by Sue Duby
Never did I imagine that my latest unfolding of revelation could ever begin with soft ice cream. . . and lead to a major course correction in perspective.
I swung the freezer door open to grab my nightly cup of premium vanilla and frozen berries. As I dipped my spoon to scoop, it slid and sunk into the tub. . . not a good sign! With curiosity, I opened the refrigerator door to be greeted with a blast of warm air. Big trouble on the home front!
Three weeks living out of coolers on the back porch. Repairmen hunting for never-to-be-found parts for our 23-year-old relic. Hunting for a new one to fit a quirky space. Delays in factory orders with Covid challenges. Feeling like college youngsters working from a “dorm frig” in the garage. Week 10 and counting… “Maybe next week” we say. . . again. Waiting.
Counting days until Peter, Jenna and boys arrive for a week of family fun. Then Covid. California and Arkansas on the “watch out!” list. Flights cancelled. No clue when or how to dream up another reunion at the moment. Sad. Waiting.
Full of vision and purpose during our first “at home” weeks with Covid. Exercising daily, enjoying neighborhood walks, trying new recipes and scheduling back porch coffee dates with friends. Even feeling brave to cheer on grandsons at the baseball field. All for a few weeks. . . we thought. “Til it passes” we said. Going on week 20. . . we wait.
Watching our kids navigate their own unknowns. Will Krista find herself in teaching year 18 with a room full of kindergarteners. . . precious little ones who are clueless how to stand in a line, much less wear a mask and not hug the teacher? Will Peter ever move his “office” from the spare bedroom, working but on alert for those frequent “I need you Daddy!” cries by his boys. Waiting.
Last week it hit. That “I’m so over this!” agitation. Wrestling with that “life is on hold” feeling. . . not sure how to make plans. . . weary of needing every decision to be filtered through “is this ok to do right now?”. . . desiring to feel confident in “wise steps” daily, but never being sure. Waiting.
Then it struck. Sitting in the backyard breeze one evening before bed. Out of nowhere, a whisper -“What are you waiting for?”. With a groan, I got the message. Waiting for Covid to go away and things to be “normal”, the same as before isn’t working. I might be waiting a long time. . . or even forever . . . for that reality.
I smiled and sensed a gentle nudge from Him. “Lay down the waiting. Embrace what is right now. . . and live in the present”. No more “wait until _______” thinking, but rather a reframing of perspective. While I am waiting, live expectantly. Not waiting for what I want. . . but waiting to watch what He has planned and purposed for my days.
Waiting seems to be tied with longing. When I wait, it’s because I’m longing FOR something. . . like my new refrigerator, gathering friends in our home, having grandson sleepovers. If I can’t change circumstances, I can trust Him to give me creative ways to fill the ache in the present. As the days pass, He’s been faithful. Weekly ideas that seem to land in my thoughts out of nowhere (but I know where they’re from!). . . silly “Nana games” to send grandsons in California, spontaneous adventure drives with Chuck, sharing garden blooms with a new neighbor, texting friends “thinking of you” when they just “happen” to come to mind.
I’m choosing to no longer wait for new circumstances, but rather to wait expectantly for Him. The Lord of creation, who knows all my days and how best to fill them. Who has the future in His hand, in ways I don’t always need to understand. Who delights in showing me the next step, in all circumstances, at all times, with grace and affection in the present moment.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14
We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. Psalm 33:20
Lord, I wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God. Psalm 38:15
I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. Psalm 130:5