faith · pop culture

waiting for . . .

What are you waiting for? What do you long for, ache for, stay sleepless over? Forgive all the prepositions dangling or whatever. Is that still a thing?

I wonder about all this waiting. We’re made for it. I can’t think of anything more universal than waiting. Every human being on the planet, past and present and future, has a sense of waiting. It isn’t a cultural thing. It isn’t an American thing, although arguably Americans have a warped sense of it. Waiting is something all people do. Even animals and plants – the whole earth has a sense of waiting under its experience belt. That, and maybe fear. although plants? Maybe not. So yes. Just waiting.

What are you waiting for? It’s not just a question to answer on my Facebook page. It’s also very much a question to ask yourself often. Because I think the question really is this: what are you living for? The way we answer the waiting question might give us something to think about for the living question.

I’m a Presbyterian these days. So I am currently in the party line that we are in the “now and not yet” stage of the universe, that, for example, Jesus’ advent has come (the birth of Jesus, roughly 1 AD) but his coming (second one) is still to happen. And everything in between is his kingdom reign, but not quite fully, as evidenced by the insanity in which we find ourselves often enough, and quite a bit lately. We say we are waiting for His kingdom to come fully on earth and to set all things right and to make all things new. We wait for it. We long for it. We cry out for it. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

But the answer to the second question tells us why we’re still here. As we wait, what do we do? What are we here for? Why do I live and breathe and have my being? I don’t want to live in a waiting room, and I don’t know anyone who does. What we do in the waiting rooms of life says so much about who we are and what we know to be true.

Part of me says I’m not waiting for anything at all. I have all I need. I have the grace and saving faith of the Lord Jesus and the hope of his death and resurrection. I don’t need anything else. And in that hope he has promised to provide for me daily. I have seen it happen over and over. What more can I need?

But the part of me that has become more aware – that there is something so much larger than me going on in the world – knows that I have much to wait for. I get to see glimpses of the kingdom come all the time when I know where to look. But so much more is to come. I see lives changed, people’s hearts softening and humbled, relationships on the mend, children restored, brokenness made into entirely unique works of art.

Maybe a third question is what are you looking for? Are you only looking at what’s missing in life, the world, the government, society? Are you looking for what used to be, the parts of life that gleam brightly in hindsight? Or are you only hoping for the day when all will be perfected, instead of looking right here and right now for what God is doing all around you, and, finding those things, joining in the work that can be done through YOUR hands and your words and your heart? Look for those things while you wait.

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