The Waiting Place

A few weeks ago I was reminded about how God uses our waits in this life for our good and His glory. Whenever I think about waiting I always think about Dr. Seuss (that’s normal right?) and his book Oh, the Places You’ll Go! In this book he talks about the “waiting place” and how utterly miserable and useless it is…

“You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a sting of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.”

I get it. The waiting place is full of pain that is often too deep for words. It’s a place of confusion where we have to sit with unanswered questions and deal with unmet expectations and unfulfilled desires. The waiting place can feel catastrophically lonely.

There was a time, in the not so distant past, when I found myself sitting in church, listening to the pastor preach on being thankful for suffering, thankful for the waiting place. My initial reaction (which lingered for a solid 6 months…at least) was anger and hurt. My internal dialogue went something like this:

“Are. You. Kidding. Me? You’re telling me that not only has God called me to this difficult season of life, but now He has the audacity to call me to be thankful for it?! To rejoice in it?”

More often than I would like to admit those feelings of anger and resentment still creep up and I find myself, ultimately, questioning God’s plan, questioning His faithfulness to me, questioning if Jesus really is all satisfying. Those are doubts that the enemy would like me to feed, but I know the truth…

It is in the waiting place where our lives are lived. It’s in the waiting place where our hearts are shattered and restored by the Author of life. It’s where we release the white knuckled grip we have on our dreams and our desires and we lay them down at the feet of Jesus in exchange for dreams and desires that we could never muster on our own. Dreams and desires that are so much bigger than the here and now satisfaction we so desperately long for. The waiting place is where God crushes us in order to give us life, life everlasting, life in abundance. How could I be anything but thankful for the waiting place when in that place I receive more of my Savior?

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