We hear the phrase and quickly think of long road trips with impatient kids in the backseat. Mine play the "punch buggie" game to help make the ride enjoyable. Or they may ask for my infamous "Honk the Horn!" signal to truck drivers, as they approach our car. Music, games, bickering.....anything to make the ride seem shorter and more enduring.
And it literally does come down to enduring the ride.
For the younger ones, it seems harder to do. It requires patience that they have not yet developed. But then again, who has mastered patience, really?
That's when I call out, "just close your eyes, it's gonna be a long ride."
Some rides can be fun. Some are not as long. And yet some seem to last forever. You know the ones. Those are the ones when everything seems to be going wrong. (I can almost hear my son calling out, "I really have to go! I can't hold it anymore!") And then you hear either "pedal to the metal" or an abrupt brrrraaaaaake, as the door goes flying open for the kid to jump out and get some relief.
What's ironic is that we go through those kinds of rides in real life. At times we are barely moving through them... to the point that we even get stuck. (stuck in traffic... that's the worst!)
Stuck..... no movement....
(ever been stuck on a Ferris wheel?)
Well, I didn't want to get out of bed today. (let me quickly clarify) Not because I was stuck. Not because I was depressed or anything like that. But it was mostly because after reading through Bible passages I realized "I better be prepared to face life today". You see, who are we fooling?God didn't promise for fun-filled rides. Instead He promised us trouble.... bumpy roads.
But He also promised us Jesus.... (I love the word but) In fact, He gave us Jesus. And as a result, He promises....Joy. (I love the word and)
Okay so I got out of bed.
But it wasn't until I had spent a good two hours waiting on God to "hold my hand and begin to lead me through the day." I admitted, I couldn't do it without Him.
I admit, I'm scared on my own.
In fact, it's a scary world out here. And we grow impatient when we don't "see" Jesus.
(John 11:40, ..."Did I not tell you that if you believed, you wold see the glory of God?")
That is why I really appreciate the following verse, John 10:24, "The Jews gathered around Him, saying, How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
In other words, how long must we wait? Or, are we there yet?
The Jews were feeling impatient and wanted some kind of confirmation from the living God.
You may think they were foolish, since they were looking right at Him! There was no suspense. What more could they want? In essence, their answer was right in front of their eyes. He was with them. However, if we're honest we can admit to being just like the Jews.
Yes we grow impatient when we don't understand His ways. And we wonder, "how long will He keep me in suspense?" How long will God allow for this turmoil in my life? How long will He seem distant? How long must I wait? For some sanity... for some healing... for some comfort.... for ..... (you fill in the blank)
How long? Those are our questions, as He looks right at us. As He stands by us. Stands right in front of us. Takes our hand. And leads us.
You see God is not sitting on His throne watching us "wait". He isn't standing back watching us endure long rides.
He is with us. (just like He was with me this morning helping me out of bed)
Lastly, you remember the story of Lazarus? (John 11) His sisters sent Jesus a message telling Him that Lazarus was sick. Jesus knew they needed Him to come and make Lazarus better. However, Jesus did not go to them right away. But in essence, He was there with them. You see Jesus knew that Lazarus would die and He knew the outcome of the crisis.
He brought Lazarus back to life.
When in trouble, confusion, hesitancy, fear, impatience..... know that you don't need to be "waiting" for Him. He is there.