Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

Jamais vu is the phenomenon that is roughly defined as the opposite of déjà vu – that is, instead of seeing something new and feeling it is familiar, jamais vu is the seeing of something familiar in a new way.

We’ve all had it – often the most exciting instances where you read a familiar scripture but your eyes are suddenly opened to see a different kind of significance or meaning or truth present in the words you’ve seen a thousand times since childhood. I wish I was sharing some kind of new, brilliant theological insight derived from the Bible today. But I’m not.
No, my latest experience with jamais vu involves Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Sorry.

Driving home from the grocery store last night with my iPod on “shuffle,” I suddenly found myself hearing the chorus to “Waiting is the Hardest Part” devoid of any of the familiar context of the song:

The waiting is the hardest part.
Every day you see one more card.
You take it on faith, you take it to the heart.
The waiting is the hardest part.

It really is, isn’t it? In our get-it-done-yesterday kind of world, it is sometimes extremely difficult (if not impossible) to calmly and patiently and genuinely wait for the Lord to reveal His plan rather than rushing into whatever course of action seems best to us. It’s terrifying, that nebulous in-between place of what you want to be doing in the present and not knowing if it is in line with what God wants for your future. Sometimes, you may even be dreading the outcome, but desperate to know it for sure just to end the torture of uncertainty.

But each day, each hour that we place in His hands with the desperate faith that He will craft it into something that conforms to His ultimate plan – if only we will allow Him the time, space, and materials – we do, in fact, see “one more card” and (as the second chorus states) we “get one more yard.” We see a little more of His plan and we move a little bit closer to it. Maybe we don’t always understand the card that is turned over, and maybe we only move forward by inches instead of yards, but the point is that when we truly wait upon the Lord (Isaiah 40:31) we are moving, working, climbing, building towards something.

May that simple reminder be an encouragement to all of us as we pause to wait and listen for the Lord’s voice and direction. Because the waiting really is the hardest part.

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