For forty days the rain fell on the earth as Noah and his family watched aboard the ark. Slowly, the sin-cursed world was covered with water until nothing else was visible. For 150 days after this, the ark surged over the waters of the earth. Dull views, the weary rocking back and forth on waves, and the tiresome work of caring for animals and the boat. And the waiting…
I imagine the waiting was perhaps most difficult for Noah and all on board. When would these rains and flooding end? When would God act to restore the earth? How many days would this animal barge float on the waves before land could once again be visible? That basic question that all children seem to ask on long trips: “Are we there yet?”
Waiting is perhaps one of the most difficult things in our lives. Waiting for results from a medical test. Waiting for a friend to come for the weekend. Waiting for a job during unemployment. Waiting for an answer to questions we carry deep within.
The journey of Lent is also a journey of waiting. Our world was aching with unknown waiting when Jesus came upon earth as the Messiah. Paul the Apostle tells us, “when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son” (Galatians 4:4). But until then, there was waiting and longing and watching for God’s chosen one.
Our Lenten journey today is also characterized by waiting. We remember and once again enter into the waiting of the earth for a Savior. This journey is also a one of waiting for God to act in our own lives. God’s timetable, as is often said, is not our own. Knowing such a thing to be true does not necessarily make the waiting easier. We still wait: for relief, for our needs to be meet, for deliverance, for friendship, for freedom, for…something or anything.
But in all the waiting, we come to the Lord who is God both of our movement and our waiting. We speak from the depths of our souls the words of the psalmist:
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord. (Psalm 40:1-3, ESV)