I'm not a good wait-er. I marvel at people to whom time means little, who can smile at the future and yet not strive for it, who can live fully in this moment without always longing for the next.
I, on the other hand, am by nature impatient, impulsive, spontaneous.
I think sometimes this is one of the reasons that God allowed me several years of pain, depression, and immobility. All of these mitigate against impulsiveness...life slows down to what can seem an agonizingly slow pace.
But I want to run. Shoot, sometimes I just want to be able to walk.
And God says, "Wait."
In fact, he tells me in Isaiah 40:31 that it is only when I learn to wait that He will allow me to run without being weary, to walk without fainting. One of the beautiful, excruciating paradoxes of the Christian life.
Even that isn't the whole story.
This waiting is not a generic waiting, as in a line at the bank. It is waiting "on the Lord." It's not just waiting for something...it's a deliberate, an intentional slowing down to wait on Him and His answers in my life.
I think I always expected that this would get easier with age, you know? That the years would bring a patience, a mellowness to life. In many ways I have mellowed, but not so much in the area of waiting.
There are still things in my life for which I desperately long...desires and dreams that threaten to consume me if I let them. I look at the calendar and remember that I'm already in my fifties, and my heart panics. Barring a medical miracle, the number of years in front of me is smaller than those behind, and some of my longings, old ones and new ones, seem no closer to reality than they ever were.
Wait on Him...yet the time seems the enemy. One more candle each year marches me to the end of life with the possibility that many of my longings will die with me.
So where do I put those desires? Must I lay them all on my own Moriah, willing to let them go if God wills? Or do I cling to His promise that when I delight in Him, He will give me the desires of my heart? Someone told me years ago that this only meant that in delighting in Him, all my desires would change and I would only want what He wanted. Though I'm sure there's truth there, part of me feels like the child who's told not to focus on the birthday gifts he's waiting for...that he should just be happy with the meaningful things written on the cards.
49, 50, 51, 52, 53....
The hopes grow dim at times. I despair of ever seeing the things I long for. My tenuous grasp of God's plan for my life seems at time to weaken rather than getting stronger with the years. I believe in His matchless goodness...and yet my own impatience mocks me with the thought that I must be doubting that His goodness is for me.
I come to the end of this page with no answers, only questions. And a deep, abiding hope that I will one day close my eyes on a life at peace with the paradoxes, content with even the longings I carry with me into the presence of the Father.