I don’t know about you but for me, waiting is getting a little tiring.
Let’s face it, in a lot of ways we live in an instant society. There is instant messaging and emails. Long gone are the days of waiting for correspondence through the postal office. We have next day delivery on Amazon. We eat instant noodles, instant rice, microwave dinners and drink instant coffee.
We are not good waiters.
Then we hit a situation like we are in now with COVID-19. We are being asked to make huge sacrifices for the good of our country and the world in the face of this pandemic.
We are waiting.
Waiting looks different for different people. Our kids in school are at home while doing classes on-line. My daughter’s boyfriend is working from home like a huge segment of society. Pete and I have definitely been affected by the limits put out there by the government and health officials in spite of the fact that we are both still working outside our home. My situation at work seems to change daily to the point that we are now masked from the time we arrive at work until we leave the building at the end of the day.
I actually thought I was doing pretty good at waiting.
I’ve started writing again. I’ve done some deep-cleaning in my house. We have definitely had more time to dedicate to family as there really is no one else we can spend time with. Everyone has had a chance to rest. Waiting can be good.
But this wait has not been without challenges.
Our 3 bedroom house has seemed pretty small with 6 people in it, especially when 2 are pre-adolescents and 2 are near adults. Our family room has become “kid central” with the tv constantly on Netflix or people playing Minecraft. I have been spending a lot of time in my room.
To look to God in the midst of this waiting crisis is not a unique idea.
Personally, I take huge comfort in believing that God is aware of what is happening and He is here in our midst. I believe I can live in hope knowing that this life we have now is just a charcoal child’s sketch in relation to the vibrant, technicolor artistry that we will live in Heaven. I read on YouVersion this week that more people are engaging with the Bible on their app than anytime before. People are looking to God for comfort and assurance and I hope and pray that they are finding it.
I started to think something different about waiting this morning after hearing a message from the pastor of our church. He was not directly referring to our present health crisis. In fact, he was talking about prayer.
It hit a bit too close to home.
He actually had us look up a passage in 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. In terms of context, Solomon had just constructed and dedicated the temple and God appeared to him in a dream. God says,
“If I close the sky so there is no rain, or if I command the grasshopper to consume the land, or if I send pestilence on My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.” (HCSB).
One of the things that our pastor mentioned that could be uncomfortable for some people is the idea that God might send destruction to the earth. I don’t doubt that God is all powerful and completely capable of sending both “good” and “bad” things to us. If we only expect “good” from God we expect Him to be some kind of Cosmic Santa Claus who gives us presents. God does give us good things but He also sends us or allows uncomfortable situations that don’t feel like they can be from God. This passage, though, gives us a really good reason why God would do that.
It is to get our attention.
How often do we stream through life, scarcely taking a minute to look at the people around us? We fill our lives with so many activities that we never have time to look to God. Now we have time.
I had been spending the time just reading anything I could about this situation we find ourselves in. Visit any news website and you will be able to hear about the latest statistics, the strategies that governments are taking to “flatten the curve” and prevent more deaths. For me, it gets overwhelming and my instinct is to react with fear. I believe a lot of people do that.
So I made the choice not to approach this pandemic with fear but with faith. There is nothing wrong with having faith. God wants us to have faith in Him. It pleases Him and it gives me peace.
So I was content to sit and wait for this situation to rectify itself.
This stance is not without challenges. The waiting seems to get longer and longer. Instead of tensions easing we seem to be seeing more restrictions, at least when it comes to what happens at work and the steps we are taking to protect our residents. We are still waiting to hear when the schools will reopen.
We are still waiting to resume our lives.
I guess the biggest thing I took from the passage in 2 Chronicles is the fact that we need to call out to God in the midst of our crisis.
I have been praying that God will protect my eldest daughter and her boyfriend, my aging parents, the people at work. I have been praying for Pete as he has multiple interactions with people every day. I pray that I won’t be the person who brings the virus to work.
The one thing I haven’t been praying, though, is that God will heal our land.
I know He could. I even believe that He has purpose in these difficult times. I don’t want to stop there.
I want to be a woman of prayer who calls out to her Father God in this most difficult situation and asks for Him to heal us.
That is how I want to wait.
How about you?