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Friday, September 30, 2016

Short & Sweet: Forty Days

*This isn't a typical Short & Sweet post, but I hope it serves to encourage those in a waiting period.

Truth? Patience doesn't come easy for me. Reality. I'm forced to practice patience on the daily, and with every year, it seems to increase based on the happenings of life. This season of waiting for a baby to arrive after being pregnant for what feels like forever is difficult. The discomfort, the baby kicks, and the "how are you feeling" and "when are you due" questions make it near impossible to keep from being anxious. The doctor bringing up induction makes me wonder if this baby will take just as long to arrive as our first. The last month feels like a thousand months, and every extra day that follows feels a million years. Anyone with me?

When I came home from the doctor's office the other day, you can imagine my frustration hearing that I hadn't progressed since last week. We are so close, but not quite. Many others around me have been having their second and third babes a week early, and here I am hoping ours will just come on its due date. I was frustrated at the thought of waiting beyond the due date and frustrated that jealousy was attempting to creep into my thoughts, so as soon as my daughter went down for her nap, I opened my bible to read some scripture on patience.

Trivia time: How long was Noah and his family on the Ark?

I've heard this bible story ever since I was old enough to understand language, and the only number I ever associated with The Great Flood was forty. It rained for forty days and forty nights, and while illogical, surely they exited the ark as soon as it stopped raining, right? Um, no. It was more like a year, give or take a month or two.

What an incredible amount of patience Noah and his family had to endure!

A few things stick out to me:

  1. Noah and his family kept busy. Certainly anyone in their position would be anxious to race off the ark when surrounded by stinking animals, especially considering that several months were spent sitting in one place while they watched the water recede each day. Instead of lingering on when they'd leave the boat, they worked hard mucking stalls, feeding animals, and keeping seasick llamas healthy. No, the bible doesn't say what they did in those months, but I'd imagine this work had to be done. 
  2. A method was devised to test if the earth was dry. Near the end of their stay on the ark, Noah sent out birds every seven days, and in time, there were several occasions that offered hope to him and his family. 
  3. Even though all signs pointed toward the land being ready, they remained on the ark until instructed by God to leave. 
So, we wait. Each and every one of us, at one point or another, are given situations in which to practice patience. We wait for newborns to arrive, for new job offers, for test results, and for loans to be paid. In order to keep from growing anxious, we must prepare and keep busy. Preparing may look like washing baby clothes or updating a resume. Keeping busy may not even be related to what we wait for. It may look like helping a neighbor, cleaning the house, or training for a race. We may devise plans to reach what we patiently wait for, but ultimately, we must wait for God's instruction. 

Over the next several days, I plan to wait patiently and to keep busy and prepare for our new arrival whilst waiting on God's timing. I've also placed this verse on my fridge as a reminder until little Hughes makes his or her arrival: "He hath made every thing beautiful in his time..." Ecclesiastes 3:11a. 

Check out Genesis 8: 1-16 to read about about this patience story for yourself. 

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