Two years ago, I sat anxiously in my state board exam chair just waiting for my test results to come through on the screen. I was a scared college senior anxiously awaiting the exciting future God had for me. This future depended on this test. Not just one test, but five. I had already passed four of them, but I had one to go. Little did I know, it would take six tries to pass that test, all five of the previous missed by only one point. All of which had to be taken a month apart from each other.
I received a phone call on a Monday morning. Conveniently, two hours after I got my wisdom teeth out. Here it was— the job I had been praying for all year long calling for an interview. Perfect timing, Lord! Just when I was barely able to talk with gauze in my mouth! I got in my car a few days later and drove all the way out to Indianapolis for the interview that I had been dreaming of all year. I walked in with my carefully constructed portfolio and shared what God put on my heart. Raw and honest thoughts.
I didn’t have my license in hand. I hadn’t passed my test. The biggest requirement.
The one thing I asked the Lord for would be that I would pass this test and get my license before THIS interview!
God was LATE.
Sure enough, just a few days later, I received another phone call. The second of my top two schools calling for an interview. This happened time and time again.
Once again, I didn’t have my license in hand. I hadn’t passed my test.
God was LATE.
My dream job was offered to me and I took it. I took it with no license in hand. It was embarrassing. It was a leap of faith that I had to take. No license, no job. God felt late. Really late.
John 11:25-37 says,
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” After she had said this, she went back and called her sister Mary aside. “The Teacher is here,” she said, “And is asking for you.” When Mary heard this, she got up quickly and went to Him. Now Jesus had not yet entered the village, but was still at the place where Martha had met Him. When the Jews who had been with Mary in the house, comforting her, noticed how quickly she got up and went out, they followed her, supposing she was going to the tomb to mourn there.
When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet and said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, He was deeply moved in spirit and troubled. “Where have you laid him?” He asked. “Come and see, Lord,” they replied.
Then the Jews said, “See how He loved him!” But some of them said, “Could not He who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?”
In this story, doesn’t it seem like Jesus was late to heal Lazarus? Lazarus was dead! Yet here Jesus was… performing a miracle right in front of their very own eyes! Hearts broken, a body healed.
But Jesus waited… and waited… and waited.
Isn’t this the way our own lives are sometimes? We want so much control over our lives that we forget whose timeline we are running on. I passed my test the day after I accepted the job. Waiting for that 220 seemed like an endless road. Seeing the 219 five times in a row broke my heart more than you could ever imagine. Everything I wanted was dangling in front of me and I thought that by getting the 220, everything was going to fall into place. Sure enough, God arranged the pieces to fall together perfectly, but with a 219 instead. I was so stuck in my own frustration that I couldn’t see the work God was doing right in front of my very eyes. I didn’t want to see it. I chose not to look.
This time of waiting was what God used to cultivate within me a patient and trustful heart. He surely knew I would need that patient heart now! Don’t get me wrong— this time of waiting for Stephen and I has been even harder. I know God cares for my heart and what He says and does is what I know to be true. I know this season of waiting is not being wasted.
God’s love is raw and deep and is not reliant on my timeline, though sometimes I wish it was!
In full transparency, this year has been full of waiting. Waiting for marriage, waiting to move, waiting for our dream job, waiting… waiting… waiting and the list could go on and on. One thing I do know is this— God is never late, though I know it seems like He almost always is. I hate to admit it, but I kind of squandered those moments of waiting with God. I sat there in my anxiety instead of actively giving God the glory, coming to Him with a thankful heart, and serving Him in the waiting.
My sweet friend, how are you going to use this season of waiting?