Our son got back last night from a five-day senior trip he took with his class to Virginia. It was like a trial run, for us, finding out what it feels like with him gone. When he's away at college next year, thirteen hours away by car ride, this is what it will feel like in our house: it will feel unnaturally quiet, calm, and a tad boring I think. Our son certainly livens up our home. (He's a creative techno-genius who plays his music loud and is usually engrossed in some media project where I have to make him come up for air!)
Our daughter missed him terribly, and even the dog had gastro-intestinal problems all week, nervous and confused with Alex gone. Harry laid on his bed, daily, and looked out the window for "his boy" to come home. When our son returned last night, we fed him some homemade banana bread I had made that afternoon, and listened to his account of his time away. It was so good to have him back.
Waiting for him to return got me thinking about the subject of waiting, in general. I've never liked waiting and I have to confess that I've never seen much redemptive value in it. I know its necessary to wait for good things, but I've always felt that waiting was like taking medicine: you do it because you have to, not because it's a pleasant experience.
But this morning I was drawn to this verse from Isaiah 30, and I noticed something I hadn't "seen" before. We are not the only ones who do a lot of waiting. God waits too- and He waits purposefully. He waits- not because He has to, not because He is forced to, but because He longs to be gracious to us. So He therefore waits for opportunities to display His goodness. He waits for us to be ready for Him so that He can make "Good happen"in our lives.
"And therefore the Lord [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) are all those who [earnestly] wait for Him, who expect and look and long for Him [for His victory, His favor, His love, His peace, His joy, and His matchless, unbroken companionship]!" Isaiah 30:18 Amplified
When I first looked up this verse to check the Hebrew word for "wait", I thought the "waiting" that God did might be different than the waiting we have to do, but it's not so. God waits or tarries (in Hebrew chakah ) to be good to us, and we are blessed when we wait (chakah) for Him.
If He can do it, so can I- the waiting, that is. If God can bear to wait for us, if He can wait and long for us to perceive His presence and His heart toward us, then I can surely wait for Him with great expectation and anticipation. I can wait for God to manifest His power in my life- and the waiting doesn't have to be a negative experience. I can wait with anticipation, wondering What will God do next?! How will He do it? What amazing thing does He want to do in my life?
Remember that line from that song- "Anticipation is making me wait"? Well, it's not anticipation that keeps me waiting. It's the God Who does great things who makes me want to wait for Him, for whatever He does next. And as I wait, I'm quite busy preparing myself- body, mind, and spirit- to grab ahold of what He's going to do. Because let me tell you, it's going to be amazing.