Waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . .
I feel like Bilbo . . . thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread. I’ve been holding my breath for so long now, I’ve forgotten how to breathe properly.
Been waiting for over five months now for an answer to a very important question. It’s like hanging, being suspended, at the mercy of ‘other.’ But it shouldn’t be.
It’s all about faith. Of course it is. Isn’t most of life about faith?
I often take inspiration from my favourite OT character, Abraham. Promised a son by a Voice. Then kept waiting for 25 years. 25 years! I have thought deeply about this. Why did Abraham have to wait for so long?
How are faith and waiting connected?
We tend to think of waiting as a sedentary or at least, a static act. Waiting at the bus stop. Waiting by the phone. But godly waiting can’t possibly be static. Abraham certainly didn’t stay where he was. Indeed, he travelled a huge amount. All over the place. He never stayed in the same place for very long.
So, when I think about waiting, I have come to see it as something we do actively.
But how can you wait actively?
Abraham, we’re told, believed God. He believed. And every time he failed to live as though he really believed, he got himself into trouble. He lied – twice – about his wife on visits to Egypt, because he feared man, not God. And he slept with the maid, when the waiting was just too much. His faith evaporated, and his life reflected the unbelief.
In some ways, we’re all waiting. During the day, we wait for the quiet of evening. During the week, we wait for the weekend. During term time we wait for the holidays.
But we don’t stop living.
We live as faithfully as we can during the week, with eyes on the present, but hearts also anticipating a glorious future. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. (Rom 8.19). Along with the creation, we’re waiting for the Day of the Lord, when God’s glory will be revealed.
This thing I’m waiting for is out of my control. I’m tired now and I struggle. But I believe. And if Abraham had to wait for 25 years for the son of the promise, then I’m in good company. One of my chapters is entitled ‘Greater Goods.’
In fact, the whole book is really about growth.
Why did I think I could write about growth without actually growing?