Waiting on God in the Days of Amazon Prime
“Mom. I want ankle weights. I need ankle weights. My friend has ankle weights, and I need them to be faster and jump higher,” my son explained to me at approximately 6:21 am while I packed lunches and fixed breakfast. “Mom. Look it up. It’s on Amazon. Let’s look. We can order it right now.”
First of all, I still don’t understand why he needs ankle weights. This seems extreme for a seven- year-old. But that is not the point. I cannot tell you how often one of my children comes up asking for something to be ordered on Amazon Prime in an effort to fulfill their desire instantaneously.
But the reality is life doesn’t work like Amazon Prime. Intellectually, we know this. At a heart level, we should know this. But practically, we don’t act like we know this. God doesn’t offer annual subscriptions that guarantee two-day delivery on the fickle desires of my heart or my children’s hearts.
Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old when they finally had Isaac. Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years and died within sight of the promised land. David, a man after God’s own heart, wrote in Psalm 13, “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” The apostles in Acts 1:4 were instructed by Jesus to wait in Jerusalem for the Holy Spirit.
The Bible is literally full of people waiting. Our struggle to wait is nothing new.
As Christians, we are called to wait well. After all, our lives are one big, long wait for Heaven. So then, each year, month, week, and day is an exercise in waiting. As Paul writes in Romans 8:23-24, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.”
As parents, we wait for Glory. We wait for a child to be born. We wait for a child to sleep through the night. We wait for a child to potty train. We wait for a child to have good behavior. We wait for a child to have a best friend. We wait for a child to know the Lord.
Children, too, wait for Glory. They wait for their mom to pick them up from school. They wait for student government votes to be counted. They wait for the list of new cheerleaders to be posted. They wait for acceptance from a college. They wait for a husband or wife.
Each and all of these situations can unravel our children and us, causing anxiety, frustration, and even anger. They can provoke underlying fears and questions. Does God really love me? Does he really care? Am I alone? Will He come through when it comes to my child and his or her future?
It isn’t fun or easy to wait, nor to sit with those questions. So I take it in to my own hands and mom-handle the situation to my liking. I click that proverbial two-day shipping button and lean back, satisfied in my self-sufficiency. But that is not the way God works or how He desires for me to act. He calls me to wait well, resting in His power and will and believing that He alone is sufficient for myself and my children.
If we can see it this way, we have the blessing of waiting alongside and with our children. When they (and we) question His plan or His goodness while waiting for a class grade, a friend to call, or a team roster, we have the privilege of showing them how God reminds us of these truths in his Word: Yes, He does love you (John 3:16). He does care (1 Peter 5:7). You are not, have never been, nor will ever be alone (Isaiah 41:10). And He will come through (Psalm 40:1-3).
Let us hold fast to these truths, waiting patiently for the one who loves our children (and us) more than we can fathom to move in our midst. And let us remind ourselves and our children that, in his goodness and wisdom, God does not operate like Amazon Prime.
Isaiah 40:28-31: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases his strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”