Every passing day composes a song of notes which harmonizes the old and new. It plays like a loud quietness that rushes in when the bellowing ends.
After 9 months of waiting, watching, and wondering, the empty bedrooms filled with coos and cries, laughter and singing. Moments after their first breath, my children’s arrival changed the tune of each day and dialed up the volume.
Now, when I peer into their rooms, I’m like Mary at the tomb– looking for someone who’s no longer there. The hollow shrines resemble time capsules with their hallowed relics of the past.
Despite the changes to accommodate guests and crafts, the air in their rooms will hold eternally suspended molecules comprised of the sounds that arose from lullabies sung, childhood books read aloud, and arrow prayers launched at their bedside.
But like the butterfly that emerges from its cocoon, our children grow and mature into new creations. When this occurs, they acquire new identities and responsibilities.
Once children take up residence in our homes, life is never stagnant. Because they enter an ever-flowing stream that is filled with new ideas, people, and circumstances, they drift away on the winds of change, making parents the caretakers of the mementos left behind. We learn to never complain; we continue to love them.
While their lives transform, we wait, we watch, and we wonder.
Four years ago, my neighbor’s wife suffered a paralyzing stroke, altering their lives forever. Daily, he tends to her needs as would be expected of a loving husband of 50+ years. He cooks, cleans and cuts the grass. Although their roles have drastically shifted, he loyally walks in the new direction his life has taken. He never complains; he continues to love her.
While he sits at her bedside, he waits, he watches and he wonders.
My mother selflessly cares for my ailing father. Their relationship has varied dramatically throughout the course of many years. Regardless of his plentiful needs, God continually supplies the strength required to meet the demand. The more his health decreases, the more her grace increases. She cooks, cleans and serves her family. She loves with her words and actions. It’s a beautiful thing to witness. She never complains; she continues to love him.
While she pours herself out, she waits, she watches, and she wonders.
Repeatedly, we see the tomb of emptiness that other families face. Some pass through a prion’s metal detector to get a glimpse of their child who once threw the football in the backyard. Another spends hours talking to counselors, doctors, and drug rehab supervisors in order to plan a new course of treatment for their loved one caught in the web of addiction. And others weep through the night desperate to know the whereabouts of the child who occupied the bedroom across the hall.
While we pray for our prodigals, we wait, we watch, and we wonder.
At times, it may feel like the hard days will never end. We wait for news of a good prognosis. We watch for a change in choices-wisdom over futility. We wonder how long we will be the caretakers of those who are needy.
Grief may temporarily hover over a bedroom shrine, or at the bedside of a loved one, or in the chambers of a mother’s questioning heart, but it will not consume the ones who wait.
In fact, if we allow Him, God will remove our grief and restore us with strength to persevere. He will fill the empty places with courage to fight and help us finish strong. What we see as empty, God sees as full of opportunity to display His power.What we see as empty, God sees as full of opportunity to display His power. Click To Tweet
When our weariness threatens to overwhelm us, He fills us with His sufficiency to stand firm and carry on.
Because of Him, the weary are strengthened, the empty are filled, and life is renewed.
As the old things pass away, God fills the void with Himself. The old was good, but the new is better. Like the freshness of the morning dew, God revives us with new mercies and gives us the endurance we need to face each moment, each decision, and each task to which He calls us.
While we wait, God replaces the old notes of discouragement, doubt, and defeat with the loud whisper of a new song of encouragement, assurance and might. And He fills our emptiness with His presence.
“…but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.” (Is. 40:31, NIV)
God waits with us. God watches over us. God works wonders.
Waiting with you,