With four girls that are seven and under there are many time-outs in the Mera house. Time away from each other, a break for Mom, different play areas for the twins (18 months old) so they don’t pull each others hair out – you get the picture? On the 1-2 days per week that I am home all day with all four girls there is a blessed afternoon time slot -NAP TIME. Since three out of four still nap, that quiet time is one of indulgence for this Mama!
But I have to say- whether they are taking quiet time in their rooms for sanity purposes or naps to rest and renew their energy, there is a part of me that waits for them to wake up or for that timer to go off. It is just so weird how my heart misses them and looks forward to their presence again, even when I desperately need that quiet break. Even when they have done something to anger me, or harm one another – I wait to see them again.
It is even the same when Robert and I get away for a night or a weekend. While we love the time together (and the much needed respite), there is always a part of my heart that longs for the girls. I miss them! I always say that motherhood ruined me for life – I need time away but when I am away I miss them like crazy. I just can’t WAIT to see them whenever I am not with them. Isn’t it funny how nothing my girls do, no matter how they may anger me, makes me want to be out of their presence for long. Sure enough, I will miss them and find myself waiting to see them again.
Usually when we talk about “waiting” in our faith, it is in the context of us waiting – waiting on God. As believers we know this is part of our story, as a matter of fact it is probably the majority of our faith journey – waiting. Waiting on God’s timing or an answer to our prayer, for his healing, his guidance, his presence. We are a people of waiting, no doubt.
But the prophet Isaiah speaks to another facet of waiting (30: 18-19). In a time when Israel was far from God, when their choices lead them away from the covenantal relationship they had with their Creator, Isaiah talks about waiting in the verse here. But the crazy thing is that it’s not in the context of Israel waiting on God, but of God waiting on her. Israel has made some poor choices and they have aligned themselves with empires like Egypt, Assyria and turned from God. Sin separates them from God – they have not declared their wait, but God has declared his!
In the verses above, Isaiah boldly declares that God is waiting on Israel, on her return. But he is not just waiting to say hi and to welcome her home. He is waiting to be gracious to his people. He is waiting to show mercy to them. He is waiting for them to cry to him, so that he might respond with merciful and gracious love.
As a Mom I get this waiting. At the end of a nap when I hear Nailah or Karianne cry (even if I still need a little more down time) my gut instinct is to comfort them, to pick them up, hug and kiss them, to show them love. I am waiting for them to wake up (on some level) because I love being with them. Even if they were driving me mad before nap, and I needed that break . . . there is still a longing to have them back close to me.
When the older girls are in time out for constant bickering or wining, for not sharing or for being unkind – I long to bring them back together to apologize, hug, and to move on. I find that I have been waiting to show them mercy, grace, forgiveness, and love; to teach them how to show these things to one another. Their poor choices don’t lessen my desire to be with them in the mother-daughter relationship.
God waits for us in even bigger and better ways than this. He waits for us to turn to him when we are far from him. He waits to be gracious to us. But its not the image of the mother with hands on her hips and a tapping foot, whose teenager is out past curfew. Instead, its the image of the mother whose child returns from being gone for years, arms open to embrace and forgive.
Isaiah says to Israel that God is not waiting to punish them, but to show them mercy and be gracious to them. Don’t get me wrong, there are consequences for Israel’s sin – and there are consequences for ours. But the desire of our God is that we be with him, that we receive his gracious love and endless mercy.
So no matter what we have done or where we have been – God is waiting for us. He is waiting for you – to be gracious to you and show you his mercy. Whatever your choices, your sin, your unfaithfulness, or your distance – God is waiting for you to cry to him.
So think about it. How is God waiting on you? In what way is your Savior calling you into his grace? How does he want to show you mercy?
Cry out to Jesus. “He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry; when he hears it, he will answer you.”
God waits for you.