the waiting place

An all-time favourite in this house is Dr Seuss’ Oh the places you’ll go!

“Congratulations! | Today is your day.

You’re off to Great Places! | You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head. | You have feet in your shoes.

You can steer yourself | any direction you choose …”

Until of course, in Dr Seuss’ comic realism, you are headed “toward a most useless place. The Waiting Place”.

The waiting place is indeed the worst possible place in our experience, but in God’s dispensation it may be the best. It is certainly not useless. Paul Tripp defines waiting as “living through those moments when you do not understand what God is doing and you have no power to change your circumstances for the better.”

Here are three points we’ve gleaned from Tripp’s writing and our own experience.

The first is that waiting is inescapable. Everyone goes through periods where things are beyond control. No-one escapes it. In God’s sovereign purposes, waiting is designed to expose our true level of trust in him. Theoretically, it is easy to trust God, but practically we need to be trained.

Second, waiting is necessary. We are not writing our own stories, God is. We are not in charge of the universe. God is. That is why He does not only give us the grace to wait, but he gives waiting as a gift itself, to grow us in grace. Or, to put it another way, waiting is not about what you get at the end of it, but what you become while you are at it.

Third, waiting is to God’s glory. It is to his glory simply because when we cannot change our circumstances, we are forced to surrender to his plan, and hence to his glory.

While we have been waiting to go to our new destination, we are very aware that others have been making sacrifices during this long process, and so have we. People have been praying, and so have we. All of which means that in spite of appearances, God has purposefully been making very good use of this waiting time.

We are therefore able to celebrate together that God is good to us. And that we will reach our destination soon!

3 Responses to “the waiting place”

  1. So …
    be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
    or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
    you’re off to Great Places!
    Today is your day!
    Your mountain is waiting.
    So … get on your way!

  2. Thank you for this uplifting writing – waiting is where I invariably chaff raw against the bonds

  3. I Love that book- think it’s thoroughly profound- and read it often.. so glad I’ve found someone else who thinks so! will be praying yout visa’s etc come though soon!