Author and speaker Ann Swindell titles her first book Still Waiting: Hope for When God Doesn’t Give You What You Want. In her book, Ann uncovers what the story of the Bleeding Woman reveals about Christ’s character as well as how He draws near to hurting people. Since waiting isn’t a calm and even business, it exacerbates the hurt. Also, in both small and overwhelming ways, we all know what brokenness feels like. Ms. Swindell ties the two together when she states that “we wait because we are broken and we’re broken because we are waiting.” In our waiting and brokenness, then, we must learn to love our patient God.
Thus, the road of weakness leads straight into waiting. And it’s counter productive to wiggle our way out of brokenness. Rather, we need to seek Jesus. Because He embraced, valued, and entered into our weakness. Therefore, we face a choice between our own strength and the strength of Christ. Only Christ’s strength sustains us through our waiting, especially since waiting sometimes hurts more than our initial pain. To walk step in step with Jesus involves paring down our illusion of self-sufficiency. That’s our cost of waiting. Surprisingly, this awareness is itself a gift, for there we encounter Jesus. Also, this awareness of brokenness denotes our baseline reality – the starting point of our need for Jesus.
Most noteworthy, let Jesus speak identity over you. Resist the temptation to define yourself by what you lack. In doing so, you fall prey to Satan’s lies. When you buy into Satan’s lies, offense easily creeps into your heart. Offense leapfrogs your hope, tenderness, and faith. At this point, you either walk the way of offense or the way of obedience. As the author underscores, obedience enables you to keep putting one foot of faith in Christ in front of the other. In addition, through obedience, you express heartfelt honesty as you get on your knees before God. Also, this stance fosters healing as you spend time reading the Word and experiencing God’s presence. It’s hard to harden your heart against Christ when you spend time with Him.
In conclusion, Jesus understands our brokenness and shame. While letting shame live as a parasite in our place of struggle renders us enslaved to life under it’s control, we, like Jesus, must choose to scorn and silence shame. In order to do this, we focus on Jesus instead of idolizing our suffering. That focus on Jesus, in turn, leads us to risk. Through risk, the only way forward, we realize closeness and intimacy with God and others. Finally, until the day of healing comes, tell your story of Jesus’ presence with you in the midst of waiting. Proclaim His restoration, for restoration brings hope. As Ann exhorts, while you’re still waiting, hope founded in Christ never truly disappoints us:
“For now, we wait. But we have hope in our waiting, whatever it is we are waiting for: hope that Christ is with us, hope that Christ is for us, hope that Christ is coming again.”