Sometimes, I wonder what God is up to. And why I can’t see it.
Last month, Phil and I took a few days apart from the world, in the woods of Cowans Gap State Park, to celebrate a bunch of milestones for our family. We drove up to this overlook, expecting a scenic view. Instead, we got fog.
Lots of fog. And the view we had hoped for was hidden from us.
We sat for a bit because we really had nowhere else to be. And as we waited, something happened.
Gradually, we could see green. The rolling mountains I’ve come to love in our region of the world.
We caught a glimpse of what the fog was hiding.
The longer we waited, the more we could see. We pointed to hills as they peeked through the clouds. We identified farms and roads and houses. And although we never saw the whole view clearly, without the cloud covering, we could imagine what we were missing. We saw evidence of what we could not fully see.
So it is when we live by faith. Phil and I are still clueless about where this journey is taking us. We climbed this metaphorical mountain hoping to see something extraordinary only to find the view cloudier than ever. Having an obstructed view of the future can be frustrating. Maddening, really. I have found myself mad at all sorts of people and institutions and God, Himself, for the current state of things in our life. Like Naomi, in the Bible’s book of Ruth, who returns to her homeland a widow and childless with little hope for the future, I want my name to be “bitter” not “pleasant.”
I want to see the view I was promised!
And God, ever gentle, ever patient, says, “Wait.”
“Don’t give up.”
“Don’t trust in only what you can see.”
“Wait for it. It’s coming.”
So, we’re waiting. Waiting for the clouds to clear. To give us a glimpse of what lies ahead.
Waiting so often feels like inaction to me. I want to DO something. I want to act. To fix. To restore. To rebuild. To forge ahead. (And sometimes run over anyone who stands in my way.) And when that doesn’t work I want to retreat. To withdraw. To escape. To close my eyes and hope that whatever trouble we’re facing will go away on its own without me.
And all the time, God is telling me to “wait.”
Waiting. Can you think of anyone who waits well? I’ve imagined what that looks like. I wrote a poem about it, and our local library picked it as one of the winners in its annual contest. Here it is.
Waiting I showed up on time, so I thought. He’s late. Or is he? Have a seat. Get comfortable. I’m told I’ll have to wait. How long? No answer. I watch the door. When will it open? Time passes slowly as I watch the clock, tap my foot, sigh loudly. How much longer? Again, no answer. Someone else comes along. She’s waiting, too. She doesn’t watch the clock. She crochets. How long do you think it will be? It doesn’t matter. Why? I’ve got crocheting to do. I’m making a blanket. And if he doesn’t come? She shrugs her shoulders. I’ll have made a blanket.Waiting might be sitting on a rock until the sun comes out and the clouds clear. Or it might be doing what you’re doing now until you’re led in a different direction. Wait for it, friends. I’m waiting, too.