A friend of my sister is praying for my husband and I on a regular basis. Here is someone I have never met, praying for me. I find that so humbling and emotional. Their whole small group pray for us and regularly ask how we’re doing. This is the family of the church in action.
But that’s not what I want to write about today. It’s the message she had for me that prompted these thoughts. Apparently every time she prays for me the same song comes on the radio (OK every time might be creative license, but often enough that she sat up and took notice). She told my sister as she suspected that there was a message from God for me in those words, specifically the chorus “He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting.” I’ll admit I had never heard of the song “Take Courage” by Bethel music but thanks to Google I was soon able to watch the YouTube video. Listening to the words for the first time brought tears to my eyes. Tears at the faithfulness of this girl praying for me; tears because I could hear the words being spoken to me, tears because I need to take courage on a daily basis and I needed to hear this encouragement.
So what does it mean that God is in the waiting? I hate waiting. I am as impatient as they come. My first thought was “OK God, hurry up and teach me whatever you want to teach me and then can we move on please?” It felt like there must be something God wants me to learn and then the waiting could be over. I have already learned so much over the last two years. My identity is less about what I do and more about who I am as a child of God; our marriage is stronger as we’ve struggled with infertility together, as a team; I’ve opened up to God with all my emotions – fear, grief, joy, hope and disappointment to name a few; I know I can say that I trust God completely and I love Him unconditionally – I don’t like the thought that we might never have children, in fact I hate it. But I can trust that if that’s God’s will for us then it will be OK. I can still praise Him, come what may. I have still praised Him, with tears streaming down my face, on days that my period has come and I knew that for at least another month my dreams were shattered. My dreams yes, but not God’s love for me. He was still there, in the midst of my pain and grief. Yes, in the waiting God has always been there for me.
Today as I watch the snow fall outside I am also reminded of the waiting and the seasons we see in nature. God is in the waiting here. In the fall we see death, winter is a period of waiting (a long period if you live in Canada!) and then in spring we see signs of new life. Spring and summer would look very different if we didn’t have fall and winter. I am different because of this waiting. It’s a much longer period of waiting than I would have wanted. I long for signs of new life within my body, just as I long for the snowdrops, crocuses and daffodils that signify the coming of spring. And yet I have embraced Canadian winters. I love skiing, I love the beauty of freshly fallen snow. I even enjoy shovelling snow! I was actually excited when it snowed again this week as I knew that meant a longer skiing season. Maybe I can learn to embrace this period of waiting too. I know I enjoy the ability to lie in at weekends. I loved spending at day on my own at a local spa earlier this week. My prayer is that I can get to know God better in this time too. So in the words of the song I say to myself and to you: “Take courage my heart, stay steadfast my soul. He’s in the waiting. He’s in the waiting. Hold onto your hope, watch your triumph unfold. He’s never failing. He’s never failing.”