Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

I just experienced something I never experienced before.

We, Sandy and I, became grandparents for the first time this week. We put some CLARK bars out in celebration. Somewhat more healthy than cigars.

And yes, we’re as annoying as you’d expect. My colleagues have heard the news about seven times as I keep trying, ever so subtly, to work the news into conversations. My friends are ready to move on.

The waiting is what kills you.

We went from zero to two in the grandchild count. Our beautiful daughter-in-law, Rachel, delivered twins. Before they came, we waited each week, wondering whether she would be able to carry Griffin and Norah to full term. We celebrated each passing week, even each day.

With twins, there’s some risk they’ll come early and need extra care. So we passed 32 weeks, then 33, then 34. Each milestone a celebration … and an invitation to further worry. Rachel almost made it to 35 weeks. But not quite. And then her doctor, Megan, said, “It’s time.”

So off they went to the hospital. And then we had to wait at the hospital. First the pre-op. Then the surgery. (Rachel had to have a C-section.) Then 30 minutes of wait time to stabilize before the father (our son, Ryan) could see the babes. Then another hour before we could see them.

We stood in the hall. We strained, looking through the window in the NICU door. We could see Ryan. He looked calm. That felt reassuring.

A nurse came by and said, “You can sit in the waiting room down the hall, if you’d like.” We didn’t like. We kept straining of tiptoes, looking for clues.

A few minutes later, another said, “You’d be more comfortable in the waiting room.” We didn’t want to be comfortable.

Finally, ten minutes later, a supervisor type nurse came and said, “Please wait in the waiting room. It’s about security. It’s policy.” Honestly, we didn’t think we were a security risk of any sort. We finally moved. But we didn’t stop worrying and wondering.

Waiting for the Christ child has a new meaning for me.

When will Messiah come? I think of Simeon and Anna, mentioned in the gospels. They spend lifetimes waiting for Messiah.

The people of God waited for Messiah for generations. It seems God’s timing is not nearly so urgent as ours. Simeon and Anna strained to see. Wondering and worrying. God had his plan.

I think of our world today. And I’m reminded that I often think God should show up sooner than he does. I’m thinking that right about now.

And often God doesn’t show up for years. I know friends dealing with longstanding issues. And it seems the Almighty just waits.

I’m reminded again, this year more forcefully than others, that God reigns over all things, and I don’t. Being a person of faith requires admitting that God guides all things on a heavenly rhythm I may never fully grasp.

Good things will come to those who wait on God.

But good will come. Every tear will be wiped away. Not today. But someday. That’s the promise.

Good will come. I don’t mean this in a quid pro quo kind of way: if I do a good thing, God will give me a reward. I just mean that as people of faith, we believe God will bring good, even in the face of contrary evidence at times, and we trust God to work in God’s good timing

And I don’t say it will be easy. It is the reality of this world: many (most?) things are not easy. Most things worth doing or worth having will require us to go against our culturally conditioned tendency to want what we want and to want it now.

Waiting for Norah and Griffin has reminded me, deeply and viscerally, what it’s like to agonize for something good to come to completion. Waiting for God’s timing is almost never easy. Even so, waiting for God’s timing, in the end, is always good.

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