August 28, 2012 by A Girl Like Me
On Saturday, Simon and I drove three hours to see Jeff play a show at a nearby amusement/water park. It was a chance to have a fun family day and be together someplace new. There was a kiddie train off in one area of the park that we knew Simon would love. We set off in the direction of the train, all the while hearing Simon mutter “Chu-choo” over and over again. When we finally arrived, we were met with a line of people waiting to go. We told Simon he had to wait for the choo-choo to come, so he must be patient. Tears filled up in his little eyes as the thought of waiting for the train set in. Moments passed and the train finally pulled up into the station. Excitement and joy flooded his face as the line began to move and the hopes of boarding the train were coming to light. Just as we were approaching the gate, the conductor told us to stop and said that we would have to wait for the next ride. Panic ensued as my young son saw his beloved “chu-choo” ride off into the distance, leaving him behind. We again reminded him that he had to wait, and that it would be worth it when our turn finally came. Eventually, the train did return, and with a grin that would melt your heart, Simon got to ride his choo-choo. It wasn’t until later that evening when reflecting on the day, that I began to see myself in the situation of Simon and the train.
You don’t have to look very far to see that we live in a culture that is all about instant gratification. With a click of a button or a swipe of your finger you can watch a movie, buy a ticket to travel around the world, order food, get that new dress you’re dying to have, and see if that cute boy you like has finally dumped his girlfriend. Our culture has taught us that if we want it, we can have it and have it now. So it makes complete sense that when we come to God with our needs and wants, we desire that same form of instant gratification. And when God chooses to make us wait…well… all hell can break loose.
It took Jeff and I nine months of trying for a baby before I got pregnant with Simon. In those nine months seven of my friends all got pregnant. You heard me….SEVEN. With each baby announcement from friends and each failed pregnancy test from me, my heart became more angry and bitter towards God. Like Simon, I felt like I was waiting in line to ride the train only to be told by God that it still wasn’t my turn. There would be nights that I would sit on my bed crying out to Jesus, begging him to just let me have a baby. When he didn’t come through….I began to feel like he had simply just forgotten about me. I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t grant me such a deep desire of my heart, especially when I knew he was the one who put it there in the first place.
I know that there are some of you who feel like God has forgotten you. Some of you feel so alone and wonder if you’ll ever find true friendship. I know some of you feel like you may never find that spouse and God has chosen to leave you single forever. Some of you long to find freedom from a stronghold, and can’t understand why God won’t simply just set you free. You have cried out to God in your pain and sorrow, only to feel like you have been met with complete silence. It’s like the story of Daniel. Daniel had been fasting and praying and asking God to help save his people. Three weeks passed and there was nothing. No word or sign that God had heard Daniels prayer. He was beginning to grow tired and week, and almost at the end of his rope. It was at the end of those three weeks that an angel came to Daniel and told him that he was sent by the Lord to fulfill Daniels prayer. In verse 12 of chapter 10 the angel says, “Do not fear, Daniel, for from the first day that you set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard; and I have come because of your words.” And then in verse 13 he continues with a “ But….” You see, God had not forgotten Daniels prayer nor did he not desire to answer it. God had to work out some of the “buts” before Daniels prayer could be answered.
As hard as it is to accept, the Lord does not work on our time table. He is outside of time and space, weaving together our story from start to finish. He has no need to rush because he knows how it will all work out in the end. But because we cannot see nor understand his total sovereignty, we have to have faith that he knows what he is doing. Look at Isaiah 49:14-16a “But Zion said,“The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.” “Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands.”” Beloved girl, if we are in Christ, we are not forgotten, we are embedded into our heavenly father’s heart and etched upon his hands. And because we are so precious to him, he wants to make sure that we don’t just have what’s best right now, he wants us to have HIS best. Author John Ortberg puts it like this: “Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.”
Had I gotten pregnant even one month sooner than I did, I wouldn’t have had Simon. I wouldn’t have been able to see my anger for God was keeping me from being friends with Kelly. I wouldn’t have been able to spend those extra special months embracing the life Jeff and I had together as just the two of us. And I wouldn’t have been able to draw near to the Lord and allow him to mend my heart in the best of ways, making me a better woman and mother. It was in the moments of wait that God came close. And it was in those moments that I could begin to see the aching of HIS heart more clearly.
Precious friend, there is joy to be found in your season of wait. Know that God does hear you. He is diligently knitting together the fabric of your story, making it perfect. He has not forgotten you, he is just beckoning you to come close so that he may show you all that he would have for you. Put your hope in his love and sovereignty, and when you do, you will find true joy in the wait.