So when the apostles were with Jesus, they kept asking him, “Lord, has the time come for you to free Israel and restore our kingdom?”
He replied, “The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know.” (Acts 1:6, 7 NLT)
Of the many trials and times of waiting I have experienced, five years ago I remember the most difficult to date– if and when we would be able to bring our first born baby home from the NICU. Emma’s three month premature arrival was a test of many things– of my marriage, of my parenting, of my patience. While leaving her at nighttime in the hands of the nurses and heading home was difficult, I hung on to the hope that someday she’d be accompanying me on the journey out of the hospital walls. Everyday I’d wonder whether we were closer to her homecoming, and when I would ask, no one could secure a response I was seeking. Instead, my ten hour daily hospital visits felt a little generic at times, and Emma simply didn’t feel like my baby because I wasn’t yet able to make decisions on her behalf. We were at the mercy of God and His timing, though it often felt like we were at the mercy of the nurses and doctors.
On one hand, we knew Emma was in the best hands, and we felt secure because she was hooked up to monitors and progressing as she should; on the other hand, we longed for the days we could watch football games and cuddle with her on the couch during the weekends instead of fighting her cords and holding her in hospital chairs. As much as we tried to remain patient, we struggled, much like the apostles, and wanted everything to move a little faster than God planned.
Now that I look back on that time, I wonder what our hurry was… Emma was well-cared for, and the Holy Spirit was following me around like a piece of toilet paper stuck to the bottom of my shoe. Though I never felt alone, I still grew impatient. Is there anything in your life that causes you great impatience? Does your impatience stem from a lack of security in God’s plan or a feeling of deep loneliness? The challenge I wasn’t ready to face during those months was to dive into the Word and be with God through that time of impatience. God is calling us, in our deepest impatience, to climb into His story, read, and learn how to use the negative energy of impatience for His good. Are we up for the challenge?