Saturdays in our house have become “Chore Day.” Daniel and I make a list of things to do then divide and conquer. I’ve been assigning the kids chores as well. Yes, they are 4, 3, and 2, but they’re not too young to start good habits. The girls actually LOVE it. The other week, I was running out of chores that they could help me do, so I was scrambling to find something for very eager helpers to do. I asked Faith to start wiping off the kitchen table, and Sophia’s heart began to break. You know how kids have that cry that winds up and grows into a full-out sob? Yeah, it was coming . . .
I asked her what was wrong. “You gave Faith something to do, and you didn’t give me anything!” Think, think, think . . . “I’m sorry, I forgot. There are dirty clothes in your room. Can you go put them in the basket?” “YES!! Thanks, Mommy. You’re the BEST!!”
Ironic, right? She desperately wanted me to trust her with a job, to know she was big, and smart, and strong enough to help with a need of mine. She wanted to do something, anything to make be proud of her. When she looked around, everyone else had a sense of purpose, and she wanted it too.
I totally get that. That’s exactly how Daniel and I have been feeling ever since we moved to Danville, VA. We knew we were called to move here, but we didn’t know exactly why. Friends and family didn’t and don’t understand, but we knew it was where God wanted us. So far, we’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help plant a church. We love our church – the people are wonderful, and God is definitely at work.
But there was still no flashing neon “Full-time Ministry Position right here!” sign. Instead, God told us to wait. So, we’ve been waiting . . . and waiting. We’re still waiting. While we’ve been waiting, the branch where Daniel worked closed its doors, and this job at a therapeutic boarding school literally fell into my lap. Right now, while we’re still waiting, we’re serving God where we are.
Yes, I do love my job, and I have more opportunities to share the Gospel than I’ve ever had . . . but waiting for a definite answer is awful. I feel like Sophia did when she didn’t have a job. You begin to doubt that you’re “good enough” to serve. You feel left out. “Did God miss me? Hello? Down here!” I’ve done my share of boo-hooing, I’ll be honest. I’m beginning to learn that it’s in the waiting that God is going to stretch us the most. We’re forced to rely on Him. Waiting isn’t just sitting there twiddling our thumbs. It’s like being forced to wait on a medieval rack. Just when you think you’ve got the answer for the next step to take, God cranks the rack a little more, and the stretching increases.
Since, we know God is love and is trustworthy, we know God doesn’t stretch us to harm us. He stretches us to make us more useful to Him later. I looked up the word wait in the Bible. Here are some of my favorite verses that I’ve come across:
But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:13-14)
Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. (James 5:7-8)
Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you. (Psalm 33:20-22)
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. (2 Pater 3:9)
Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:18)
The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him. (Lamentations 3:25)
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. (Romans 5:3-4)
I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning. (Psalm 130:5-6)
May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy. (Colossians 1:11)
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! (Psalm 27:14)
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:34)
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. (Psalm 25:4-5)
Even though I don’t know exactly what God has in store for us, I know He has brought us here. While we wait, we grow. God’s will isn’t some faraway dream that we hope we reach one day. It’s serving Him wherever He takes us, even in the smallest of things.