The Blessing of Waiting

Earlier this week, we once again had some unexpected drama and excitement in our neighborhood from one of our neighbor families nearby.  This is a fairly common occurrence with this family, too.  As I was preparing to leave the house that morning to run a couple of quick errands, I happened to look out one of our front windows to see two police cars out front.  Based on previous experiences like this, I knew right away which house they were visiting.  I just did not know the cause this time.

It did not take long to figure out that the youngest grown son, who lives with his parents and older brother in the home, was in what my beloved grandmother would have called “a heap of trouble.”  One policeman was attempting to talk to him at the edge of the street while the other policeman was talking to his parents in their front yard.  The young man was extremely upset, to a point that did not seem normal to me when talking to a police officer.  So, that may be a bit of evidence as to the problem at hand, although I still have no clue what his real issue was.  After an hour of obviously heated discussions between officers and family members, the officers finally handcuffed the young man, frisked him and took him away in the first police vehicle.

I prayed for this family once again during that hour as I watched out my window, as well as praying for the officers and their safety.  It was obviously a very bad day for this family.  The husband has shared that their older son has been in prison twice, most recently being released earlier this year on a federal crime conviction.  Now, it seems they may walk a similar path with their younger child, too.  This family has deep, deep issues, and I pray that God will bring them all to a place of peace, reconciliation, healing and obedience soon. Hubby is good to talk to the husband fairly regularly, as he seems to be the only member of the family that is ever interested in being somewhat neighborly, and I am sure Hubby will continue to be open to talking with this man as the occasion presents itself.  I pray that God will bring others into their life that can offer real help, too.

My family also walked a very difficult path together for a time over ten years ago, and I know the feeling of having my own world turned upside down in an instant, not having a clue if the next day would even remotely resemble the days of my life that I had known to that point.  When I now see other families in turmoil, I can relate in a very real way.  It was, by far, the worst time of my life, and it all came to full fruition in the week of the 9-11 attacks, too.  I just do not think that life could have been much worse at that time, and I still feel that way today.  It was rock-bottom for me, if not for our entire family.  I’m sure our neighbors likely know this same feeling right about now, as having one or more family members with serious issues is probably one of the most stressful situations any of us will ever deal with in our lives.

In so many ways, that time period in our lives seems like a fleeting bad dream to me now.  I can hardly recognize our life as it was back then, based on the happily imperfect life we happily live today.  God performed what I consider to be a miracle healing in a family member, and my own spiritual walk forever changed, too.  If it took this nightmarish turn of events to bring me to the place I am today, then so be it.  Gods timing is always perfect, and families can (and do) heal!

One of the most difficult aspects of that time period was the endless waiting.  Waiting for breakthroughs.  Waiting for resolutions.  Waiting for God to bring clarity to that whole situation.  Waiting for just one day that was not tumultuous.  Waiting for the right people and groups to come into our lives to help.  Waiting… waiting… endless waiting.  It was maddening for me so many times.  But, I learned so much about the blessing of waiting, too.   Yes, it was a blessing to wait.  I know that now.

Bible and Cross

“But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”  — Isaiah 40:31 ESV 

That hard-learned “boot-camp” lesson on waiting continues to serve me well in my life today, although I must confess that it is still so very hard at times, especially where our loved ones are concerned.  But, I also know that God is there in a very real way in every minute of that hard wait, too.  The verse above demonstrates how actively waiting on God is a productive exercise and does not constitute cowering in a closet with heads held in shame or fear.  This is my “go to” verse when I am waiting in a particular area of my life, and I frequently find myself waiting these days in one way or another.  Certainly, there are times to act, but active waiting is a big part of life now, it seems, and I don’t think that should be a big surprise.

Active waiting has been a tremendous growth opportunity for me, and slowly but surely, God is good to help me realize the true blessing of waiting.  I cannot control others when I actively wait and let God do his thing, and that is so often the lesson God has for me in many situations.  Wait… pray… have faith… trust… act only when appropriate, not nearly so often as I want to think… trust again… pray endlessly… give thanks.  What a huge lesson this has been and continues to be, and not an easy one, for sure.  But, it is the real deal.  Just read how many times in the Bible we are told to wait.  Waiting is this way is not an idle, unproductive time, as we like to define productive so many times.  It is a highly active pursuit.

In the past few years, I have been extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work directly with some ladies who have since found themselves in the position I was in back in the fall of 2001.  I will never be able to adequately put into words how this honor has impacted my life.  Each instance has been a definite God-thing, and my life is so much fuller for being a part of the lives of these special ladies during their own times of waiting.  I can hardly speak about it without welling up in tears.

Starting today, and through the entire month of November, I am going to add a personal prayer request twice a day for families that are in turmoil, especially due to drug and alcohol issues, and waiting in their own ways.  I believe that is the take-away for me from witnessing this event in my own neighborhood this week.  While this is a personal thing for me, I hope you will consider joining me, too.  I find it interesting that this will also take place in the month of Thanksgiving, and how deeply that fact speaks to me in all of this today.

Give thanks in everything…

every… single… thing.

Yes, God… with your help.

Dear God, thank you for your unbelievable grace in our lives.  May I be an instrument of your love in a tangible way today, and help me to continue to believe in and expect unbelievable miracles.

10/24/2014 Update: Sometimes God just blows me away.  One of my online “mentors” (Beth Moore) posted this on her Twitter feed on the very day this all came down.  I just saw it this morning for the first time.  It truly got my attention once again.  Praying hard for these families.

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Author: DK

Blogger at My Five Fs (Faith - Family - Food - Fotos - Fun) and Animal Wonder. Empty-nester that now shares life with my hubby and our two standard poodles. Enjoys camping in our RV, taking and editing photos, trying new low-carb recipes, baking pretty decorated cookies for special occasions, walking daily, spending time with family and friends when we can, playing with the dogs, and is grateful to God for every single day of this blessed life and for the opportunity to share and connect with some great people here.

9 thoughts on “The Blessing of Waiting”

  1. Ahhhhh…. waiting….
    For 25 years I was a bi-vocational pastor and I loved what I did. But there came a time when my own theology took a turn from what my congregation believed and I needed to leave them for their sake. People came up to me after our departure all worried about our spiritual state, and all worried that we weren’t finding a new spiritual home as quickly as they thought we should.
    I found myself reminding them that God’s time clock is different than our own. Moses thought he was doing God service by slaying an Egyptian who harmed one of his fellows — and to get Moses ready for the next job God had for him what did God do, but to put Moses out in the Wilderness with a flock of sheep — for 25 years.
    And AFTER 25 years Moses was finally ready to do the job that God had for him.
    I our computerized world where nothing seems to happen fast enough we need to recapture some of the sense of REAL time. God works for eternity — and as witness we have Sequoia’s and Redwoods, tortoises and quasars and comets that return every 176 years.
    I was going through my own little ‘hellish’ period of waiting over our house — but my woes were inconsequential compared to others who suffered more — but to ME they were serious. And maybe that’s part of what we need to learn — that suffering is personal. What might throw you for a loop might be duck soup for me, and vice versa. It’s not the actual trial we endure — it’s what we do with it.
    God is good, all the time.
    All the time, God is good.

    by grace,
    Peter

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  2. This is very appropriate for our family at this time. We are going through a time of intense pain and feeling betrayed by a family member….what a hard time, but through it all, I keep remembering that God is good and He will bring something good out of this mess….He already has, and I trust He will do more…thanks for this post. Blessings..

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    1. I’m so sorry to hear this news, sweet friend. I am adding your family to my list today. Betrayal is a hard, hard thing, especially in families. I know how you trust God in all things and pray that you will know God in an even deeper way through this tragedy. I’m blessed to pray for you this next month. Thanks for letting me know. Wish I could give you a hug in person! 😉

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    2. Brenda, please check a quick update to the end of this post as you have time. This is for you, sweet friend. I am just absolutely blown away by God once again. Continuing in prayer for your family. ❤

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  3. Beautiful post full of God’s truth, my friend. That verse in Isaiah is my hubby’s favorite verse and it is on his office wall here at home. Waiting is never easy but oh, so rewarding when we trust and thank God. By the way, in case you didn’t get my comment on your updated post, this post did not appear in my reader. I clicked the link in your update to get here.

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    1. A dear friend and mentor explained waiting to me one time as advanced faith. More and more, I think I know what she means. So many hurting families going through hard times, especially due to substance abuse but for other reasons, too. Just feel called to pray hard right now. And, just since I posted that update post, a dear friend sent me a note that one of her own relatives had committed suicide. Need to pray and pray and pray somemore, probably long after a month is over. Many families waiting and looking for answers where their own loved ones are concerned. My heart aches for them. Thanks for your kind words and for letting me know the first post did not show up in Reader. I appreciate it!

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