On Friday, we met with the nurse who works for the new psychiatrist for Sarah. This psychiatrist specializes in autistic children, while our current one does not (he just has had other autistic patients). Also our current doctor has recently moved to a further away location, so it confirmed our decision to switch. Like many things in the autism community there is a wait list. I called in August. Friday’s appointment was the intake/ “get to know you” evaluation with the nurse. Our appointment with the new psychiatrist will be in January 2014, her earliest opening. So we wait….
I feel like patience is an area I struggle with the most. I relate with people in the Bible that also had to learn to wait. Abraham was 75 years old when he received the promise of Isaac, but Isaac was not born until he was 100 years old. If that was me, with each passing month that turned into years, I would start to doubt myself. “Did I really hear God right? Did I imagine this?” Then there is Joseph. For two years he waited in prison after the Cupbearer was released, even when he asked the Cupbearer to remember him, to show him kindness and to mention him to Pharaoh so he could be released (Gen 40:14). I bet the first couple days after the Cupbearer’s release each sound of the dungeon door opening or just hearing a noise from outside world, his heart would beat faster as he hoped it was for his freedom, only to be disappointed. Then as the months passed with no one coming for him, I bet he felt discouraged and forgotten in that dark place. Lastly, there is David. Many years passed from the time he was anointed king to the time he took the throne of Judah, then years later until he took the throne of the entire kingdom. I think about the years David was an outlaw sleeping on dirt floors of caves when he was hiding from King Saul and I wonder if he ever became impatient or frustrated by his circumstances.
Yet, in all of these men, God was at work and there was a purpose in the waiting.
Genesis 15:1b says, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” as God’s reassurance to Abraham. For Joseph, it is Genesis 39:21, “…the Lord was with him (Joseph); He showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” Lastly for David, we know he was a man after God’s own heart and when he was anointed with oil “the Spirit of the Lord came upon David in power.” (I Samuel 16:13b).
I think about the time these men waited and how God was with them in the wait. Each of them grew in character and the time of waiting was preparation for what God had in store for them. He was preparing them for their callings: our patriarch, 2nd in command of all of Egypt (and saved his family/nation from starvation) and the king of Israel. While I am sure it was difficult to wait, they didn’t waste it.
Then there is me. I am ashamed to say that I want God to immediately answer my prayers and more specifically, to answer them how I want them to be answered. I pray and when the answer does not present itself immediately, I begin to question the Lord. “Has He forgotten me? Why isn’t He answering me? I have been praying about this for a few hours/days/weeks/months now…” I need to not waste the wait and know God is here, at work and has a purpose in it.
Maybe God is working in my life in areas that need to be addressed during this time of waiting (also known as ‘refining my character’-an on-going work in progress!). Maybe God is preparing the doctor, the medical field in general, to have something new become available that could help Sarah and by waiting, we will find out about it. Maybe God is at work in Sarah and by the time this appointment comes her crying and aggressive behavior will not be as much of an issue as it is now. All I know is that God’s timing is never late, never early, but perfect.
I also look at these verses and see how God is saying them to me. “Jill, I am your shield, your great reward. I am with you and over and over again I have shown you kindness. Lastly, I have given you the Holy Spirit in your life.” (And I say, ‘Thank You, Lord!’) He is the God of these men and He was faithful to them, therefore, I know as my God, He will continue to be faithful to me.
So I wait…and maybe right now you are in the middle of something that God is asking you to wait through, as well. Maybe you are feeling frustrated, alone or forgotten. I know it is not easy, but with anticipation I hope we both can see that He has a purpose in the waiting.
Isaiah 30:18, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!”