Friday, March 07, 2008

Hitting the Wall.

And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. Heb 6:15

by Susan Stewart

I remember the last trip I made to Windsor before my mom died. It was mid-September. I didn't know it would be the very last trip but it was. I felt an urgency to get down there, which turned out to be God's perfect guidance and direction.

The gas guage in our old red Toyota was broken, the indicator pointing perpetually to "E", but Ron assured me that I would have enough gas to get all the way down there before having to fill up again. I had six-month-old David along, who I had to bring since he was still nursing, and 12 year old Beth as a babysitter. Along about Chatham we ran out of gas. Ron had forgotten to factor in that I would probably be speeding - about 20 km. over the limit all the way. It was my own fault, but it sure seemed appropriate at the time to blame him.

The word "chagrined" does not begin to describe the feeling that began to sweep over me. David was quickly unstrapped from his car seat and Beth and I took turns carrying - first over the guardrail, then through the ditch full of bull rushes, and up the other side. The car had sputtered and died just shy of an overpass and we began to walk up the crossroad toward town. It was about a mile before we reached a furniture store that was on the very outskirts of Chatham. Unfortunately it was the days before cell phones, but fortunately we had CAA. I went into the store and asked if we could use the phone. I made the call, told them our location and the approximate position of the car. We four made our way to the front of the store to watch out the window for our knight in a rusty tow truck to arrive.

How well I remember that wait. I was some stressed. I felt very vulnerable, travelling with two children on my own and now I felt guilty for exposing both of them, and myself to the risk of walking out in the country unprotected. That feeling was only exacerbated when a strange man pulled over in his retro two-tone brown and tan hearse, leaned out the window and offered us a ride.

"No thanks, we'd rather walk," I'd told him brightly, hoping against hope that he would not be able to detect the raw fear that was lurking, just below the surface.

Walk we did. And now we were waiting by the display window of this furniture store, peering down the road for the first sign of a truck. My mother dying for pete's sake. Didn't the cosmos realize that it should come together to rescue me now?

I prayed anxious prayers amidst waves of pumping adrenaline. They were prayers of supplication that were probably very close to demanding, "Please God - send that tow truck. Please! Get us some gas! Get us to Windsor!", but the praying had no immediate effect. There was nothing more I could do to make that tow truck get there. I simply had to wait. I forced myself to quiet my heart even as I made every effort to quiet my now fussing baby.

I've often thought of that wait since then, when I've been up against the wall, in desperate need to see God act NOW but at the same time realizing that his agenda is not necessarily synchronized with mine. I wonder sometimes if "waiting on God" really means what I think it does. To me, it's just like waiting for that tow truck. It's simply standing there, and knowing for a certainty that God will eventually show up. He has to, because you're putting your trust in him. And when he does, he'll bring with him whatever is needed for the next step of the journey.

I've had to do a fair bit of waiting of late. I've been standing, and watching down the road with not a tow truck in sight. Feeling hopeless, and helpless, apart from knowing that God is on his way - without knowing how, without knowing when, but knowing just the same.

I love how God moves like that. It's like he gets energy from our trust in him and from our prayers. And all the while we are waiting, he is moving and shaking things in a world unseen. Then "suddenly" the answer comes together. Suddenly he appears. And he is always worth waiting for.

My soul waits for the Lord
More than the watchmen for the morning;
Indeed, more than the watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130:6 NASB

3 comments:

Belinda said...

Wow. What an incredible piece of writing. And how faithful is our God.

You're right, he does come "suddenly" and while we might question his timing, it is never off.

Joyful Fox said...

Susan,

It appears right now that you and I are sharing the same journey. Ouch! I too am waiting for our faithful Father,trusting because I know His character but I don't hear, see, or smell the "tow truck". For me, I'm not even sure a tow truck is what He has in mind.

I have demanded, tantrummed, complained, and murmered - much like the Israelites. I feel ugly, don't like myself right now at all. The truth is I'm not very likable. I am humbled by our Father's faithful love, knowing He loves me.

So thanks for the post. We'll wait on together. May I draw something from the faith.

I am encouraged by your perseverence in writing and sharing as He leads.

Bless you today, Susan.

Cardinella said...

Susan,
That was such a lovely story, nicely written, and culminating in a point well made.

Alex