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This week we took a little getaway with our kids and stopped at a beautiful winery on the way home. As we perused the selections, I noticed a Meritage with the tag “Good for enjoying from now through 2022.” My immediate reaction?

What they are NOT saying is this wine is great right now. What they are REALLY saying is that this wine is great if you’ll wait.

Of course, we drank it anyway.

But that little tag on the note has stuck with me, and I’ve found myself wondering,

“Is the difference between good and best usually only found in waiting?”

Not for everything, of course. Some things must be acted upon in the moment. Writing down ideas, a spontaneous trip with friends, a coaching moment with kids: some things should not wait.

But so many things in life are only made better in waiting. So many things in life aren’t controlled by our timeline.

You can’t make a good wine better.

You can’t make the seasons change faster.

You can’t make a baby develop to maturity.

You can’t make grief hurt less.

You can’t make relationships heal by forcing it.

You can’t get more experience–except by waiting for more experience.

We have two choices in waiting–we can wait with impatience and frustration or we can wait with contentment and expectation. Waiting doesn’t care which one we choose, because waiting isn’t determined by how we handle it. So when waiting knocks at your door and invites itself into your life, when you’ve exhausted every plan from A to Z and back again, when you’ve checked every box, when you’ve prayed every prayer, when you’ve yelled and you’ve cried, when you’ve thought about it every morning, night and middle of the night, all you are left with is this:

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

Do you know it takes courage to wait? Do you know that choosing contentment and expectancy is hard work? There is a discipline to waiting that can only be learned by waiting. There is a depth to your soul that can only be dug deeper by waiting. If you follow Jesus, you know he waited thirty years in obscurity before beginning his ministry. He was crucified at age 33. He spent 10 percent of his life not waiting. He spent 90 percent waiting.

If our stats are going to look anything like the One we follow, it appears that waiting might be a prerequisite to joy and growth. Waiting might be a necessary step to seeing God’s glory revealed in the deep areas of our heart, in private one-on-one moments, and in the joining of our heart’s desires with His. And when He comes, when he finally comes, when the waiting is over (and it will be over) we are left with only one response.

Oh. Wow.

Because God’s timing, despite every part of your flesh that kicks and screams against it, is perfect. It is. Every time. Every time it’s perfect.

So if it’s not your time, if you find yourself in one agonizing day after the other of waiting, if you find that life feels like slogging through ankle-deep mud with only swamp ahead, if you just can’t take another heart-step forward into the muck, cry out to God.

“My soul is weary, strengthen me with your Word.” Psalm 119:28

And He will. Every single time. In another moment of waiting, He’s there. In the unknown, He’s there. In the weariness and struggle, He’s right there. So take heart, my friend. Wherever you find yourself waiting, ask yourself, “can I be expectant and content in even this?”

And watch how God shows up for you, when you give it all to Him.