“We have done everything we can…all we can do now is wait.”
This is what I usually say to well-meaning people who, with a smile on their face, ask me about our adoption process. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind the questions at all. In fact, the other night I asked my wife if she ever got frustrated or saddened by questions that reminded her that we don’t have a baby yet. She said no. We both can see the love and genuine concern that people have for us that leads them to ask these sorts of questions. We don’t mind thinking about it. We don’t mind talking about it.
But what we do mind is the waiting.
It’s hard to explain the feeling – a sort of excitement and expectation mixed with frustration, joy, hope, and a bit of disappointment.
But I think what bums us out the most about waiting is that we can’t control it. We can’t do anything to make it go faster. We just have to wait.
If you know my wife and I, then you know that we and doers. We do things. We get things done. Go-getters are often a step behind us because we have already gone and gotten.
And that’s why this period of waiting is so important for us. It’s why it is so good for us. God will/is/has been teaching us lessons about the waiting, and through the waiting, whether we like it or not.
I did a quick search and found the word “wait” in one form or another in the Bible upwards of 135 times. The most common words from Hebrew that get translated into the English “wait” would be: קוה and יחל. Now, I know those squiggly lines may not mean much to you so let me just tell you what they mean. קוה means- to await, hope; to wait for. יחל means-to wait; to cause to hope. You don’t need to know Biblical Hebrew to see the common theme of hope.
In the New Testament the three most commonly translated words for “wait” are: προσδοκάω, ἀπεκδέχομαι, προσδέχομαι. Their definitions are in the same order- wait for; look for; expect – await eagerly – and wait for; look forward to. Here also is a common theme of eager expectation. I would even say that the Greek words help to “sum up” and complement the Hebrew.
Waiting, more specifically, waiting on God, has to do with hope which is an eager expectation of what will most assuredly come.
So why does the Bible talk about waiting so much? Well, there are a few reasons, but I will just highlight two in this short time.
First, the Bible talks about waiting a lot because it is a natural part of life on earth and we ought to know how we should respond in a God-honoring way.
Psalm 37:7-9 Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land. (Emphases added.)
While we wait we still need to continue to live our lives, and the quality of how we live our lives needs to be worthy of the Gospel by which we have been saved.
Second, waiting teaches us about God and His genuine care, steadfast love, and kindness towards us.
Romans 8:15 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
Psalm 33 20-22 Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
God loves us with a love that is far beyond our own comprehension. But there is one thing that we can be sure of, even as we wait, God has not and will not forget about us. He will not forsake his own adopted children. If you are like us, in the midst of a wait, be encouraged. He is our shield. He is our help.
He is greater than the wait, and He is using this time to teach us and to draw us closer to Him and to one another. It kinda hurts, but I’m really thankful for it.