I was talking with a girlfriend last week about these last waiting-weeks for baby girl. I knew that the end would be the hardest – when we are so close, and it still feels so far out when my body is crying mercy daily. But what I didn’t expect was the January effect on top of it. For years, as a business owner, January has been a month of implementation. The year-end planning and dreaming and preparing for the new year is finished, and by the time the calendar turns, I hit the ground running. Only this time, with an end-of-January due date, it’s a bunch of hurry-up-and-wait. I’ve already anticipated the transition. I’m ready for the new routine. I’ve worked out the car seat shuffle, and the schedule juggle in my brain, and I just can’t quite implement it yet, which makes me crazy. “I’d like to just skip over this final in-between,” I said to her as our three-year-olds ran around playing and eventually growing suspiciously quiet as they entertained themselves with the dog food and floating their snacks in the water bowl.
Isn’t that how we tend to look in the waiting – filling our time with silly antics just to have something to do? “I cannot wait to be done and finally snuggling this baby girl,” I wrote in my prayer journal this morning. “Not just because my body feels like it’s taking a beating, but because I’m stuck in this kind of in-between, waiting limbo. And I don’t love it.” But hasn’t that always been my tune? During our family wait, I lamented not knowing just how long the wait would be. And I’m still just as uncomfortable in this wait despite knowing that the end is coming soon.
See, the funny thing about waiting? Nobody likes it. Next time you’re in a waiting room, take a look around and see how many people are just sitting there happily, enjoying the waiting-moment without reading or scrolling or doing something to distract them from it. Being still with your thoughts is not something that comes naturally. I think that’s why God made a point to say it there in Psalm 46:10 a couple of thousand years ago (and why “Be still and know that I am God” is a well-known verse today). And even further? The “be still” verb in the Hebrew language? It’s imperative, indicating an order or a command.
“I’m ready for the new rhythm, the new routine of a family of five, and still … I wait for You to put the finishing touches on this third miracle babe as my body slowly prepares for her arrival. God, give me strength in this final wait.”
After I finished writing the words, I opened my brand new Passion Translation Bible to start reading chapter one of Philippians. And then something funny happened when I got to verse six. I was reading the very same words I had just written out. Verbatim.
Paul was in prison, writing a letter to his friends, the church in Philippi. And as he sat there in his cell, in the uncomfortable in-between, waiting for his freedom to come calling, he prayed. “I pray with great faith for you,” he wrote. “Because I’m fully convinced that the One who began this glorious work in you will faithfully continue the process of maturing you and will put His finishing touches to it until the unveiling of our Lord Jesus Christ!”
Wait. What? Did I just read that?? Did I just write that?? I sat there staring at the words. The very same verbatim-words I had just finished praying were repeated word-for-word in the verses I just finished reading. And His Spirit whispered:
As you wait? Pray.
Busy yourself in that uncomfortable in-between that nobody likes to be in with the business of prayer. Pray for that baby you’re anticipating. Or that spouse you’re waiting for. Or that miracle you’re believing God for. Pray often and pray specifically, following Paul’s example: write it down. And, when appropriate, share it. Privately or publicly, whichever is most appropriate. Because nothing spurs on someone else’s faith than reading a friend’s honest prayer-words for you as God lingers a little bit longer, putting His finishing touches to your waiting-for-it gift.
P.S. If you were struck by that “be still and know that I am God” reference just like I was, I have a FREE printable of the hand-lettered quote for you!