Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting on God

A little boy plays contently at the indoor playground. Every so often he looks up to find his father and occasionally he checks in for further instructions. “Don’t wander too far, or “make sure you are kind” are the words his Father echoes before the little boy is off to chase his friends around the playground equipment once again. Then the announcement is heard over the loud speaker “the playground will be closing in 5 minutes”. Parents swoop in and begin collecting their belongings and their children. Children begin to scatter in search of their parents. As his friends begin to depart, the little boy begins to look for his father. But he is no where to be found. Panic sets in. Where is his father? His Dad is the one who brought him here and now it’s time to go home. How will he get home without his Daddy?

A kind parent notices the expression on the little boys face and she stoops down to comfort him. She is a family friend, she knows the boy and his father well. “Oh, I am sure you’re Father will be right back Honey. You know he would never leave you all alone.” But her words do not comfort the boy. He begins to cry. Before long another friendly face has surrounded the boy speaking comforting words about the father’s great love for the boy. But again the boy refuses to be comforted and his weeping grows all the louder. The boy wants his Daddy, he refuses to be comforted by any other. He knows his Daddy’s character, that his father has never left him before but this time seems different. Why is he all alone?

The announcement is heard over the loud speaker once again, but this time it reports “The playground is officially closed and everyone must depart.” The little boy’s heart sinks further in his chest. Where is his Daddy, and why hasn’t he come for him? The kind friend stooping to comfort him assures him that he is more than welcome to come home with them until they can find his Dad. But the little boy longs for his Daddy, he wants only him. He wants to be comforted by the man who lovingly brought him to this place. Under normal circumstances the boy would be delighted to go home with his friends. If only that had been his father’s instructions, then the boy would leave with delight. But his father has vanished leaving him no further instruction. So the little boy sits and sobs and waits for his father to return. The longer he waits, the more he begins to doubt his father, and his love, and the character of the man he knows so well. He is confused and bewildered and he longs to be comforted by his father’s arms and warm embrace. Only his Father can right this situation and explain why this has happened.

And that is the picture of our lives right now. As I sat in the bathroom stall of our church sobbing, this is the image the Lord brought to my mind. How I am like a little child, powerless to do anything, longing for my Father to come and rescue me from my current situation. I could see it all so well through the eyes of the child the pain and disappointment I am feeling. Now more than ever I need my Father God to show up and comfort me. I feel like we came to seminary four years ago following our Father’s leading. We have seen His hand provide for us every step of the way, but now our time in seminary comes to a close. As we realized that the end of our time here was approaching we began asking our Father “what are we to do next”?

We have tried our best to discern his leading, we have worked hard to find a job/ calling for after graduation, but nothing has worked out. We have heard the announcement that the playground is officially closed. We have watched many of our friends pack up their belongings and leave. They have comforted us assuring us that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us. But here we sit, longing to hear from our Father what He has for us next. For a while we are comforted because we know the character of our Daddy. We know that He has never left us all alone. We know that He is working all things for our good.

But there are times when I feel like that little boy sobbing on the playground, wanting only to be comforted by my Father Himself. Why doesn’t He show up and tell me what His great plan is? No amount of hearing from others seems to comfort the way my Father would Himself. All I can say at the moment is that I don’t know what my Daddy’s great plan is, and I long to know. I long for Him to come and make my situation right as only He can.

And now is when the rubber meets the road- the playground is closed, we must go somewhere, action is called for on our part. But we haven’t received any instruction from our Father. We feel like powerless little children. We are not able to get up and go to the next place on our own. We are completely dependent on our Father’s provision and providence. Our Father must provide a way for us or some sort of instruction to get us to where He wants us to go. So we sit here and wait. We wait for our Father to tell us what to do next. We offer to our Father many great suggestions about what we think we should do next, and we see our Father thwart our plans again and again.

And the longer we wait to hear what His good plan for our future is, the deeper my heart sinks in my chest. The more I doubt His character and His love for me. If He is so good then why has He left us all alone? Why has He allowed the playground to close without giving us further instruction about what we are to do next? Where is the care and compassion I am so accustomed to receiving from my Father? I must walk by faith. And it is hard. I am a little child whose security has been crushed. Where does my hope come from? And why has it not proved itself trustworthy this time?

As we sit waiting at a stop light, Joshua Stephen announces “I want to live near Kay-Kay”. A few seconds later he adds “Or at least near one of my friends. Can you make that happen Mom?” Tears come to my eyes as I drive the car and try to squeak out an answer. I begin by telling him that “you know Mommy and Daddy are not in control.” Then I ask him, “Who is in control?”. He pauses for just a moment before he answers “God”. My eyes well up with tears, and I try to fight the emotion from coming through in my voice. “Well, Mommy and Daddy are waiting for God to show us what He has for us next. We have let Him know where we would like to end up, and we’ll just have to wait and see what His good plan for us is.” He is comforted by my response and moves on to the next topic of conversation, but the pit in my stomach grows larger and my longing for my Daddy to comfort me becomes all the more real.

I long for my Daddy to come and show me what His good and perfect plan is for this heart ache I am feeling. I know I will be able to look back and see how He has used this time for His glory and to mold me more into the image of His Son. But like the deserted little child on the playground, I long for my Father Himself to come and comfort me and let me know that everything is going to be all right. Praise God that He came in the flesh of a man to comfort me and know my great sorrow. I rest in Jesus and lean on Him alone. Where else can my hope come from?

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