Thursday, April 18, 2019

Enduring a Lengthy Wait, Part 2: Faith and Truth

by Emily Conrad

Years ago, I learned a fact from a Stephen King novel that has proven itself true not only in the physical word, but also in my emotional and spiritual life.

The fact is, the longer a rope or line is, the more likely it is to break under stress.

This theory helps explain why, the longer we wait for something, the harder maintaining hope and faith becomes.

In Part 1 of this post, I made my case for why I believe it’s not the wait itself that causes the problem, but rather, other ropes we attach to our longings and dreams—ropes of hope and faith. I shared what my rope of hope is made of and what you can do if your hope is embedded with similar fibers. You can read that here.

But our dreams aren’t only suspended by hope. They’re also suspended from faith in the God who dares to make impossible promises, in the God who calls us to work for His glory in our earthly lives.

Though our main hope must be in heaven, He also works and fulfills promises on Earth.

Unfortunately, as the rope of our waiting time stretches, the rope of our faith can come under unexpected tension.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Enduring a Lengthy Wait, Part 1: Hope and Expectations

by Emily Conrad

I learned from a Stephen King novel that the longer a rope or line is, the more likely it is to break under stress.

I read that novel years ago, but the idea came back to me when a novelist friend and I were talking about how rejections and waiting have actually gotten harder to endure in some ways over time.

Shouldn’t we have developed a thick skin against disappointments by now? Shouldn’t we be used to waiting?

If you're waiting for something too--and I suspect you are--perhaps you've wondered something similar. Or maybe you haven't wondered about the why. Maybe you've simply noticed the increasing strain.

We wait for many things.

For rescue from unfair situations. For conflict to be resolved in our churches. For estranged relationships to heal. For children, prodigals, justice, diagnoses, healing, jobs, dreams.

But the longer we wait, the more difficult hope and faith become.

With David, we pray:
How long, Lord, will you continue to ignore me?
How long will you pay no attention to me?
(Psalm 13:1, NET)

And, if we’re honest, we find it hard to join David in the praise at the close of that very same Psalm, where he speaks with such certainty of how he'll thank God when he receives his long-awaited rescue.

For us, the wait has just stretched too long. It’s about to snap.

Or is it?

As I take a close look at the straining ropes in my life, the dangerous tension isn't the wait itself.

What if the popping of threads we hear during long waits, the ripping we feel, isn’t the rope representing our wait time, but rather our hope and faith?

I find I've attached these separate lines to my longings, and I suspect these same ropes are also tied to your dreams. How can we ensure they don’t snap?