“How Do You Wait?”

Last summer Julie Rice and I were given the task of making arrangements for lunch for all of the LCS faculty who attended the Summer Institute.  Day one went great.  Boxed lunches were dropped off outside of the Roger Evans Athletic Center and there was plenty to go around.  And then there was day two!  About ten minutes before the food was scheduled to arrive, Julie and I started watching the parking lot.  We got a little anxious as the minutes ticked by and there was still no sign of our food delivery, but luckily we had a group text going with those who were leading the seminar so that we could encourage them to keep talking and stall until the food arrived.  No need for anyone to see our panic…except what we didn’t realize was that the person teaching was receiving our text messages through their ipad which was projecting our messages up on the TV screens in Howard Hall for all to see.  Those who saw the messages quickly realized that we were stressed and not sure how long everyone would have to wait for lunch.  Nothing like adding embarrassment to an already stressful situation. 

man on a stage sitting with a microphone and a screen behind him talking to a crowded room of seated people

The food finally arrived over an hour later than what was scheduled, but unfortunately it was only half of what we ordered.  Panic set in again.  I took a quick glance around to see who had yet to eat when the food ran out.  Julie immediately called the restaurant back to let them know that half of our food was missing, and as you can imagine, the panic that I felt started all over again.  I was pacing and worried and stressed that people would be upset after sitting through a long day of training only to then not be fed lunch. 

I walked over to the railing on the second floor where I could watch for the next delivery of food and also to avoid questions about how much longer I was expecting it to take.  Dr. Sligh walked up to the railing as well and I suddenly realized he was part of the group that hadn’t eaten yet.  He looked at me and asked the absolute last thing that was on my mind at that time.  As I was thinking about how much I would blast this restaurant for the embarrassment they had caused me, or maybe how much I would demand in gift cards, Dr. Sligh looked at me and asked, “Do you think God has ever waited?”  I contemplatively said no.  I explained that I didn’t think God had waited because He is all-knowing, and He understands the reason behind the waiting.

And there it was.  What seemed like such a simple question was filled with so much wisdom.  This question is something I have thought about so many times since that day.  We have a God who knows all things, and we can trust Him in ALL situations.  I also must remember that my response to the waiting matters as well.  Although I may think I can hide my panic, people are watching to see how I will respond.  My kids are watching, my unsaved friends are watching and sometimes my text messages are unknowingly being seen by a room full of hungry people.  As a Christian, I want to wait in a way that says God is in control and I trust Him. 

So, what about you?  How are you doing in the waiting?

woman sitting next to a window looking out the window, holding a pillow and wearing relaxed clothes and no shoes