And God has made it plain to us that we are all born to be waiters.
God told Noah that a deluge was coming, and instructed him to build a boat.
Noah acted upon a promise. He couldn’t see the flood that was coming. He had to trust while he worked. He had to believe while he waited.
Board by board, hour after hour, day after day–with a hot sun over his head and hot sand under his feet–he worked as a shipbuilder in the desert. All the while he waited for the fulfillment of a promise that he could not see.
Like other waiters we read about in the Biblical narratives, Noah is waiting in the midst of the most unlikely circumstances for the realization of a most improbable promise. Noah, the desert shipbuilder, must have looked ridiculous to onlookers as he actively waited for such an implausible promise to arrive.
“The sand under your feet isn’t a beach, Noah!”
“That’s enough pitch, Noah. I don’t think you need to worry about waterproofing your land ship.”
“Hey, Noah, you’d better make an anchor before your gigantic boat floats away on you.”
I suspect Noah had his moments. “What am I doing? This is insanity.”
To be honest, sometimes I feel a bit ridiculous in the waiting. Sometimes I feel like I’m building a ship in the desert.
And I must confess that I’ve spent a lot of time just hating the waiting.
But I’m beginning to understand that most of life happens in the waiting. The lie of the enemy is that waiting time is wasted time. But it’s in our seasons of waiting that God is most actively working. It’s as we wait upon God that He accomplishes great things in us and through us.
Whenever we are privileged to see God fulfill a promise in this life, it’s a beautiful thing to behold. But down deep inside we all know that the things for which we are really yearning, hoping, and waiting will never be granted to us in this life. So we wait.
We wait for our full inheritance. We wait for the complete renewal of all things. We wait for our face-to-Face reunion with the One who has promised it all to us. We wait our entire lives. And we are transformed in the waiting.
So, as we wait and walk through this life–often encountering heart-aches, shattered dreams, and disappointed expectations–the Spirit whispers His encouragement to us.
One, last thing. As I was working on my Noah drawing, my son David sat down next to me and drew Noah’s ship floating safely on top of the waters of the promised crisis event. David said, “You should put my picture on your blog.” I told him someday I would. Then I thought about what waiting for someday feels like to an 8-year-old boy. I thought he might get tired of waiting 🙂