Monday, June 12, 2017

The Perpetual Waiting Room of Life

Jane remembers well being 12 years old. She couldn't wait to finish the seventh grade. She couldn't wait to turn 13 and be a real-deal teenager. She couldn't wait to grow up and get married and live happily ever after.

It was only a few years later that Jane met John. They had to wait awhile to court. They had to wait awhile to become engaged. They had to wait awhile for the marriage ceremony.

Then that was done. Now Jane and John could hardly wait for the day they'd become parents! They talked about it constantly—a house full of their future babies was all their anticipation.

But it didn't happen as fast as they thought it could.

It had been two or three years now since the wedding, and still no babies were crying from the nursery.

John started college and it was a long struggling wait to finish his degree. Another wait to find a good job in which to use his degree.

Jane eventually had a baby. Just one. A little girl. Sure, she had so wanted a house full of hungry boys scouring the kitchen for cookies and girls learning to knit and paint in every corner. But this was better than nothing.

She quickly found babies, even one, to be a lot of work! She was always so tired! She found herself waiting anxiously for the day Baby could sleep through the night. When that milestone was reached, she couldn't wait for Baby to learn to use the bathroom! After that, she waited for Baby to learn to dress and clean herself. Then she waited for Baby to learn to read. Jane was excited when they day came because it meant Baby could go to school. Jane waited all summer long for the first day of school to finally get there. And when it did, she was lonely all day without Baby, and she couldn't wait for school to let out that afternoon.

Jane waited for Baby to be old enough for dance lessons. Jane waited for John to get that long-awaited promotion at work. Jane waited the day they could afford to sell the tiny house they had lived in since marriage and finally have something decent. Cars, too, she reasoned.

Jane waited for Baby to learn to get her driver's license, because that meant Jane would no longer have to act as chauffeur to school and dance and all of the other places she had once so wanted Baby to go.

When Baby could drive, Jane waited to hear back from one of the jobs she had applied for. She waited for the interview. She waited for the start date. She waited for the day she could move up, or else out.

She waited for Baby to leave for college, she waited for Baby to find a husband and get married, she waited for Baby to have her own babies.

Jane waited for the day she and her husband could retire so she could finally spend time with her grandkids.

She realized, finally getting around to that trip to see Baby's family, they had waited too long.

These kids didn't know her or John. Baby wasn't a baby anymore. All she had now was to wait to die.

She had spent her life waiting. Always for things that would have happened anyways, whether she had been waiting or not.

Is this you?

Do you find yourself more apart of your daydreams for tomorrow than the moment you have now?

Waiting isn't a bad thing. The last verse of Psalm 27 says "Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD." Right there in the Bible it tells us to wait! But... not on people. Or the world. Or even natural progression. Just on the LORD.

I worry for us that we're a generation too futuristic. Even our movies are so often futuristic and we're worried about the fashion trends of tomorrow.

Let's be here.

Wait on the LORD for those desires in your heart, and be of good courage, but focus on how you can make today better, not tomorrow's dream. Not what you're waiting for.

I think just about every season of life involves some sort of waiting. But when we let ourselves believe the lie that what we're waiting for, though still of this present evil world, will be better than what we've got right now, we let the devil steal our joy! When we're not trusting that God has our best interest in mind even right now without the little daydream-y details the future might or might not have, we will find quickly we are discontent and unjoyful.

One day, when we're in heaven, just glorifying God for all eternity, what is there to wait for? An end to something? A beginning to another? No. Maybe that picture of eternity is all there really is worth waiting for (and settling our hope in) today.

God's been teaching me, and I just want to encourage y'all, to be all, completely, totally right where He has providentially put you, today. Pour yourself into today's needs. Care for all the people around you today. Tell the Gospel to all the people you meet today. Grow your relationship with God today.

Jane's story is a common one, and it reminds me that from here, tomorrow might look better than today, but all seasons have their ups and downs. The sooner I can learn contentment and joyful, radical living in today, the more seasons of life I will have to give to God's glory, rather than the glory I give tomorrow before I can even see it.

It's like the "grass is always greener over there" analogy. Well... maybe if you'd pour as much love and thought into this present season as you do into the next one, you might find this season to be pretty alive and beautiful, too!  

It's been a pretty deep lesson in my heart lately...

What has God been teaching you?

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  1. Wow. Wow, Kimberly....WOW......

    This is just so good. So timely. So richly packed with truth and so close to home. <3

    How true this is of so many people!! And how hard I need to work on NOT waiting on the next season of life because it will not be as sparkly as I think right now it will be! But if I wait on God, and let Him bring me into that season in His own time, it will be so much better for having waited on Him instead of fretting towards it for days, months, or years. What a waste of the precious season that's happening right NOW! <3 <3 <3

    1. I know. I really know. <3

      Love you, M!

  2. God's been teaching me this recently as well! I find myself always planning ahead and not really just enjoying the moment! I definitely need to learn to just enjoy myself more and have contentment always!

  3. I don't consider myself to be perpetually waiting, but I think this is probably more true than I know! Thank you for the post.. I will definitely keep all you mentioned in mind! ;)

    1. Good for you, Jenny! You don't seem like the discontent type. :) But it sure is a dangerous, slippery slope, so do watch out!

      Hope you're having a good summer!


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