Let me just come out and say it: once I get excited about something, I simply cannot wait for it to happen. Patience is not my strongest character quality. And the reason that I am writing about this today is that I am in the midst of an anxious waiting game. You see, last Saturday Brad and I visited an apartment in Logan Square that is such a great price, we could afford to move even if we don’t sell our house beforehand. We saw it, liked it, called the landlord to say that we want it. And now we are waiting. She apparently didn’t get our message and I’m not sure that she likes the idea of us having three pets (we actually have four, but we are giving one away so we can get an apartment). And we are waiting. At this point – a week later – I don’t really care if she says “yes” or “no” (okay, I really want her to say yes), but I just want to know so that I can move forward. Right now I am just hanging in the balance. I can’t start planning for a move, and I can’t start looking at other apartments. Let me just let out a Charlie Brown wail right now: AAAAARRRGG!
With each passing day I feel a greater longing for Chicago. It’s almost a physical feeling now. I was reading a blog today and when the writer mentioned Jewel (a grocery store in Chicagoland) and my heart literally flipped. I don’t even shop at Jewel when I am in Chicago, but the association was so strong that I almost couldn’t stand it. I wanted to pack up the car right then and there and drive home today. Now, you may think that I’m being irrational. The funny thing is that I know I’m being irrational, but I can’t seem to put these feelings aside or ignore these longings to be in MY city.
In a way I know (more in my head than in my heart) that this is a good thing, this longing, this waiting, this appealing to God to make sure that we are headed in the right direction. At some points I wonder whether this is what God really wants for us. Would he make it so difficult, force me to be so patient, if this was really the way? Wouldn’t it just be easy: sell the house, find a place, move and be home? Then I am reminded of all the times in scripture when people had to wait for God’s will to be accomplished:
- Abraham waiting for a son
- Joseph waiting to be release from prison
- the Israelites waiting in slavery (surely that wasn’t easy, was it?)
- the Israelites waiting to enter to Promised Land, or to return to Israel after exile
- the whole world waiting for the Messiah
- Jesus waiting for the Jews to repent and follow him
- Paul waiting to travel to Rome (he actually says to the Romans “I have been longing for many years to see you” – Romans 15:23 – that certainly sounds familiar)
- Paul waiting for a fair trial
A wonderful friend we visited with during our past weekend in Chicago reminded us that what is most important is not necessarily seeking God’s will but seeking intimacy with God. If we a closely connected to God’s side then the decisions that we make will be His will because we are thinking with the mind of the Father.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:21
Even though I don’t like it and it makes me uncomfortable, I must conclude that this time of waiting is an important part of God’s plan for my life. It’s not like I’m siting in a waiting room, just passing the time until I can get on with my life. This waiting is part of my life. If I let Him, God can use this time to do a good work in me. Ah, that sounds cheesy but I don’t know any other way to say it. This waiting, this slow step-by-step journey is God’s Way. He is not drowning in busyness like most Americans. He is consistent, steady, reliable, and trustworthy. And I am learning (hopefully and slowly) to quiet my heart and allow Him to build this kind of character in me.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12