Six days felt like sixty.
He left on a Sunday afternoon for a Greek exegesis class as a part of his D.Min prep and returned on Saturday after lunch. Compared to what military wives and single moms endure it was really nothing. That didn't stop me from complaining though. I don't sleep well when he's gone which made even the nighttime hours crawl. The entire week held plenty of meltdowns and early bedtimes (mine included).
It wasn't all bad. I attempted some fun activities to pass the time with the kids. We created salt dough safari animals and devoured chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. My kitchen duties were easier with one less adult in the house. On Wednesday, my friend must have noticed the extra bags under my eyes and offered to play with the kids for a couple hours while I worked on a writing project.
Such is the nature of waiting. We bemoan the slow moving hands of time while begging for the delay of the sweet seconds in between.
I started a personal study of Philippians while my husband was away. Paul penned this book as he suffered imprisonment in Rome. Near the beginning of his letter we find a verse so familiar that I almost immediately begin humming along.
....being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus....
(Did the tune pop into your head too?)
We love the idea of God's working in our waiting. We want to know the purpose in our pain. We can't wait to see the masterpiece He creates from the rubble of our life. It's as if our lives are ugly fixer-uppers in need of a fantastic flip. We anticipate the final reveal of the before and after pictures.
It's true, of course, that He is working in thousands of unseen ways. He is weaving interactions and choices into a breath-taking tapestry of grace. But this time the words, "until the day of Christ Jesus" jumped off the page and settled into my heart.
I am not guaranteed a glimpse of the completed product that is my life until Jesus returns. Unfortunately, I want quick results and easy fixes. I want to be done with waiting.
The chapter continues...
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
This is the good work that He is accomplishing in me - a holiness that comes from abiding in the Vine and a purity that comes from resting in His work not mine.
There's no denying that waiting is hard, but if we inspect the endless moments more closely, we may find growth and maturity sprouting in unexpected places. We discover a harvest of righteous fruit and abounding love that could not have survived in the soil of haste.
So we wait knowing that He is faithful and will not break His promises to us.
We wait while looking for His good work in the monotony and mundane of life.
And we wait confident that He will return in power very soon.
The delay will seem as only a "momentary affliction" compared to the eternal glory that awaits us in His presence.
I can't wait!