In December, Steve was laid off. It was only supposed to be for a few weeks. It’s May 10th. He is still not back to work. He was supposed to go back yesterday, but there is another delay. I was laid off February 10th. I was off for just over two months, and have been brought back temporarily. I am highly frustrated by the delays, the fits and starts, the seeming randomness with which our lives are rolling along. My patience has worn thin and sometimes worn right through.
I’m like Vizzini (“The Princess Bride”), hands thrown up in disgust, bellowing, “I’m WAAAAAAAITING!” The timing of our rescue is outside of my comfort zone. There is also utter humiliation in the situation. We live in a society that boasts that things are in your control. One who works hard enough, is diligent and smart, will succeed. That’s the promise, right? And since we are NOT succeeding, and have NOT been able to land those good jobs, have gone through our savings…then by definition we must be indolent…lazy…stupid. That this is not up to me is something I announce, but in my heart of hearts, that voice keeps whispering that we aren’t trying hard enough, aren’t being smart enough.
Following hard on that whispered accusation is the dark thought that God is disinterested in us. That he cares not whether we are homeless, destitute…and that really, truly, he may be a God of Love, but his lovingkindness contains an awful lot of pain and devastation. Perhaps he has forgotten me? Perhaps I have not met his expectations for me, which seems odd, since he knows that I am dust.
These are momentary reflections, but they trouble me more than I would like to admit, because they reveal the state of my heart—a heart that should be trusting, yet fears and doubts assail; a heart that should be patient, but is impatient for God to reveal himself; a heart filled with pride, that should be humble.
In my impatience I have been contemplating the words of Jesus to his inner circle, those who waited for him outside the Garden while he prayed. He had need of them, yet they could not stay awake. He said to them, “Could you not wait with me one hour?”
In my impatience I hear those words echoing inside, whispering to me, After all we’ve been through together, after all this time, after all my goodness and faithfulness to you, can you not wait with me this one hour? It is the hour when he works in and through me, when he works his own purposes, when something greater than me is happening. Can I not wait and trust for this one hour? This one day? This month? This season? Can I not wait through this one trial? Can I not wait?