Hurry Up and Wait
By Patti Jensen
“But God’s not finished. He’s waiting around to be gracious to you. He’s gathering strength to show mercy to you. God takes the time to do everything right—everything. Those who wait around for him are the lucky ones.” Isaiah 30:18 (MSG)
I am not a “be early” for everything person. But then my pet peeve is being late. I am more of an “on time” person. My friend Shirley loved to be early for everything. And by early, I mean she would be completely happy if we were an hour early. An hour! To me, that was a lot of hurry up and wait, but when I was with Shirley…we were early.
One November we were in Washington DC to visit the White House. First Lady Laura Bush had recognized a non-profit project we were working on in our hometown and had included locally made Christmas ornaments from our project on the White House trees that year. We were so honored, and Shirley was beside herself. See, Shirley had taught high school US History for 30 years. She loved US History and politics. So being in Washington DC and being invited to the White House to meet the First Lady was thrilling.
On the day of the event, we were instructed to go to the gate at the East Entrance of the White House to be checked in for the event. We were up early that morning (of course) and went down to catch a taxi to the East Entrance. As we jumped in the taxi and told the driver where we needed to go, he paused. He then said, “Ladies, I could drive you around the block and take your money, but the East Entrance to the White House is right across the street and down that sidewalk”. Geez. How funny! We thanked the man for being so honest and kind and jumped out and crossed the street and down the sidewalk.
As we excitedly walked up to the guard at the gate, Shirley told them we were there to go to the White House to meet Laura Bush. He glanced at us and then studied a sheet of paper and a computer screen in the gatehouse. Then they asked us our names again. Then they studied the paper again before saying, “Ladies I don’t see your names on the list.”
What? Shirley was shocked and flustered. She quickly told the guard that we were indeed on that list! He told us to wait as he made a call. In the meantime, Shirley was calling our US Representative’s office to see what was going on. After a few long minutes, the guard politely said he had an answer. It appears that we were an hour early for the event and the guest list had not even been sent down to the gate yet. Ha! We were so excited to get to the White House and see what was waiting for us that we got there so early we couldn’t even get in!
Ugh! I glanced at Shirley with my “See that’s why we shouldn’t be early” look, but then we just laughed. And we laughed about that story for years afterward! We eventually made our way into the White House for the reveal of the Holiday decorations and reception. It was wonderful and so special. First Lady Laura Bush was so gracious.
That was just one of the many hurry up and wait moments in my friendship with Shirley. I think Shirley always wanted to be early because she didn’t want to miss a thing.
Sometimes in our walk with God, there is some hurry up and wait. We can get so excited about a new idea or a new project or a goal that we go full speed ahead towards it. We jump in feet first. We want to check it off our list and get to the good stuff! We don’t want to miss anything we think is coming to us. Our excitement can sometimes overtake our plan. And then God says, ‘not yet’. He stops us and tells us to wait.
God doesn’t make us wait to punish us or frustrate us, but more to shape us. He makes us wait sometimes to give our faith time to grow to the size that we will need to take on what He has in store for us. But waiting is hard. Especially when you believe you are ready for the next step.
And remember, God also waits for us. He has so much in store for us and He waits for us to trust Him with those things and with His timing. Waiting on God is a show of our faith and our commitment to say that we want what GOD has in store more than we want what WE want in our own timing. Are you able to wait on God today?
“The Lord is good to those who wait hopefully and expectantly for Him, to those who seek Him.” Lamentations 3:25a (AMP)
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”– Psalms 27:13-14
Patti Jensen is the writer and creator of the lifestyle blog “A Grateful Girl” which features encouragement, a focus on gratitude with some lifestyle tips and recipes thrown in for good measure! Patti is married to Jack and has two daughters, two great sons-in-law and a new granddaughter, Georgia Grace. You can find her posts on Instagram and Facebook and on her blog at http://www.agratefulgirl.com.