We’re waiting for Asher. We’ve been waiting for three years.
Asher is a boy in the Philippines. He’s our boy, we’re adopting him. In August Asher turns four. We should hear soon that we can schedule our trip. Then we’ll wait another four or five weeks until we can go.
It’s not easy to wait, would you agree?
Asher’s picture is on my phone and when I look at him, my heart hurts. We haven’t met yet, but we love him already. He’ll share a room with Rex, our other son. We just want him here.
Waiting is a fact of life. Sure, none of us wake up and hope to wait today. We don’t pray, “God, let me wait extra long.” If we get into waiting, we look for a way out. Waiting is painful.
But since we can’t avoid waiting, let’s make the best of it. Here are some thoughts on how to wait well.
- Waiting isn’t a punishment, but rather a tool in the hand of God. If you believe that God works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28), then you must affirm that God uses waiting for your good. I know—it’s a terrible thought. It’s easier to get all hot and bothered about having to wait longer than you think you ought to. But take heart—God can actually use waiting to make you better.
- God is more interested in shaping your character than giving you what you want. Look at what waiting can do—waiting teaches you that you’re not in control; waiting births patience; waiting tells you that you’re not the most important person; waiting carves out endurance. Perhaps more valuable than the thing you’re waiting to receive is the work God is doing in your heart. Maybe the fruit of waiting is the real reward. Gifts come and go, but character lasts.
- The feeling of longing echoes eternity. It’s not bad to feel longing, have unmet desire, or to be hungry. These are echoes of eternity. This world is not our home. We are not yet face-to-face with God. There is something better coming. When we long for something that has not yet come, it is a reflection that we have not yet received what will be received. There is more on the way!
- Celebrate the current season, which will one day pass. The last thing our family did four years ago as we left our house to adopt Rex, was to thank God. We grabbed hands and thanked God for the current season. It had been the three of us—Colette, Asia, and myself—for so long. And now it would be four. The current season won’t last forever, so celebrate the goodness of it now. And even if it’s the worst season of your life, celebrate what God is doing through it (remember Romans 8:28).
- When you have to wait for something, the reception is sweeter. When you receive something without waiting, there’s limited joy. Immediate gratification brings shallow reward. But when the waiting has been long and hard, the reception is sweeter because you’ve done the work of waiting. Waiting drives a deeper hooray.
It would have been nice to pick Asher off a shelf the day we decided to adopt. But I wouldn’t trade these three years of waiting for what they have formed in us. May we all learn to wait well and make the best of it.
What are you waiting for? You can comment below.