Give me a goal I want badly enough and I will spend every necessary spare minute getting to that goal. When we were trying to figure out how to adopt I was making phone calls and emails like crazy. I set up meetings. Even a phone interview with an agency in California. (My husband probably wished that his "yes" to adoption would also have increased my fanaticism for dish washing.) Of all types of adoption, we finally chose to do foster-adoption of whatever child might need us here in our own state. As soon as we knew what was required to be licensed, we immediately signed up for hours of classes- I was reading all the required reading like my life depended on it, and I woke up pretty darn early to get my fingerprints done. My husband and I cumulatively answered what amounted to over 60 pages of very personal questions, and spent hours with a social worker. Let's do this!
But after the six months of mostly active prep it took to get licensed, we have spent another 6 months waiting indefinitely to be placed with a child. And there is no guarantee when we will be placed. Waiting should be the easy part- all the running around to get licensed- or actually taking IN a kid- THAT is the hard part. So why do I hate to wait? Waiting means dealing with uncertainty and ambiguity. It feels passive. Waiting implies that I've done all the parts that I was supposed to do and now it isn't up to me. As if it ever really was? Bottom line- waiting doesn't feel productive and it makes me feel out of control of my own life.
But what if waiting is actually accomplishing much more than it seems? And what if that feeling of being out of control is actually the first step to letting go of things that were never mine to control anyway?
Waiting teaches me is to trust in God. There are so many Bible verses about people waiting expectantly for God- waiting for Him to act, to redeem, to save, to accomplish here and now. Yet we are also waiting on God in an eternal sense- I have to learn that when I trust God, it doesn't ultimately matter how He answers my here-and-now questions because His love both sustains me in this life, and nullifies death. So waiting is part of trusting in a love, power, and plan bigger than my own.
"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."
"Since ancient times no one has heard, no ear has perceived, no eye has seen any God besides you, who acts on behalf of those who wait for him."
I also believe that the stillness implied in waiting is necessary to leave room for God to be God- for me to rely on His ability in acknowledging my lack. I see that I was never able to accomplish or provide what I want for myself on my own. If I can take five concrete, check-them-off-the-list- steps to get where I want to go, then I am self made. But this only works for things that I can remotely control. Which is very little. So when I am in a place of uncertainty I am forced into a position of humility before God. I acknowledge that I can barely see two feet in front of me-- nothing close to the panorama God sees. And when I can't ACT any longer- when there is nothing more I can DO to accomplish what I want, I give God room to do what only He can- and He gets all the glory, as He should. (Plus God is really keen on using things that "can't"- or "aren't" or are "weak" "foolish" and "despised". Kind of gives my "strengths" a reality check.)
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.'"
1 Corinthians 1:27-31
"27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him.30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Finally, I think that waiting forces me to re-evaluate what it is that I ultimately want. I'm always going to want something. I wanted to have a boyfriend, a college degree, then a husband and a family, a house, more kids, etc. When I'm always trying to get to the "next thing" I tend to forget the "main thing"- that God himself became Emanuel and His presence is with me- right HERE for the daily experiencing. Sadly, I tend to treat the "main thing" as the means to my lesser ends, good though they are. I tend to go to God to receive the next thing, or wisdom, or help or a plan. But simply KNOWING HIM and being known and loved by Him- if that was all that I ever had and I died tomorrow- wouldn't the be enough?
"I say to myself, 'The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'"
"Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent."