If you’re around preteen boys for any amount of time, you’ll probably know what Dude Perfect is. Take a look and enjoy. I hope it makes you chuckle like it does me (and then read on…).
I’m absolutely the “Short line analysis” guy. I frantically go up and down the aisles to find the shortest line (while trying to not look like I’m frantically going up and down the aisles trying to find the shortest line). I wasn’t always this way, honestly. It’s exaggerated since I started shopping with kids. Thankfully, my kids are very easy in stores but we’ve had one or two doozies in the Walmart checkout line. Screaming newborn, anyone?! Not fun. And the wailing usually happens in line, waiting, before we even get to putting our groceries on the belt.
Let’s face it, waiting around isn’t fun, kids or not. It feels like wasted time. And I greatly dislike wasting time. Therefore, I don’t particularly like waiting.
But I’m learning something about waiting. That God is actually in it. He’s in the lag time. He’s in my in-betweens and what feels like complete wasted time.
Take a look at this verse:
“Here’s what I’ve learned through it all: Don’t give up; don’t be impatient; be entwined as one with the Lord. Be brave, courageous, and never lose hope. Yes, keep on waiting — for he will never disappoint you!” Psalm 27:14 tPt.
I found this about the word wait:
The Hebrew word most commonly translated as wait (wait upon the Lord) is qavah, which also means to tie together by twisting, or entwine, or wrap tightly. This is a beautiful concept of waiting upon God, not as something passive, but entwining our hearts with him and his purposes.
Waiting at the grocery store is what you make it, I suppose. And I’m not sure I’ll ever stop being the “Short Line Analysis guy” until I don’t grocery shop with little ones anymore.
But waiting on God is anything but a waste of time. Frustrating, at times? Absolutely. But wasted time? Not at all.
I like to think of waiting on God like digging a well. Each time we go away and spend time with Jesus–whatever that looks like to you: outside in nature, journaling, sitting at a piano, etc.–we’re doing something often unseen to others all the while it’s doing something deep and unseen in us. Each time we go away, alone, we’re digging what I like to call our well. But it’s not like digging a regular well where you dig until you hit water. When wells are dug, that’s the point; you dig until you reach the water deep in the ground.
The kind of well-digging I’m talking about is different than this. It’s about digging a deep invisible well inside of us. We get to dig as deep and as far as we want. Throughout our whole lives, we can dig if we choose. Every time we spend time with Jesus, wait on him, “entwining” ourselves to him, we dig our wells a little bit deeper. And instead of digging to find the water somewhere within us, we dig expecting to then be filled, something we can’t muster up ourselves. In all his kindness, Jesus comes and fills every crevice we’ve dug. Every bit of digging goes unseen by most but doesn’t go unnoticed by him. We don’t dig to find something in ourselves. We don’t dig so others will see and affirm our digging. That affirmation from others only goes so far. It satisfies only for a moment. We dig so he will fill us, the One who “will never disappoint.”
But what do we do when we actually do feel disappointed? What do we do with lots of digging and still a dry well? What do we do while we…wait?
When I go off alone and “wait on the Lord” so-to-speak, I’ve had times when I feel the tangible, alive, real presence of Jesus. I’ve known times when it feels like he’s there with me, around me, beside me, behind me, in me. I’ve felt his smile. I’ve seen his smirk. I’ve experienced his humour. I’ve felt his love. I’ve known waves of grace. I’ve known what it feels like to be “entwined.”
And I’ve had all of the other stuff happen, too.
I’ve had times where my mind races and nothing seems to stop it. I’ve had times where I poured out my heart and all I was met with was silence. Nothing. The type of silence that actually feels loud, it’s so silent. I’ve left times with Jesus feeling much more frustrated than when I started, wondering if it’s even worth it. I’ve voiced the words “I’m scared of being disappointed by you.” I’ve screamed, I’ve wept. I’ve laid flat on my face. I’ve been so angry with him. I’ve been up and down and all around. I’ve absolutely felt disappointed by God.
So, what do we do with all of this?
I can only talk from my own experience but the thing that immediately comes to my mind when I think of how we can process through this plethora of feelings toward God is to be honest. There has never been a time that I’ve regretted letting go of my carefully formed prayers that I think are somehow more acceptable to God. When I let my heart pour out in an honest cry, that’s where I’ve felt the most filled.
Because I think our honesty is what opens us up to be filled.
If you need a kickstart to being honest with God, take a moment and listen to this song. The lyrics are gorgeous. I think Amanda Cook struck gold when she penned these words…(and then keep reading…)
Maybe you’ve felt empty too. Like you’ve dug and dug and it’s all just a waste of time. I don’t know how long it’ll be for you until you feel filled by Jesus again. Or maybe filled for the first time. Sometimes it happens out of nowhere. Sometimes there are seasons where no matter what you do, you feel blessed, filled, and just plain happy to be alive each day. Then there are dark seasons where you want to run and hide, self-conscious that your emptiness can be seen by others. In these dark seasons, when asked how you’re doing, you smile and say you’re fine because you’re aware of the truth, even if you don’t feel it: God is good and he is always faithful. Contrary to what some may think, it’s ok to have the facade that everything is fine when it’s not sometimes. We aren’t made to let everyone in, we need only a few.
But in these hard, dark seasons when you wear the facade more than you’d like to, you make sure to talk to the few safe people you have around you (because God knows we can’t do it alone). And then you go home or wherever you need to go and you get alone and you don’t mess around. You get real honest. You get as honest as you know how to be with yourself and with God.
And then wait.
And do all of the above again and again and wait some more–knowing that every moment you invest, you’re digging your well–and if you’re not filled that day, it will come. Not because you deserve it or because you somehow earned it. But it will come. He will come. Jesus will come and fill you because of grace–because he is grace and this kind of grace doesn’t come and fill us based on how good we’ve been. Oh, no. This grace comes because Jesus already decided we’re worth it. This grace looks fishy to some. Heck, it’s fishy to me. I just don’t get it. But this messy, undeserved grace changes us when it comes.
And when it comes, when he comes, your well will be deep from all this digging and waiting. When he comes He will fill every crevice, every nook. Jesus will fill the very depths of your soul with his love, with his kindness, with his light, with his joy, with his grace. After all, he said if we seek him, he will be found (Jer. 29:13)
So, keep digging. Keep waiting.
It’ll be worth it.
He’ll be worth it.