“I will give you a call when we have a child for you…”
We heard these words from our State Certifier a number of weeks ago. We have completed our paperwork and done everything we are able to this far in the adoption process. Now we wait. We are waiting for a phone call that will occur at some point. We wait for words asking if we are ready to meet our child. It could be in two minutes or two years. God knows that moment, we don’t. God knows our child, we don’t. We simply wait.
What to Do in the Wait
Our lives are full of times that involve us waiting. We wait for graduations, jobs, marriages, pregnancies, babies, and a number of other moments in life. There is always another thing in life to wait for. So what are we doing with these times of waiting?
Let us not squander away our time as we wait. God does not wait to shape and mold us until we graduate, get married or land the dream job. He is working in us and transforming us into the image of his Son here and now (Eph 2:10, 22; Phil 1:6). We shouldn’t stop living our lives, or pursing Christ, until we get what we want. We diligently pray as we wait. We live life in light of the gospel as we wait. God uses all things, mundane ordinary days of drives to work, running errands, dinners and time with those we love to work together for our good and His glory (Rom 8:28). There is no wasted time to God. He is Lord over it all.
The Bible teaches us to search for God in our waiting. He is the treasure we are to ultimately seek as we wait.
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the Lord!” Psalm 31:24
“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.” Psalm 103:6
In these verses we actually see that we are waiting on the Lord himself. We wait for his movement in our lives, for his timing. We see the Psalmist encouraging us to wait on our faithful God. He uses words like: “strong,” “courage,” and “hope.” All these words imply that waiting is not easy. It takes strength to continue to trust in God as faithful when we feel that our season of waiting has been long enough. This strength we need is supplied by the very One that we wait upon. We take courage to stand and say that when our flesh and hearts fail, God is enough (Psalm 73:26) and He will stand true to his Word. As we wait, we hope in His very words that he has given us in scripture: God is good, he is faithful, and he is sovereign.
Idol or Blessing
Now, I want to clarify something. Our treasure is Christ Himself, not the gift or blessing that he may give us. Our hope is fully in God and satisfaction is found solely in the gospel. These things we wait for, and moments we look forward to, are simple glimpses that point us to a greater treasure and greater moment. They are to remind us of Jesus and the gift he is. They are to stir our longing for the Day we come face to face with Christ. When things become of more value to us than Christ, they have turned into an idol.
Tom Maxham, a certified biblical counselor, taught at Sovereign Hope this past summer on Idols. One of the ways he described an idol is “anything you are willing to sin to get, keep, or prevent from happening.” If we say we trust in Christ, but are waiting for that job title to satisfy our desire for financial stability, there may be an idol of the heart there. If a child becomes the thing we are waiting for to be satisfied and we see no happiness apart from parenting, we may have an idol there. We need a greater understanding of the gospel, and a greater knowledge of Christ. As our Executive Pastor KJ Keogh said in a recent Women’s Ministry meeting, “Everything you’re looking for in an idol, you already have in the gospel.” What a beautiful message that is! Our longing for satisfaction, security, and acceptance has been taken care of in Jesus.
It is not wrong to want and desire good things. We must always hold them with an open hand and receive them with a grateful heart. As we wait for days to come and transitions in life to take place, we will go before God in prayer. We keep our eyes on Christ and are attentive to what He is doing here and now. We do not want to miss the daily enjoyment of God himself and the plans he has for us in this time of waiting.
“I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation. The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lords doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:21-24)
Practical Living in the Wait
Our family is waiting for a child. We pray for our home to be ready and our child to be safe in this time of brokenness he or she is experiencing. We are overwhelmed and excited for the day to come that we meet one another face to face. My children ask questions and make statements about their sibling they have yet to meet. They are learning what it is to wait on God’s timing and to be content in where he has our family here and now. We strive not to squander these days we are a family of four. We take family pictures and invest time into one another. God has given our family a sweet season of growth in love for one another. Some days of waiting are easier than others. Trusting in God to satisfy us fully and completely in Himself and keeping our eyes focused on His Word can turn this season of waiting into a joyful time of drawing closer to the God who loves us.