Is there any one of us who loves to wait? Do you get excited when there is a long check-out line at the grocery store? Does sitting in endless traffic fill you with glee? If you are like most people, the answer to this question is no. Patience is not in our nature.
But the Bible is filled with stories of waiting. God promised Abraham that he would be the father to numerous, great nations after Abraham was almost 100 and still waiting for a son with his wife. God promised to deliver the Israelites to the promised land, yet they wandered through the wilderness for 40 years with no small amount of grumbling. Joseph had visions of his brothers bowing down to him before he was sold into slavery and hoped while waiting in Egypt.
God is continually working to redeem the world, but this work typically requires more patience than humanity wishes to have.
There is a mother in Sierra Leone who has been hoping while waiting. Life has been the same for her since birth. She was born into the village where she now resides, marrying as soon as she was old enough, and starting a family of her own. Work has been done in villages surrounding her. As she journeys to gather her family’s water for the day out of a polluted, open well – what is she thinking? Does she have faith that this Jesus that has been proclaimed in neighboring churches and shown through the drilling of clean water wells surrounding her truly cares for her? Does she hope for a better life for the daughter she has tied to her back? Or has she already given up, simply resigned to the life she is living.
I cannot say for certain what she was thinking, but what I do know is the Water of Life crew arrived in her village. She was cautious and hesitant at first. Who are these people, and why are they here? Day-by-day as the work progressed, her hope grew. She lingered around the drill site a little longer after collecting her buckets of water. Her children, initially peering from behind the trees, grew wide smiles. And the day that the pump was installed and clean water began flowing, joy that you could feel deep in your soul filled the air.
Whether we are experiencing seasons of action and joy or seasons of hoping while waiting, praise be to God.