We remain confident of this: we 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. (Ps 27:13-14)
How to wait well? In this season of delays and disruption I ask myself this question more than ever. A friend remarked that January 2021 felt like a 13th month of the year 2020; we laughed, but it was sadly an accurate description.
We all wait… some of us more patiently than others. But wait is all we can do sometimes. We wait for the pandemic to be over, all over the world. We wait to be released to travel again to far flung places and to places nearby. We wait to go into coffee shops, smell the pasties or eat them even, if we so fancy, chat with a friend in the restaurant, embrace another, get on a train, bus, plane and not have to smile with our eyes only.
We wait with only one guarantee – God is with us, he is waiting for us and he is waiting with us.
And as we wait, and shift from foot to foot, we ask ourselves – how can we wait well? How can we use this season and continue to trust that somewhere beyond our reach, in the realm of the invisible, God is working his purposes out?
- We remind ourselves, waiting is and will remain a part of life. So we practice waiting in patience (though not painless) suspension.
- We focus on the next right thing at the front of us and practice the pressing of brakes on the pedal of ‘what does the future hold.’
- We feed the fire of our hope that somehow God will help us all to make sense of the nonsense we find ourselves in.
- We are on the lookout for His activity and presence in our lives.
- We notice our tiredness, irritability and self-pity, but we withhold judgement.
- We search for what new things are breaking out through the hard soil of the current situation, and as the little buds begin to appear in unexpected places, we stand amazed as we think of our story enfolding slowly, and sometimes in a different direction than we would like it to.
- And we acknowledge the possibility that this very story we find ourselves in can become our testimony of resilience, agility, a testimony of determination, of being birthed into new life even.
So 2021, in one way, may feel like an extension of 2020 to some of us, but in another way, it is not. It is a new beginning. We are growing stronger in our waiting, and we settle into patient endurance for we know God specialises in the strange and untamed.
Joanna is a theologian, mentor and global traveller. She is the founder of SheLives, helping women all around the world to live out their best story. As International Director of One Rock she helps both men and women to lead with both courage and competence. You can follow her on Instagram or Twitter.