It seems that no matter how busy we are, waiting is a part of life. We wait for buds on the tree to indicate that winter is finally over. We wait on test results from the doctor’s office. We wait to hear from a potential employer after a job interview. We wait in grocery store lines before we can take our food home. And isn’t it curious how much time we spend waiting for red lights to change to green?
Waiting is hard because it oftentimes involves the unknown. We don’t know what the results are going to be, nor do we know when the phone is going to ring. When we wait it usually means that we no longer have a say, and that things are out of our control. And this is the hardest part, knowing that things are going to come, and we can’t do much about it. While we try to keep our bodies and our minds occupied, the anxiety and anticipation that can come with waiting consumes us.
Plenty of scripture can help ease the tension. 1 Peter 5 encourages us to cast our anxiety on God, Matthew 6 reminds us not to worry about the future, but to focus on today. Jesus himself tells the disciples not to be afraid while they wait for the storm to pass. And while I know God is present with us in the waiting, and these words help a little bit, sometimes all we can do is just wait – knowing that all these feelings are valued and justified.
I had a supervisor who would frequently say, “I’m just waiting for a bus.” I never really understood it until now. When waiting for a bus there is nothing you can to do get the bus there faster and there is no way to know exactly when the bus will arrive. All you can do is wait for it, trusting that it will indeed come. What we can control is how we wait. So for all you of anxious waiters out there like me, perhaps we can make the waiting time a learning opportunity for ourselves – learn what it means to fully rely on God.