Much to my chagrin, I’ve found myself in a season of waiting. I didn’t anticipate this particular bout of waiting, and considering I hate to wait anyway, I’ve not been overly happy about it. The fact that I can’t control others’ behavior is not news to me, but I sure wish I could. So, instead, I must wait. I don’t wait well. I feel anxious and want to push and force the issues. But I also tend to wait with a sense of dread at the outcome. I don’t trust God that all will work out well.
I’ve been praying a lot about this – the initial situation and my lack of patience. I was praying while on a walk the other day when I felt God telling me (though not out loud), “you’ve been trying to rush this the whole time.” You’re right, I thought. That day, I wrote in my prayer journal, “Dear Lord, I’m listening.”
And then, I felt as though I started hearing from God. I read a Lysa TerKeurst devotion in which she said, “I have learned the treasure of expectation … I ask God to help me live in expectation of experiencing Him; therefore I do.” Then, I read writer friend Meredith Carr’s blog post in which she said, “Will you wait with me? Together, may we celebrate from the valley and watch with eager expectation for all He will do.”
That’s when I realized that I don’t wait with the expectation that God will do something good. I don’t anticipate positive outcomes, only negative ones. I grind my teeth during the waiting and beg God for my desired result. Al l the while, I’m thinking that God won’t come through in a good way for me. It was a sobering realization. I felt pretty pathetic since I have a good life – evidence that things have usually worked out well.
Around this time, the Beatles’ song “Let It Be” popped up on my playlist. The familiar mantra resonated with me. The phrase “let it be” can indicate a willingness to wait without trying to push, prod, and pressure for a more immediate result. And “let it be” can be read to call forth a positive outcome. To me, it echoes the creation story in the Bible in which God declares, “let there be…” multiple times to bring forth the living, vibrant earth and all of its creatures. Gen. 1. So, I started writing “Let it be” on my wrist as a temporary type of tattoo to remind myself to wait but with the expectation that God will call forth good on my behalf.
My daughter said I should just get a real tattoo of “let it be” since I continually wrote it on my arm. I wasn’t ready for that, so I ordered a bracelet with the phrase instead. I have no illusions that I will always wait with patience and with anticipation of good. But I’m going to try to do better. I can invite God into the situation and offer the problem to God. I need to trust God more and believe that he wants good for me. I’ll require God’s help to make that happen and probably lots of reminders from him and those through whom he speaks. I’m still waiting, but I’m listening, God, so please let it be.