The Waiting Place

The Waiting Place

Useless Waiting

Have you ever felt like you are stuck waiting? Just waiting for something to happen? Maybe you are tired of the job you are in and you are waiting to find a new opportunity. Maybe you are waiting for God to answer a prayer that you have been praying for years. Maybe you are waiting for the day we are out of this quarantine and you can see your friends and family again. Whether good or bad, sometimes it feels like we are just ready for a new season in our lives. Sometimes these “waiting” periods feel like forever and we are just so hopeful that they will end soon. 

Luke loves reading books, so we have a lot of book options, and many children’s books have life advice and meaning behind the story. For Luke’s 2nd birthday, I bought the book Oh, The Places You’ll Go and while reading it to Luke, it caught my attention. 

“I’m sorry to say so but, sadly, it’s true that Bang-ups and Hang-ups can happen to you. You can get all hung up in a prickle-ly perch And your gang will fly on. You’ll be left in a Lurch. You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

…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 No or waiting for their hair to grow. Everyone is just waiting.”

Dr. Seuss

Wow. How many times in our lives have we found ourselves stuck waiting. Waiting for a situation to change or to see how a situation plays out. Sometimes we wait for small changes and sometimes we are waiting around for something big to happen. Lately, I have found myself stuck waiting for a relapse to happen, or not happen. While pregnant, I sort of had a little bit of freedom in knowing that the chances of a relapse during pregnancy are low. But, now that I am in a postpartum phase, with relapses common in the first 6 months following birth, I am just waiting. Waiting to see if I will wake up one day with vision loss again. Waiting to see if I lose feeling in my hands or feet. Waiting to see what and when my MS will flare and what it will take from me. I am also stuck waiting to see what my upcoming MRI is going to say about my disease. Did I have a flare that I didn’t notice? Maybe there has been new activity in the past year. I have been wondering if I will be able to continue breastfeeding, and all the while, I am thankful for my oversupply and stockpile of milk. But, I am waiting to see if I am going to need it.  I am stuck. Just waiting. And, guess what? It is useless to dwell in the waiting! What good is going to come from me just waiting around for something bad to happen? 

Value in Waiting

Yes, it is true, that last year I had a ‘bang-up’. The news of my MS was quite unsettling. However, I was very lucky that most of my ‘gang’ did not fly on without me. I have several people in my life that were very patient and loving as I processed and grieved my new diagnosis. They patiently and gracefully listened to my fears and sadness and helped me through the grief I was feeling. They encouraged me that their love for me had not and would not change just because of this diagnosis. I am grateful for these people who love me and didn’t leave me in a lurch alone.

So, how do we go about getting ourselves out of these waiting places? Dr. Seuss doesn’t have any tips or tricks or ideas for getting out of the waiting place. In fact, he says that you will somehow escape. 

Maybe Dr. Seuss knows that while the waiting place may feel useless, it is sometimes necessary for our growth. While we are waiting, we should be careful to not let the waiting cause us to miss the journey. There may be something important and valuable in all of the waiting for us to learn and recognize. Part of life is waiting to see what God has planned. There isn’t always a step we can take to make the waiting period go by any faster. There is nothing that I can do to tell if I will have a relapse during this postpartum period. There is no reason to sit and wait for something bad to happen. The future is going to happen one way or another. We can’t control it, and we can’t predict it. We just have to wait and hope that the Lord will answer our prayers.

How do we wait in hope without it being useless or without us trying to control and manipulate the situation? In my opinion, we have to trust in the Lord and his timetable.

Waiting “Forever”

“But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.”

2 Peter 3:8

Sometimes it feels like we are stuck in this “useless place” waiting for an answer for a long time. We give up hope and we wonder if God is really listening to our prayers. In this scripture, we are reminded that our timeline is not the same as God’s timeline. God is working and hearing our prayers. He has not stopped working! Trust that he hears your request and he has an answer in His timing.

Don’t Give Up Hope

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

Romans 8:22-25

God reminds us in Romans 8 that we are not to give up hope. We are to wait patiently for our prayers to be answered. We are reminded that we do not hope for things that we already have, we only hope for things that are yet to be answered. And, we must wait for these answers patiently.

Hope in His Word

I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Psalm 130:5

It is important as we wait, to put our hope in His word. The scripture can help us learn more about God, his promises, and help us trust in his goodness. We learn that he answers prayers and he keeps his promises. As we sit in the waiting place, put your hope and trust in Him and read His word.

Delight Yourself in the Lord

Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4

He will give you the desires of your heart. I don’t believe this scripture means that he will answer every prayer exactly how we desire. But, I do think that as we delight in the Lord, he will help us to see that we are receiving desires and joy each and every day. While we sit around and wait, it is important to not let time pass without experiencing what life has to offer. God will answer our prayers with a yes or no, sooner or later. But, there is so much God has to offer us in our waiting. 

Don’t let the waiting place be useless. Be patient and hopeful in God’s upcoming answer. Be diligent in understanding God’s word and he will bring your heart desires, maybe even desires you didn’t know.