugs/alcohol/controlling boyfriends?
We want things done and we want them done now. Do we leave God out of the equation? Can we not be bothered to wait on him? Some hard lessons have come my way as of late. I'll be honest. I can't see the way through. I'm not getting the answers and the immediate results I want. But I am learning to wait and to put things in the hands of the only one who ever truly does have control.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)