You’ve heard the statement… nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. Let’s add another certain reality… waiting. We all wait… for something. Some wait longer, wait more patiently, more often. But we all are waiting.
I so wish I would write only of happy worlds, positive happenings… never imagining there are painful and tearful questions to ask. If I did, you would think I was living in another place, another time, and you would be right. And I would be an irresponsible blogger.
I don’t have writer’s block these days. I wait… for the right words… for you, for me. I listen closely for that word. Often it evades me in these dark, sad times.
Reading Psalms has always been part of my journey to Now. Learning to listen to the cries and joys expressed by the psalmists was a beautiful gift. As I waited for life to begin… anew… during the months spent recovering from Lyme while in Europe and then from Q-fever in 2016. I waited… words from Psalms encouraged and soothed my troubled days.
David was running for his life, and he was waiting… in a cave. We can see his source of Hope as he waits, “I will take refuge in the shadow of Your wings until the disaster has passed.” Psalm 57:1b
Three hundred people were asked… what do you have to live for? They were not in a cave! Nine of ten responded: I am waiting … on a new job, a move to a new place, when I get well, when I finish my degree, a big trip I have planned… etc, etc, etc. (Psychologist William Moulton Marston from a reprint dated in1963.)
And we are still waiting… for that elusive tomorrow.
There is another kind of waiting—in the minutes and hours of our days. We use many words to express waiting; a hopeful anticipation, expect, look for, bide one’s time, pause… and more. What do we do while we wait? I keep listening even in the dark times, in the storms to the Lord’s whispers: Whispers on the Journey by Barb Suiter (available on Amazon.)
According to Market Watch, February 2016, the average American will spend 43 days of his/her life on hold… literally on hold. You know… waiting for someone on the other end of the phone to get back with you. I am not sure if this statistic takes my breath or makes me angry. We wait in traffic; in Europe we waited for the tram, the train, the bus. We wait in the doctor’s office… we wait and we wait.
How do we wait for the next dose of dark news? A friend recently said, “It’s as if a black curtain is hanging over the entire world… waiting to roll down over us.” Wow! How do we wait on this? Is there a way to wait in hope?
My thoughts shift these days from the world uncertainties blasted before us on the big screen to the uncertainties and questions arising locally from Hurricanes Fred, Henri and this week, it is Ida. And Covid… How are we to wait for the next storm? Tom and I waited eighteen hours to hear from a daughter who lives in the path of Hurricane Ida.
What did I do when waiting to hear news of her and a grandson as Ida made landfall? Sadly, I did not wait joyfully… but I had hope. The two Hebrews words for wait are often translated hope, an expectant hope. This would be much too long to go into a word study of qavah and yachal. I do like the meaning ‘a hopeful anticipation’, a waiting with intention. To look forward in readiness.
Would you believe this was my whisper the morning after Ida’s entrance into Louisiana: “I am still confident of this; I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. WAIT for the Lord; be strong and take heart and Wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13,14. An army was after David, and he knew war against him was imminent, yet, he could affirm, “In the day of trouble, the Lord will keep me safe… will hide me… will set me high on a rock…v5.
You, O Lord, are our only Hope… as we wait…
Father, you are full of compassion, I commit and commend myself unto you, in whom I am, and live and know. Be the Goal of my pilgrimage, and my Rest by the way. Let my soul take refuge from the crowding turmoil of worldly thoughts beneath the shadow of your wings; let my heart, this sea of restless waves, find peace in you, O God. St. Augustine in Little Book of Prayers