Brenda and I were blessed to see 2020 come to a close with a beautiful sunset over the Grand Canyon. The next morning, we rose early to go see the sunrise and begin 2021 with another epic view. As we gathered on the south rim at about 7am it was a cold 20 degrees but not unbearable. We had a taste of the glory the night before and we hiked up to rim excited about the view to come. As we approached the view, still dark, we could see 10 or 20 folks already there, serious photographers and iPhone photographers like us. There were single travelers, groups of friends and even families with small children. When we hit the railing on the rim the 30 mph winds took a bite out of our enthusiasm. It was kind of brutal, wind so cold coming straight up the canyon wall into our faces. Twenty minutes later we began to see the sun making its appearance. “Oh good, the beauty is about to unveil, and we can get back in the car.” It was a full 15 more minutes till the sun had fully risen. In the middle of that I said to Brenda, “I have never seen a slower sunrise in my life.” That phrase rang in my mind that morning.
Waiting is only hard when the circumstances are hard. When I am fully satisfied, comfortable and content- waiting for anything is not a problem. Let it take its time, life is great in the waiting. In contrast, when I experience pain, suffering, need, anxiety- that is when patience in the waiting can be so brutal. Life comes at me like a cold blast at 30 mph and I am anything but content.
And yet, the sunrise comes and somehow the waiting and the suffering makes the prize more special. I savor it more, hold the gratitude in my heart a little longer.
Paul says in Romans 8, “But if we hope for what we don’t see, we wait for it with patience.”We don’t wait with all that we want, we wait in want! That is exactly why Paul says in the following verse that the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
It seems that waiting has often been the Master’s plan. Here is a quick look at this in the progression of scripture.
“The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone...” Exodus 24:12
“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26
“And while staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, ‘you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.’” Acts 1:4-5
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” Romans 8: 22-24a
“For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” Galatians 5:5
These last 6 months the Lord’s refrain to me has been often repeated, “Wait.” I just said to Brenda, “Waiting is not a part of my nature, but I think that’s probably part of my sinful nature.” :-) The Lord is doing a good work in me and I pray in you as well. What are you “Waiting” for? In its’ essence we wait for Him and all He brings. In due time a harvest of righteousness will rise up and like the sun on a cold morning, the wait will make it extra special.