Learning to wait

Waiting for God can be difficult but for our best.

In July we got a Lhasa Apso puppy. Pixel is adorable and keeps us on our toes. While he’s settled down and learned more about how we want him to behave, one thing he has also learned is that when we get ice out of the refrigerator, ice cubes sometimes fall on the floor.

One thing we have learned is how much he loves ice cubes. They are one of his favorite treats! I think with teething the ice feels good to him, but he loves them. Any time someone uses the fridge, he sits right at their feet, just in case.

This is especially true in the early mornings when just Pixel the Pup and I are up. He has learned the sound of me getting my kids’ Thermoses ready for their lunchboxes and runs anxiously to the fridge to stand by for ice. Many mornings, I give him an ice cube, because he waits patiently and looks so cute that I can’t resist.

One morning last week, this very thing had happened, but the only difference was that making the kids’ breakfasts (which I do first) had taken a bit longer and I was later in putting ice in their Thermoses. I checked the time and knew that as soon as I filled the Thermoses, I’d have to head upstairs to rouse everyone else out of bed.

I also knew from previous experience that while Pixel loves ice cube treats, he also loves going upstairs with me to wake up the kiddos. He can’t eat his ice and go upstairs at the same time. It’s too much for one pup. So, like all of us crazy dog moms, I explained the situation to Pixel.

“I’m not going to give you an ice cube right now, because we’re about to go upstairs to wake up the kids,” I said to him. “I will give you one when we come back downstairs.”

Unsurprisingly, he didn’t know what I was saying and sat there waiting for a treat that never came. He did follow me upstairs. He also did get an ice cube from me when we came back down. But as I looked at his little, furry, expectant face, I thought of myself.

I’m neither that furry nor that adorable, but I do wait for things sometimes. I ask God for something that makes complete sense to me in my head. I even beg and plead for His intervention, a miracle or a specific blessing. And sometimes I miss what He says back to me.

I don’t always hear Him when He tells me to wait. Or I do hear Him and balk at the idea of waiting longer for something I want. I don’t know the big picture and plan, just like Pixel didn’t know that waiting for an ice cube would mean he got to go wake up the kids AND get an ice cube. Otherwise, he’d have just had an ice cube or his ice cube would have melted while we woke up the kids.

I had better in store for Pixel the Pup than what he thought he wanted. God so often has better in store for me. I don’t always sit patiently and expectantly like Pixel did that day. I mope and complain and feel bitterness edging in sometimes. Waiting is hard. Not knowing the big picture is hard for me, because I like to plan.

But I have learned and continue to learn that waiting for God is OK. His timing really is always right even when it doesn’t seem to make sense to me at the time. I learned that in the nearly decade it took to sell our house and move. I ended up in a completely different place than I thought I’d be and in a much better home than I dreamed. God’s timing was at work.

Sometimes when God tells us to wait, it’s less about Him being mean or even about our decisions causing repercussions. Instead, it’s about being patient because something better is coming. He has us wait sometimes because we aren’t ready for the blessing at the time we ask for it.

Pixel wasn’t ready for an ice cube at the time he wanted it last week. He thought he was. It made sense to him, because that is often when he gets an ice cube. But his ice cube would have melted when we went upstairs.

Maybe that blessing or answer you’ve been waiting on is still coming, but the time isn’t right yet. Maybe if God answered your prayer how you want him to today it would all fall apart and you’d miss something even better.

What I do know is that God has promised us that He has a plan for us to give us a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11). He doesn’t plan for our harm, so if He is saying “no” or “wait,” He has a reason. He’s not being mean or vengeful. He just knows better.

Sometimes you just have to wait for your ice cube to come at the right time.

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