Funny how these things work. Several weeks ago Shanna asked me to choose a topic to share on the Illustrated Faith blog over a few weeks, and the Lord put it on my heart to talk about waiting. I thought, “Oh great, I just came out of a season of waiting, this should be a piece of cake.” And it was, if by being a piece of cake He meant I’d eat my words.
We’re always waiting. As soon as we get to what we are waiting for, we find the next thing to mark on the calendar or the next accomplishment to strive for, causing the waiting game to continue. My most recent season of waiting was six months of applying for jobs, driving back and forth across state lines to interview, only to receive rejection after rejection. The waiting came to an end with a job and a whirlwind of a move to a new city… but then what happened? I picked something else to wait for. Something further on the horizon. And the waiting game continued.
When I think about waiting, MANY figures in the Bible come to mind, particularly women. But one that has recently intrigued me is Hannah, the mother of the Old Testament prophet Samuel. She wanted a child so badly, and for years she asked God to answer her cries. Her husband lavished love upon her and doted on her, but his other wife was the only one bearing children. Peninnah provoked her, teased her, flaunted her lineage over the barron women, and Hannah continued to cry out to the Father above.
Hannah prayed to God saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me… I will give [my son] to the Lord for all the days of his life…” (1 Samuel 1:11) She pressed in in prayer so fervently, praying in her heart so earnestly, that the priest Eli thought she was drunk. Her response: “I am a woman who is deeply troubled… I was pouring out my soul to the Lord.” (1 Samuel 1:15 NIV)
Then what happened? “…the Lord remembered her.” THAT’S what happened!
Her waiting lasted YEARS, and then once she received the precious gift from above, she stayed true to her word and gave him up. Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord, and he spent his days ministering and living under the very priest who had questioned his passionately praying mother.
Have you ever bargained with God? I know I have. I know I have also failed to live up to my end of the bargain. But God (aren’t those words so sweet… BUT GOD!) remains faithful. He hears our cries. He sees our suffering. His heart is broken for ours as we wade through our trials and our toughest hours.
God is at work in the wait. God is at home in the wait. The wait does not unsettle Him. The wait does not frustrate Him. To Him a thousand years is but a day, and so the wait is but the blink of an eye.
May we trust Him, leaning in with our whole hearts, unafraid to pour out our souls to Him. He will come. And He is worth the wait.
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