“And they (Job’s friends) sat with him on the ground seven days and seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that his suffering was very great.” (Job 2:13, ESV)
Oh the waiting game ... often played, rarely appreciated. I'm playing it now and I hope that I can take a lesson from Job. Those seven days where nobody spoke a word were essential to what unfolded. Too often, we (and by that I mean I) want to rush to the solution or the end or at least something other than the waiting. And, when we do that, we miss the opportunity to appreciate so many things. So, while I'm still waiting on what comes next for me, here are some thoughts that should make me appreciate this silent period.
I had the most wonderful time away with the family. We really needed it and despite not having a job to come back to, it was a great experience where lasting memories were made. That can get lost in the waiting impatience if I let it and it really shouldn't.
I have had the chance to see just how big my network is over the past few weeks. No, nothing firm has turned up for employment, but there have been some great conversations and we have not gone hungry or begun living outside yet. The breadth of people I know at many levels can get lost when I'm focused on busy and not in a waiting stage.
Serving others is a valuable thing that rarely gets done when we are so focused on what is next. This past week, I had the opportunity to serve my sister by ripping out and replacing her porch. The job ended up bigger than we planned, but it also ended up as a much nicer porch. She will have many pleasant mornings, afternoons, and evenings sitting on that porch and just enjoying what life brings in front of her. Had I not been waiting, it would have taken a month or more of weekends to do the job.
God doesn't promise a precisely running clock on the Crooked Path. He only promises to be with us - and that extends to the waiting period. The waiting is a chance to listen a little more closely, reflect a little more deeply, and take time for opportunities that otherwise might have been missed. And, as Isaiah stated, it can be a time to renew that which sustains me as I travel.