Waiting Well

Did you ever notice that when your life is in flux, it is hard to hear? I don’t know if that’s true for everybody, but it’s true for me. Nevertheless, there have been at least two things in the past week that I have heard well.

Which is different from waiting well. But I’ll get to that.

See, I’ve been doing what I think I should. At least I think I have. I’ve been going to church, reading my Bible. Praying. And still, I hear very little. I decided to slow things down a bit for Lent and just read the Scripture that goes with the Lenten devotion and a chapter of Proverbs a day. That way I’d hear, I thought. But no. Sometimes I read the selection over and over, and still…nothing. But I am listening.

Which is why I heard what Debbie said to me under the eaves last Wednesday.

Debbie goes to my church. She is a social worker, and when I tried to sneak out after the benediction because the hubby wasn’t with me, she was standing under the eaves taking a phone call. Of course she asked me how things were going, and I asked her the same. Her hubby was let go from his job a YEAR ago and has been unable to find a new one. Debbie informed me, though, that they have an interview in Ohio and they are excited. And praying.

She knows about the hubby’s intended retirement, so she asked me if we knew where we were going yet, and of course I had to say no.

“But we’ve been praying for a year, and…”

Debbie smiled. “I know,” she said. “We’ve been praying too. You know what I’ve decided?”

I waited.

She continued. “I’ve decided that in the past year I have been learning how to wait well. And there’s a difference between waiting and waiting well.”

Yes. There is.  But I guess I needed Debbie to point it out.

I knew I wasn’t waiting well when I actually caught myself saying to the hubby,”You should try being a woman for once!”

His eyebrows went up and he said, “You don’t mean that.”

No. I didn’t. But I think it’s really hard to be submissive and be subject to the authority over you in every respect and have no…control. For which reason, I KNOW I don’t wait well. I have ideas and I want people to listen and I want God to listen and I want to see some answers. Sooner. Not later. And I think I have a gem of a husband as husbands go, but sometimes I think he should just see what I have to put up with.

Which isn’t very much, actually. But it seems so sometimes.

The pastor was talking about waiting in the church service, and he talked about manna, which got me thinking. There’s a good illustration of waiting well or not. God provided “daily bread.” Literally. But He told the Israelites to pick up only what they needed or the rest of it would spoil by the next day.

I just wonder how long it took most women to pick up only what they needed for the next day. Maybe the Hebrew women weren’t as grossed out by the manna’s spoiling as I would be, but I still bet they picked up a lot until they got used to the fact that they really couldn’t keep a store of it.  I know I would have.  At least initially.
So. As I was saying, I don’t wait well, and I haven’t been hearing well, either. But then, on Sunday, another thing happened that I actually heard.

I was talking to one of the ladies from our church when I lost the hubby. When I looked, he was up praying with the elders, who stay behind after the service so that you can do just that. He was praying about retirement. For guidance. It’s five weeks away now, and things are not a whole lot clearer.

I thought he looked better after they prayed and talked a little, but maybe that’s just me.

Anyway, the pastor came in to see what was going on because the hubby doesn’t ask for prayer very often. (Really, even though he is a supervisor, he’s kind of quiet and shy.) As the men chatted, they all began to smile.  I thought the hubby looked better.  More at ease.  Then, when they walked back down the aisle, the pastor stopped by me. He smiled at the hubby, and then he said, “It’ll all work out. Besides, you have a sweetheart, a help-mate. You’re not in it alone. Is he, Becky?”

Gulp! I heard that, too.

Maybe it’s just that I don’t slow down enough to listen most of the time and so God has to hit me over the head. I don’t know. But I think I heard those two things clearly enough. And because I really do think that God cares about everything that happens in my life, I don’t think the two things, what Debbie said and what the pastor said, are any sort of coincidence.

I think God knew I was getting frustrated and He wanted to reassure me, so He gave me something I could actually hear. For which I am thankful.

And I think I will be musing a while on the waiting well thing. Even though I thought I learned that lesson well with the loss of function that came with RA, evidently I need to learn more. And in the meantime, I need to be more of a help-mate to the hubby.

Maybe that’ll keep my mind off the waiting.

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. –Isaiah 40:31


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March 2007
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