#Lent14 — Learning to Like the Wait

As we have done in previous Lent and Advent seasons, we are again blogging our way through the Lenten Lectionary Texts.  In this season, our prayer is that we will bless and inspire you in your walk between the Now and Not-Yet of the Kingdom.  We pray that our meditations will be life-giving to you in your journey.

A reading from the Psalms.

Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; Lord, hear my voice.  Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.

If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?  But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.

I wait for the LORD, my who being waits, and in his word I put my hope.  I wait for the LORD more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.

Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.  He himself will redeem Israel form all their sins.

Psalm 130 (NIV)

This is the Word of The Lord.

As the wheels of the 737 in which we were riding touched the ground in Guatemala, my wife began to hum a melody that I’d never heard before.  As we deplaned, she told me that she had just written a song based on today’s scripture text.  Little did she know that in the village where we would be drilling a well with Living Water and a team from Acts 2 United Methodist Church just a day-and-a-half later, villagers had been praying and fasting for three years for clean water.

Waiting.  More than watchmen wait for the morning.

We learned a lot about waiting while we were in Guatemala.  Listening to the stories of how for three years they prayed that a team would come and drill a well for them.  Watching the joy on the faces of the villagers as they worked alongside the “Gringos” who had come to help them.

Like watchmen wait for the morning, these villagers waited for help.  They waited for “God’s sunrise to break in among” them (Luke 1:78).

Waiting is a tough place in which to be.  It’s that place between a promise and fulfillment.  It’s that place that lies somewhere in between.  It’s a place where God asks us to keep trusting Him.    But, that’s hard.

It’s in the waiting that long to be doing.  I don’t want to wait.  I don’t want to be like those villagers in Guatemala.  Stuck in a seemingly never ending cycle without resolution.

These past few months have been season of waiting for us.  I spend the first part of this season resting.  Something that we needed.  We went to doctor’s appointments and dentist appointments.  We walked through some health issues.

But, then, the waiting became frustrating.  We weren’t doing.  And, I hated it.  I didn’t want to be not doing.  Then, I learned something about waiting.  I learned that it doesn’t mean that God has “benched” you.  I learned that it didn’t mean God was upset with the way you were doing things.  I learned that it simply meant that God had something better for me.

I learned that the something better that He had was learning to trust Him in the waiting.  God wants us to trust Him in the doing, but also in the not doing.

Most importantly, I learned that in the season of not-waiting life wasn’t about doing.  Rather, life—in both the waiting and the not waiting—was about BEING.  It is all about being with God in the in-between.

And, so, if nothing else in the season of waiting which we have been in, I’ve learned the beauty of waiting.  I’ve learned how to stop doing and start being.  I’ve learned how rest and refreshing comes in those seasons.  I’ve learned to embrace the wait.  I’ve learned that I can’t survive the seasons of sowing or harvesting without the seasons of waiting to sow or waiting to harvest.

Most importantly, I’ve learned that I can trust even in the waiting.

This is what an answered prayer looks like.

This is what an answered prayer looks like.

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