“... of all the hardships a person had to face none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.”
— Khalid Hosseini
So many people have had to learn to wait in the extremity of punishing psychological situations.
When someone’s marital relationship seems over, when there seems no known hope for one person, and the other person is determined that ‘the end’ should now apply, how is the first person to sustain their hope?
When the time has come to enter into a program of study, to begin a several-year journey, with hundreds of lectures and dozens of assignments ahead, how is the student not to sink in a listless despair?
When a married couple has tried to fall pregnant, yet year after year conception eludes them, or when a single man or woman seeks a mate, and that search continues unabated, what comes next?
None of these waiting tasks is beyond our imaginations. We all know of people who have known such afflictions, if not ourselves, personally.
Waiting is a condition of life.
The more we wait, the more we are required to wait, either the more frustrated or more patient we get. Waiting is a precipice, a pivotal opportunity, a tenuous challenge. Waiting is frustrating when we focus only on the end point and the dramatic chasm between then and now. All we may see is work or boredom ahead of us.
Yet, waiting is easier than expected, perhaps even a joy, when we approach it with patience.
The applicable question remains: how do we wait patiently?
Until we are positioned in ways where we are made to wait, mastery of waiting is unnecessary, inappropriate, and a waste of time. But when the acid has been flung, it is then over to us. The pressure comes on when the pressure comes on.
That’s the cruel irony; only when we have been weakened do we feel too weak to contend patiently. When strength is gone, we dearly need strength. But when we hardly require the strength needed to go on, we have ample strength; strength to burn!
We have to be patient with ourselves in understanding that life presents this irony to all universally. It does us no good at all to shake our fists at God. That won’t change anything.
But, now, we can win patience from the weakest of psychological platforms through simply giving up our insistent frustrations—through surrender. Yes, giving up our own agendas by turning the other way.
Only when we have been weakened do we feel too weak to contend patiently. When we need patience most, patience eludes us because our strength is weak. But when we glory in our weakness, giving it to God, we derive a hidden and mysterious strength that carries us long into the night of our waiting. In waiting, trust; and trust more.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.