"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Can you just sit and wait, Stephanie?

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It was 2 in the afternoon when the electricity went off.

Surprised, I got up and went in search of the landlady to let her know.

I had come away for a few days of quiet retreat with the Lord.  Staying in a tiny little cottage down the road from my house, I had been having a great time journaling and praying.  

Hardly even bothered about the electrics, I stuck my head out of the cottage and happened upon the landlady to let her know about the shut-down. She wasn't surprised; but apologetically explained that she would have it all sorted by 4----a few hours time.  No worries, right?  

The hours past quickly as I continued to worship, journal, read and pray.  I first realized the passing of time when I noticed the darkening of the room and I started to get a little cold (the heating is connected to the electrics).  I got up in order to start the kettle for a cup of tea.  ...no electricity.   Looking at the clock, it was now 5 PM...  and the daylight was quickly leaving.  My little cottage was starting to get dark and cold---and I just wanted a hot drink.  

So, slightly bothered now, I popped my head out of the cottage in search of the landlady.  She was no where to be found.  So, I ventured out...  finding the electricians hard at work by flashlight and lanterns.  Yes, darkness was indeed quickly descending.  

I politely asked them when they might be done working... and they assured me that it would only be another half hour at most.  As I turned away from them and began walking back to my dark cabin, I felt the strong urge to cry... sadness was welling up---hard and fast.  

Wow!  These strong emotions...for this relatively small thing, Lord...  What is this about, Father? I want to weep here.  What is really going on in my heart.  

I sat down and picked up my journal and with the trickle of light from the descending sun,  I wrote: "This is definitely not only about the electricity!" 

I spent the next few minutes crying and writing...  trying to articulate all the "small" and large things that have been frustrating lately.  ...the myriad of things that I am and have been waiting for.  

Waiting.  It is not an easy thing to do!  I am not a patient person.  ...and there is a lot of waiting and ambiguity in this life.  

The landlady said it would be working at 4:00... it was now nearly 6 PM.  I was cold, getting hungry, tired, and it was dark.  I was imminently loosing my the ability to do any journaling or reading.  

The next hour was spent in utter frustration.  In and out of the cottage, I went.  Making my annoyance known in small ways... I paced, I sighed.  I asked again--- when?  When will this be sorted?  I kept getting the same answer...  only a few more minutes.  Surely just 20 more minutes.  

The sadness I had been feeling slowly and steadily turned to anger.  Utter frustration.  

As I sat in the dark cabin... verses kept coming to my head, on after another.  Wait on the Lord.  Wait for the Lord continually (Hosea 12:6).  Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7).  I wait for the Lord, my soul waits!  (Psalm 130:5)  

Just wait.  Can you just wait?  

Stephanie, wait on the Lord. 

At 7:15, I texted my husband:  Dark.  Cold.  Hungry.  Electricity is still out.  I am done.  I am so frustrated.  Waiting in the dark...  

He wrote back:  Do you want me to come get you?  

Clear as a sun-filled day, I knew in that instant the answer to that kind question from my husband...  
I knew.  I knew I needed to wait.  

I texted back...  I don't know.  ...No,  I think God is asking me to wait.  

He texted back...  Ok.  Wait it is.  Hmmmm...  Waiting in the dark.  Praying for you right now.  

Yep!  He knows.  My husband knows all the things we are waiting for.  

In that moment, I put my phone down.  I  walked over with distinct purpose and sat on the couch. With stubborn resolve... with a sorta-"fine, then!"-mild tantrum feeling, I sat down.

OK, Lord,  I am going to wait!!  I don't know how long, but here I am...  Here I am.  I am waiting.  Into the dark, I went and I sat. Hands on my knees, sitting with obstinate determination... I sat and chose to wait. In that moment I felt surrender.  

It was only seconds, hardly even a minute later...the lights came on.  

Just like that... as if with perfect comedic timing the Lord responded to my final surrender with: Good!  Well done.  Finally!  And, bam! the electricity came on.  

It was 7:30 PM and God had another life lessons for me...  Can you wait, Stephanie?  Just stop, sit down... be still and know that I am God.  Not the first time we have been here!  But, indeed, here we are again.   Just waiting.  

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