When one thinks of the worst sports fan, a Chicago Cubs fan immediately comes to mind. For more than a hundred years now they have been without baseball’s coveted prize, a World Series championship. There is no Cubs fan living today who saw their team win the 1908 World Series. Since the Cubs last World Series championship, we have endured two world wars and landed on the moon. And yet Cubs fan continue to wait for the day when their team wins their next World Series.
This idea of waiting is the essence of the human experience. No matter your age or where you live, all of us are in a constant state of waiting. Some wait for the day they graduate. Others wait for the day they retire. Even in airport security lines or grocery lines, we must wait before we reach our destination. It is no coincidence that the word wait rhymes with hate. Our needs for instant satisfaction only makes the waiting worse.
If you share this dread of waiting, just know that you are now alone. In PS 119, the pslamist cries out, ” 81 My soul faints with longing for your salvation, but I have put my hope in your word. 82 My eyes fail, looking for your promise; I say, “When will you comfort me?” 83 Though I am like a wineskin in the smoke, I do not forget your decrees. How long must your servant wait? When will you punish my persecutors?
Since losing my brother in October, one of the most difficult aspects has been to acknowledge the frustrating reality of having to wait. Wait for the day when all creation is made new. Wait for the day when Im reunited with my Marcus, and laugh and talk as we once did. So how do we endure the times we have to wait for questions to be answered, for purposes to be revealed?
Again our attention is drawn to the Psalms. In ch. 27, “7 Hear my voice when I call, LORD; be merciful to me and answer me. 8 My heart says of you, “Seek his face!” Your face, LORD, I will seek.9 Do not hide your face from me, do not turn your servant away in anger; you have been my helper. Do not reject me or forsake me, God my Savior. 10 Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
11 Teach me your way, LORD; lead me in a straight path because of my oppressors.12 Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes, for false witnesses rise up against me, spouting malicious accusations.13 I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. 14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.”
Parents rarely forget their children. Yet even when they do, God does not forget us. This is God’s promise and God keeps his promises. In our times of waiting, let us cling to God’s faithfulness. It’s God promises that gives us the assurance that our wait is not vain, and that one day we will reach our destination.
Great American songwriter, Tom Petty, does better than most at describing the struggle of our finite human existence. On the surface, Petty’s song entitled, “The Waiting,” talks about the long hard search for true love. The song’s chorus, however, speaks to a much deeper yearning that each of us feel. While all of us are unique, we all wait for something. I think each of us can feel the truth of the chorus when it says, “you take it on faith, you take it to the heart, the waiting is the hardest part.”