Sometimes God’s abundant blessings are immediately apparent – we wake up grateful for a new day, amazed by the beauty of creation, and filled with confidence that God is right here, right now.

Other times, not so much.

Other times, God is not so easily found.

Sometimes we just have to …wait.

And watch.  And trust.

Holy Week guides us through those waiting times. Day by day during this long week leading up to resurrection, we walk through loss and pain and grief. We hear stories of betrayal, pain, and desertion. We are reminded that there are seasons of our lives that hurt.  Either we are experiencing a time of challenge and loss or we know someone who is.

There are times when God seems far away and when we cannot fathom what God is doing.

And so we wait.

And watch.  And trust.

Holy Week also reminds us that God is faithful.

The Good News is that God meets us where we are.  God will not abandon us.  We are not alone.

During this Holy Week and beyond – let us wait and watch for God.

Let us trust that God is at work in ways that we may not yet be able to understand.

But God’s love will prevail.

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27

It’s hard to wait

Waiting is hard. When I look at our snow-covered yard, I yearn for spring. The daffodils I planted last fall are nowhere in sight. Dirty piles of old snow, mud, and messy puddles seem determined to stay and my desire for spring is not making it arrive any quicker.  We are in that in-between time that only maple syrup producers can love. It’s not quite winter, but it is not yet spring. It is hard to wait.

            So much of life is like that. We want answers, results, clarity. The chemo patient wants to know now if treatments are working. The expectant mother wants assurance that her baby will be healthy and strong. Awkward adolescents want to fast forward to a time when they will fit in. The addict wants proof that rehab will bring health and wholeness.

            Life, unfortunately, looks more like my yard these days – messy and unfinished – rather than a tidy, neatly defined happy ending.

Life is what happens while we’re waiting for results and yearning for completion. The “highlights” of life – graduation, awards, achievement – are just a fraction of our experience. Most of life is lived in the “in-between” times. It’s in the struggle, the waiting, and the effort. While every athlete dreams of crossing the finish line with arms upraised in victory, most of their time is spent in training. Every gardener rejoices in healthy vegetables and blooming flowers, but a lot of weeding and fertilizing came before that glorious result.

While God is certainly present in crowning achievements, I think God lives in the uncertainty of our lives. God is in the waiting room, in the dreary loneliness of grief, in the struggle for another hour of sobriety, in the grinding worry for a loved one, and in the endless tasks of a caregiver.

It’s hard to wait.  We want to get “there.” If we think we will only discover God when we reach the Promised Land of completion, we will miss the God of the journey. We will overlook the one who travels with us not just to green pastures but also through all the dark valleys along the way.

It’s hard to wait.  But we worship a patient God and God will wait with us.