It seems to me that waiting well is like walking on a train trellis. (Not that I’ve ever done that, mind you, but the visual seems apt.)
Step too far in one direction, and you’re liable to fall into the ditch of obsessing over what you’re waiting for. You become so enmeshed in that one thing that you lose sight of the people around you and essentially stop living your life.
But step too far in the other direction, and you’re bound to step into the pit of a calloused heart. You end up stuffing down that thing you so desperately desire. You numb yourself, all but forgetting that you made to long for more.
It’s just so hard to keep our feet planted in the sweet spot in the middle.
I’m waiting right now. Waiting for contractions, waiting for labor to start, waiting for go-time. I have been in seasons of waiting before, but in the past these seasons have felt less defined. I didn’t have any way of knowing when I was getting near the end of the waiting—or if I would get the thing I was waiting for at all.
But now, as I’m 11 days past my due date, I find myself in the surreal place of hitting the day I was counting down to and not knowing where to go from here. (That said, I’ve never met a permanently pregnant woman, so I’m confident this will end at some point.)
I don’t know how long I have left for this particular brand of waiting, but I don’t want to waste it. I want to enjoy the anticipation of wondering what’s ahead while also savoring the right-now.
The truth is, we’re all waiting for something. No matter what we’re waiting for in this life, we’re ultimately waiting for something we long for more deeply than anything else: to be united with Christ. We aren’t alone in this—in fact, “all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.”
We are waiting for a different world, a better world . . . a world where there’s no sorrow and no sin and no suffering. A world where we’ll be united with the one we’re waiting for.
What if I could wait for Jesus the same way I’m waiting for this baby? What if I could be ready at any moment, with my bags packed and my phone numbers ready, but at the same time living my life fully? What if I could watch for the signs of go-time with as much anticipation, knowing that although there will be pain, the joy will be so worth it in the end?
One thing I do know about both kinds of waiting: we’re one day closer than we were yesterday.
Hope can feel unbearable; when we passionately long for what we do not have and it is taking too long to come, we are restless as a farmer waiting for rain after an August without a drop. . . . Any hope, no matter how thin it gets, is better than no hope at all. . . . Still, even if having hope is one hundred percent better than not having it, living by hope can get awfully wearying.