Waiting is hard. If waiting simply involved having patience, it would be easy enough. But sadly it’s not that simple. It involves something much deeper. In the void, in the silence, in the uncertainty of waiting, I am confronted with what lurks in the dark corners of my heart.
Often it comes in the form of a temptation – urging me to find refuge in its promise of a quick fix or shortcut around the inconvenience or discomfort I am experiencing through the wait. Other times it simply numbs me, encouraging me to tune out, deny, or compartmentalize my feelings altogether in an attempt to easily manage them.
It is the desire to Control.
Control comes innocently at first. Unassuming. Easily justified, and often accompanied by the sympathy and understanding of others who allow us to rehearse our concerns and often solidify our own plans. We all understand the desire to control because we’ve all been tempted by it. Sometimes we even wear it as a badge of honor to show we’re thoughtful, intentional, and capable.
How many times have I said in jest, “I’m such a control freak!” which is accompanied by laughter, smiles, and nods of others who wrestle with the same, and find comfort that they are part of a secret tribe. But it’s not a tribe I want to belong to.
Being “patient” and “waiting” aren’t just about letting go of control. Waiting is more than sitting by like a docile cloud. Waiting is meant to be active. It is in the waiting that God has opportunity to test our hearts and let us sift through the layers of our own sins, strongholds, and self-deceptions. It is in the silence of waiting that we are given opportunity to plow up the hard ground of our hearts, and find freedom from its bondage.
Hosea 10:12 — I said, ‘Plant the good seeds of righteousness, and you will harvest a crop of love. Plow up the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the LORD, that he may come and shower righteousness upon you.