"Waiting does not diminish us, any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy."
- Romans 8:24-25 - The Message Bible
Earlier this year, my family and I were devastated when our female duck, Daisy, died suddenly. Almost immediately, I began asking the Lord to send us a new pet that would help fill the void that Daisy's death left behind. I knew from experience how getting a new pet could help ease the pain of losing an old one, so it seemed only natural to ask God to help us do exactly that. I prayed that He would lead us to people who might come in contact with ducks that needed good homes. And I heard from several people who assured me that we would be able to adopt a new addition to our flock at any time. We got a few encouraging leads, and I prayed that God would close and open the right doors so that we would receive His best in the matter. But each time I prayed that way, the Lord quickly shut doors against us, and we were left bewildered and disappointed. Do you know how easy it is to find a duck during the spring and summer months? I could have gotten one a hundred times. But whenever I spoke to the Lord about it, I sensed that He was telling me to wait. I didn't understand it. God HAD to have known how much I was hurting over losing Daisy. And He had to have seen how miserable our male ducks, Larry and Ginger, were without their sibling and sweetheart. One day, when I was pouring my heart out to the Lord, asking Him why I had to wait so long, when it would be an easy thing for Him to send us a new pet, He led me to an article written by a godly man I respect. It said that one reason why God allows us to experience loss and pain, and to endure difficult periods of waiting, is because there are certain works that can only be done in us during these trying times. While I wanted desperately to escape the sorrow and suffering as quickly as possible, God wanted me to have a seat in His "waiting room," while He did a work in me that would ultimately benefit me, and glorify Him.
During this time, my husband, Joe, and I got the idea to try to find the farm where we had gotten our ducks two years earlier. My husband has a keen sense of direction, and we were both confident that we could find this farm again. Perhaps this was how God was going to answer our prayers for the perfect addition to our little flock. Before we got on the road, I asked the Lord to prevent us from locating the farm if it wasn't His will for us to get a duck from there. After two hours of driving around, we STILL couldn't find the farm. It was as if the place had fallen off the planet, and we resigned ourselves to the fact that the Lord was most likely keeping us from finding it. We were disappointed once again, but we took comfort in the fact that God was going to great lengths to keep us in His will.
All this time, I kept in touch with the members of our ducks internet group, hoping to hear that someone in my area had a duck available for adoption. It seemed like almost every day, someone in the group was rejoicing over a new addition to their flock. One day, I heard that one of our most promising duck contacts--who, by the way, swore that she couldn't take any more ducks herself--adopted a sweet female duck for her own flock. I was furious. I heard myself telling the Lord--"That's IT, God! You're giving everybody and their brother a duck except ME!" Almost immediately, I felt convicted and ashamed. I asked for the Lord's forgiveness, and I told Him that no matter how long it took, I was going to wait upon Him to provide us with the perfect new pet. I even told Him that if it was His will for us not to add to our flock at all, I would still love Him and serve Him with all my heart. It was only about a week later that I got a call from one of our contacts. A beautiful female duck was in desperate need of a good home, and she would be available for adoption right away. This time, when I prayed for God's will, doors opened and everything fell into place, so that "Katie" became the perfect new addition to our little duck family. She has been a greater blessing to us and our other ducks than we ever imagined, and our joy is overflowing, knowing she was worth the wait. If you are in God's "waiting room" today, know that He has you there for some very good reasons. A good work is being done in you now, that can't be done any other way. Let me encourage you to settle down and trust the Lord to answer your prayers according to His perfect will and timing. I know from experience--and I promise you--you WON'T be disappointed!
Prayer: Lord, teach me to recognize when You want me to have a seat in Your "waiting room." Give me the patience and the grace to wait with a good attitude, and to enjoy my life in the meantime. Thank You that as I wait for Your perfect will and timing, I will grow and be blessed, and You will be glorified!
- J. M. Farro