A bird decided a couple of weeks ago that our porch was the perfect spot to make her nest and lay eggs. It was a bit of a problem for my husband and I who both love to sit on our tiny porch during this time of year. She was like an unplanned visitor that decided to extend her visit indefinitely. Even though we were slightly annoyed at first, we’ve come to befriend this sweet little bird, checking in on her every day, seeing if she’s changed up the nest or if the eggs have hatched yet. We even named her Gertrude, or as I lovingly refer to her, “Gertie the birdie”.
To be honest, it’s a pretty inspiring thing to witness unfold. I know “Gertie” is just a bird, but she's determined to get the job done no matter what. Day after day, night after night she sits on a pile of sticks keeping her eggs warm and safe. Come rain or shine, raging winds or blazing sun, nothing can take her away from her nest. There's a lot of sitting and a lot waiting - with no change in sight.
I’m not good at waiting. I’ve been known to read the last page of a book before getting to the end of the first chapter (I know, I’m ashamed). I like to be in control. I need to know what’s going to happen next, to anticipate the future and plan ahead. I have big dreams that I want to accomplish on my timeline, in my own way. God is so patient with me. There are things I thought I would have accomplished by now, stages of life that I thought I would be in already. And yet when I listen in the silence of my heart for some sort of answer as to why things are the way they are, I hear, "wait".
Maybe it's because we are in the Easter season, but I've been thinking a lot about the apostles the past few days. The person that they gave their lives to follow had been brutally murdered. The echo of His words that He would never leave them felt like a distant memory. Did Jesus know what He was doing? Was He really the Son of God? Why did this have to happen? What were they supposed to do now? Waiting for these answers must have been excruciating. The devastation of loss, the confusion, the fear that must have taken over their hearts during those three long days is unimaginable.
And then the truly unimaginable actually happened. The wait was over. Death couldn’t keep Jesus in the tomb. He had risen, and their lives were forever changed.
We’re all waiting for something that, at times, feels excruciating. Graduating from high school, the news from an important job interview, a pregnancy, a vocation, the results from medical testing etc. It’s easy to get frustrated when things aren't moving at the pace you want them to, and even easier to doubt that the desires of your heart will ever come to fruition. But if there's anything I've learned about waiting, it's that it teaches me that I really don't have control over my life, even though I think that I do.
How different would my life look if I radically abandoned myself to God's providence? Sometimes I daydream about what it would be like to be a child again. To not have to worry about putting food on the table, paying the bills, making difficult adult decisions. To run around in fields without a care in the world and rest safely in the arms of my parents. Babies don't whine about not being in control, they rely on their parents for every little thing. It's no wonder Jesus says that we must have a childlike faith to enter heaven. We must have a faith that is completely dependent on the love of the Father. And we can get to that place, but it takes practice.
We can choose what posture we take in the waiting. Do we wait begrudgingly, like a disgruntled child in timeout? Do we wait in fear that God won't come through on His promises? Or do we wait with joyful expectation of all that is to come?
God is true to His word. He's a miracle working, promise keeping, doer of the impossible God. It's just who He is. Period. The beauty of the resurrection is that death does not get the final word. Hope won that day, and the wait doesn't last forever. A life surrendered to God is an adventure beyond what our human minds can comprehend, but a big part of it is trusting that God is who He says He is.