I was in the Great Smoky Mountains over the weekend on a new trail with a different landscape and its own kind of challenges. The promise of a spectacular view and an abundance of wild blueberries filled me with anticipation as we made our way to the top. The narrow, rocky parts of the climb almost wore me out sooner than I needed to be worn out. I felt like a kid on a long car ride to the beach. Are we there yet?

When we reached a trail intersection that informed us we were six-tenths of a mile away from the view and the blueberries, I was encouraged. img_6870

No big deal, I thought. This is fine. We’ll be there in no time.

Six-tenths of a mile never seemed as long.

We are always waiting for something. Waiting in line. Waiting to speak to customer service. Waiting to finish a project.

Sometimes the waiting is exciting. Other times it’s painful.

Waiting for the right one to marry or for the marriage to be what we thought it would be. Waiting to lose the weight. Waiting for a relationship to be restored. Waiting for the perfect job or the dream to come true or a promise to be kept. Waiting for the cravings for the alcohol or the pills or the entire box of doughnuts to stop.

Waiting for a child. Waiting to forget the regrets of the past and the day you can look in the mirror and like the person you see. Waiting for the sadness to go away. Waiting for God to come through.

That kind of waiting can be so hard that one more day of it seems unbearable. It feels impossible to keep going.

img_6871It’s that kind of waiting that God will use to change us. When it all feels like too much and it’s taking too long and it’s just too hard.

He’ll open our eyes. Or reveal Himself to us in a new way. God works while we wait. He may not change our circumstances.

He’ll do something even greater. He’ll change our hearts and minds. He’ll make us more compassionate and less judgmental. Give us greater faith and softer hearts.

In the waiting, we learn to fix our eyes on Jesus. We learn that He is with us and takes care of us. We aren’t diminished in the waiting. We grow in it because we work through it. We are made stronger and more patient in the waiting. And we see more clearly because of it. Best of all, we learn to love better because of the waiting.

God is greater than the pain of waiting. Great things will happen.

Just wait and see.

I truly believe I will live to see the Lord’s goodness. Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help.    Psalm 27:13-14

img_6869