I used to go fishing with my brother and our Grandpa when I was a little girl with scabby knees and a wad of bubbled gum stuffed in my cheek. Grandpa wore his floppy fishing hat, shorts, and socks reaching just under his knees. I learned patience by watching him fish.
He would sit for hours, pursing his lips as if to whistle a song but not really making a sound, afraid to scare off the fish. He’d shake his head at us when we got impatient, running through the grass around the pond and casting lines; practically chasing the fish we saw swimming in the shallow water. He just sat on the dock with a smile and waited.
I try to smile when I’m waiting, but it’s especially hard when negative thoughts bombard me from every angle.
You’re a failure.
It’s not going to happen.
You will never make a difference.
Just give up.
You’ll never get ahead.
It’s always going to be this bad.
You can’t even do that right.
While I was praying this morning and playing some worship music with my eyes closed, I imagined my Grandpa sitting on the dock fishing. He was patient, watching the bobber riding on those tiny ripples and waiting for the fish to bite while thousands of mosquitoes swarmed around him. But he didn’t pay any attention to them because they couldn’t touch him. It was like he had a bubble of protection around him.
That bubble, I realized this morning, is praise.
Satan is going to come at us like a thousand annoying mosquitoes while we wait. He’s going to incessantly buzz in our ears and hide lies in that noise. He’s going to distract us and torment us and do his very best to get us to not only call it quits on this particular day but toss our pole in the water and walk away for good.
My dear friends, don’t give up. Waiting is definitely hard work. God knows, and He understands.
Besides the work of waiting, you may not even get what you’ve been waiting for. There were plenty of times we went fishing and never caught a single fish, but Grandpa still smiled on the walk back home. He had learned to enjoy the wait and the time he spent with his grandkids.
While you and I are waiting, we can learn to enjoy the wait and the time with God. Maybe He’s giving us this “down time” to get ready to reel in that whopper of a fish. Or maybe He just wants us to learn to praise Him when things aren’t going the way we think they should.
Regardless, you can thank Him while you’re waiting and staring at the bobber when the fish don’t bite but instead when you catch a glimpse of Heaven mirrored in the water like a thousand diamonds, realizing the reflection is not only coming from the sun but from within you.
You see, God never leaves you to wait alone. The Holy Spirit is waiting with you. And He will teach you a new song to sing while you’re waiting, one that won’t scare off what you’re waiting for but will protect you from those irritating mosquitoes.
“I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” (Psalm 40:1,3a NIV.)