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“So you, by the help of your God, return,

hold fast to love and justice,

and wait continually for your God.” (Hosea 12:6 ESV)

Most of us don't like to wait on anything. I am currently waiting for all of this snow and ice surrounding my house to melt. Others are waiting for their electricity to come on. Some are waiting for the word that they can stop boiling their water before they drink it. Other people are waiting for loved ones to get out of the hospital or recover from an illness or accident.

At times, we say the word wait when we are talking to someone is eagerly impatient. They want to do something or for something to happen. We tell a child to wait until after dinner to eat that cookie. We tell family members to wait until after the blessing before digging in to the holiday meal.

I have to tell myself to wait many times a day...I face a challenge and want to jump in and solve it immediately. "Wait," I tell myself. "You need more information. You need to research your options. You need to think about this and pray about this. Check with a mentor. Get some more facts. Check your sources."

Waiting instead of becoming eagerly impatient can help us "hold fast to love and justice." We can breathe before we speak or judge or react or act. We can check our sources before we spread information. We can get to know a person before we judge them or exclude them. We can make informed decisions before we offer solutions that may be more hurtful than helpful.

God will guide us through our waiting. We can seek wisdom and understanding. We can pray for eyes to see the path that will lead us to love and peace and justice and grace. We can breathe in God's Spirit as we work to offer hope, grace, and love to others.

Reflective writing:

When have you acted or reacted instead of waiting and now wish you had made a different choice?

What answers are you currently waiting for?

How do we balance waiting with a need for action? How do we find the balance so that we wait wisely without delaying much needed action?

The Waiting

I don’t remember what I was waiting for— maybe I was waiting for hearts to open, eyes to see, ears to hear … maybe hope to appear, love to grow and flow over these dividing walls. But I know I was waiting on others … And I waited until I felt the air begin to chill and until I saw the sky darken. Hope was fading with the light. I stood to touch a feather falling without a purpose, waiting to see if I could hold on to the feeling of it’s flight to me. But as I stepped forward, I felt a new hope— a chance to leave this waiting place and journey forward to find my own flight, my own purpose— to plant the love I was waiting to grow— to open my own eyes to the beauty of the world I had ignored while I waited— to hear the hopes in the songs that I had tuned out through my own indifference. I stepped out of the shadows and walked and danced and sang and loved and felt more alive and wondered why I was ever waiting for you.

(poem by Chris Pepple ©2017)

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