As I write this, I am waiting to hear back on an offer we have made on a house. Even having a deadline by which we will hear something, the waiting feels interminable.
Surely there are much more serious times of waiting. Waiting for a job to come through or for a baby to arrive. For a phone call with the test results or for a fractured relationship to mend.
This in between time of waiting can feel like a dark hole, as if time stops and nothing else can get our attention. Every time I sit down to work my mind wanders to the details of the house that we will or will not get.
That is the trap of waiting. Life doesn’t stop just because we are preoccupied with something, no matter how big or how small. Henri Nouwen says that to be preoccupied is to occupy a space before it’s time. We are trying to abide in the future and God is at work in the present. And if we’re not careful, we can miss the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living (v. 13).
The psalmist who is waiting to see God move in the midst of perilous circumstances remains confident in what God will do—not just down the road, but in that moment.
Be strong and take heart. Don’t get ahead of yourself. Remember that God is in the present moment just as much as God is in the outcome of the situation for which you wait.
What are you preoccupied about? Where are you occupying a space before it is time?
God, help us to trust the future to your hands and to not lose sight of you in the midst of our waiting. Amen.