Monday, January 29, 2007

The Waiting Place

"...Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.
Except when you don't
Because, sometimes, you won't.
I'm sorry to say so
but, sadly, it's true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.
You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You'll be left in a Lurch.
You'll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you'll be in a Slump.
And when you're in a Slump,
you're not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they're darked.
A place you could sprain both you elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?
And IF you go in, should you turn left or right...or right-and-three-quarters?
Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it's not, I'm afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you'll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place..."
- quote from "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" by Dr. Seuss

When I graduated from high school, my friend's mother gave each of us a book by Dr. Seuss called "Oh, The Places You'll Go!" She wrote little comments on each page, specific to that person. It was a very creative, sweet gift. The book itself is an allegory of the ups and downs of life. For whatever reason, one particular illustration has come to mind recently: the Waiting Place.

I was in a Lurch, and just escaped my Slump, but now that I find myself unemployed, with the whole world laid out at my feet, and my opportunities endless, I find that I don't know where to go. I am in the Waiting Place.
Waiting for the phone to ring.
Waiting for the right job posting.
Waiting for my personal life to calm down.
Waiting for that sense of peace about it all.
Waiting for the other shoe to fall.
Waiting for that tug, that inner feeling in my gut, of which direction I want to go.
Waiting for some of the hurt to go away.
Waiting for God, who feels so distant right now.

Dear Dr. Seuss doesn't tell us how we get out of the Waiting Place. He gives no hints or instructions in his little story. He just says, "Somehow you'll escape/all that waiting and staying." However, David of the Bible has something to say about waiting. Specifically, the waiting for God.

I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.

He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.

Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

I know God has a plan for me. I know He is in control. I just wish I could have a little peek at those plans. I wish I could feel His guidance right now. Because I don't have the first clue what I should do with my life. I'm ready for a new song - I just wish He'd give me the lyrics!

Have you ever been to the Waiting Place? Drop me a comment and let me know how you escaped. ;-)


Elizabeth C. said...

I'm with you in that "waiting place" right now! Waiting to see what happens with Stephen's job...Waiting to see how life will change when Ashley graduates High School and goes off to college... Will we have to move? Will Ashley be happy? There are so many questions when we're in a place of uncertainty.

I've often wished that God would open up the clouds and speak to me just like he did to Abraham or Moses (guess He knows I wouldn't be able to stand the shock!). : ) Even when He feels distant to us, we can rest assured that He is near. His timing is just often not the same as ours. I know you know that already, but our human nature sure makes it hard to wait, doesn't it?

I know you and Shawn have been through so much lately. I'll be praying for you while you're in your "waiting place". I pray that God will bless you with His peace and with many wonderful things ahead!!!

Laura said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Laura said...

When we moved to Anthem, it was very difficult. We had no idea where we would live, where we would worship, or even how Dan would support our family. I was so scared I broke out with hives.

Not only was there a specific answer to our prayers, but God went well beyond what we asked for (or imagined!) I could not have known the awesome blessings we would have in our home, family, Church, and friends (like you and Shawn).

I know that you know God is near to you. He is waiting for the perfect time to reveal the blessing he has for you when you will notice it the most.

It is no coincidence we are in the Covenant study right now, while you need reaffirmation of his promises he has made with you in the New Covenant in Christ Jesus.

I will continue to pray for peace in your daily life and comfort in his presence.

The Trousered Ape said...

It's tough, but at least we are going through it together. :) It's better to have a buddy for not just the good times, but the rough ones too.

Keep your chin it - we'll make it through it. God is closer than you think. :)


Josh said...

Whenever I'm in a "waiting place" as you called it, it always feels like each day is a month long. Feelings of anxiety, fear, etc. always creep up on me. But no matter what caused the time of waiting, or how long it lasted, God always...ALWAYS lead us to where we needed to be.

A prayer that helped me was, "Lord let me see things the way you see them. Let my wants be your wants and your wants be my wants."

Keep us posted!

Jesica said...


I love your transparency in that post!

Several months ago I heard an amazing sermon by the late Adrian Rodgers on the verse, "they that wait upon the Lord will mount up with wings like eagles..."

He questioned his audience to ask themselves what it means to wait...

He made the point that so often Christians take that passage to mean that we just sit and do nothing, but he showed that actually that waiting is an active waiting.

His point was made through the illustration of a waitress or waiter...he challenged us to think of what a waitress does...they are constantly asking, "How may I help? What do you need? What can I get for you? Is the food good? More tea? Is there anything else that you'd like, to make your meal better? Did you enjoy yourself?" etc.

The point is that when we are in a waiting place, it's the perfect time to be asking God, "Lord, what do you want from me? How do you want to be glorified in my life? What in my life doesn't honor You, that You want eradicated? What do you want me to do TODAY? What's my next step, Lord...not my next mile, just my next step?"

I heard Kay Arthur last night teaching about waking each morning and asking the Lord what He wants from me He wants to be pleased in me today.

What a great way to look at though even the waiting is an act of service to our Lord.

Just wanted to share that, because I heard that message at a very hard time in my life...when I was waiting on God to change the hearts of some people that I love very much, who are trenched in sin.

Yet, through that message He showed me that my time in waiting is to be spent actively in His service, and that He'll take care of the details.

Hope that encourages you.

How great it's going to be for all of us to be able to wave the victory banner on your behalf as God leads you in your next endeavor for Him.

Love you so much!

D.L. White said...

Elizabeth, Laura, Josh, Jesica...
Words cannot describe how enlightening, encouraging and helpful your comments are to me! Thank you so much for taking the time to read my goofy little rants, but thank you even more for replying with such thoughtful posts. I cherish each and every one of them.

And waiting place very glad you're by my side. :D

Julie.Masson said...

I don't know you, but I was google Dr. Suess's "the waiting place" quote from his book to add as a type of explanation to a "waiting place" commentI was going to make when I stumbled upon your blog. I just wanted to say I was encouraged by what you had to say the the portion of scripture you included. Your description of "the waiting place" seemed to fit me almost perfect too. In this waiting time in my own life when I'm in a hurry to know what I'm suppose to do yet feeling stuck "waiting" it was a good reminder for me to trust in God. He will bring about his good plans for me. Thanks

D.L. White said...

Hi Julie. So glad you stumbled across my little blog, and that it was able to help you in some way. Come back anytime! And may God bless you and lead you, as you deal with your own "Waiting Place"! :)

Anonymous said...

Wow I had nearly the exact same experience as "Julie" and how I find this blog today! It's nice to be assured I'm not alone and that this is a normal experience for believers throughout our journeys. It's also wonderful to hear the stories of others who are out of the waiting season and on the other side. I especially want to thank "Jesica" for her insight and sharing that sermon...I think I'll be adding some of that to my journal in a few minutes. Even though I don't know you, I will lift you up in prayer today as I spend some time with Him and ponder these insights!

Anonymous said...

It seems that all of my life I have been waiting to have friends, to have a special someone to hold my hand and give me a hug, to feel that I am part of a group and if am not present I would be missed.....Someone to share my life with, I am stuck in the waiting place just waiting for friends and love to waltz into my feels pretty lonely here with so many superficial people living around us its hard to make true friends these days and harder to meet a love interest.

I love this book the waiting place when I read it, it lifts me up somehow and makes me believe everything will be all right, thing that betrays me is time, it runs by so fast...good night to all