One of my favorite things about being a person is hanging out with other people. I had the flu last year and spent some time in quarantine, and that was the opposite of fun. Actually, the part where I watched movies and read books wasn’t bad, but the part where I was in isolation and felt like a piece of roadkill wasn’t all that awesome. But the point is: I like being in community, to use a churchy term (Hey, I’m in seminary…).
Last week a “wintry mix” hit the South. Stuff like snow and ice happened. One of my roommates and I were snowed/iced in for a whole weekend. The awesome part was I got to spend time with my roommate. I also read, watched many movies, cooked an apple crisp in my crock pot (crock pots = obsessed), and colored.
Saturday after breakfast we ventured out onto the tundra and explored the apartment complex. Everything was iced over. We couldn’t actually go far, but just getting out of the apartment (which my roommate started referring to as The Cave) was so good.
But by Sunday morning, we had cabin fever. My church cancelled its service since the roads were still a little iffy, but my sister’s church was still meeting so we decided to head that way. We were so excited to bust out of The Cave.
After about 45 minutes of trying to defrost my roommate’s car, we realized her vehicle wasn’t going anywhere. Both of our cars were cased in several inches of ice, but mine was in the sun so we decided to try to break that one out.
My poor little car had never seen that much ice. He’s Southern and delicate. We worked for about twenty minutes until we had to accept the fact we weren’t going anywhere, after all.
We were so dejected, you guys. It was pitiful.
Right as I was about to turn off my car and slide back inside, a neighbor came out. He told me to give him just a minute, so I waited. He came back with this serious-looking ice scraper and went to work on my windshield.
“Thank you so much,” I said. “I’m not used to this kind of weather.”
“Where are you from?” He asked as he hacked away at the ice. I cringed because I was afraid I’d have to buy a new windshield and I like to spend my money on things like meat.
“Oh,” he laughed.
He cleared the windshield without casualty, right at the time we had originally planned to leave for church. I thanked him profusely, then ran back into my apartment—past my cup of now-cold coffee—to brush my teeth and grab my wallet. Then we went and had us some church.
Seriously, the neighbor showed up just in time and we left for church right when we’d planned to. He asked my roommate and I what our names were and we told him, but we didn’t catch his name. I’d never seen him before. Naturally, we decided he’s probably an angel.
Random story, but it made me think (which is sometimes scary…).
How often do we give up on hope because hope seems lost?
How often do we decide a relationship is beyond restoration, a situation can’t be saved, an aching heart can’t be healed?
How often do we say, “Well, I’ve prayed about it. God must’ve said no. Oh well, I knew I was asking for too much. God has other things to worry about.”
Y’all, I do this. It’s so easy.
Waiting is so hard sometimes, yet God has proven over and over in my life that His timing is perfect. He’s proved He is trustworthy, and He’s proved He knows what is best for my life. And yet I doubt. I pray for things, yet it’s half-hearted because I don’t want to be disappointed. I don’t want to question God. I don’t want His answer to be different than what I think it should be.
But Scripture tells us this:
“Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”
– Psalm 27:14
Wait. Be strong. Take courage.
“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.”
– Lamentations 3:25
Wait. Seek Him. The Lord is good.
“Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
– Psalm 46:10
Be still. Know. He will be exalted.
There are many more Scriptures I could list here. So many more. But focus on the theme of these three verses: Wait. Trust. Be Still. Know. They don’t say, “Wait a little while, then give up because God isn’t going to answer.”
Not at all.
Keep waiting. Keep hoping. Keep praying. Keep believing that God has a purpose in that difficult situation, that season of singleness, that broken friendship, or whatever it is you’re waiting through.
He may not give you all the answers (if He does, please text me), but He will work all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
Are you waiting on something? What’s a Scripture you turn to for encouragement when you’re tempted to give up hope? I’d love to hear about it!