I’m usually the first one to greet my daughter every morning when she wakes up. I hold her torso against my chest, she presses her face against my neck, and I rock her. Before long, though, she starts squirming as the need for her morning milk exceeds her need for morning hugs.
So I take her to the kitchen, prepare a bottle for her, and lay her in the bouncy seat. When she sees the bottle, her eyes light up, and then I say, “Hold on, baby. Let me get your bib.”
Her happy face morphs into a look of panicked desperation, and she starts crying. About four seconds later, I place the bib on her neck and put the bottle in her mouth – all is well. There was no need for the four-second freakout, but she does it every day.
She reminds me a lot of myself.
I’m not going into the details, but I have a request I’ve been praying about for four years now. Every once in a while, I sincerely pray, “God, if you never answer this prayer, it’s okay; because all I want is You.” But most of the time, I pray from a posture of bitter hopefulness that He’ll notice me submissively crying “uncle” and give me a break. Nonetheless, I’m still here in the bouncy seat, internally screaming like it’s the end of the world, wondering why God is taking for-ever in giving me my milk.
When I think about the biblical story of Lazarus, I realize I’m in good company. His sisters, Mary and Martha, both go nuts when Jesus shows up to heal their brother – four days after he died.
“Go on home, Lord – it’s too late to do anything,” they say. “But seriously, thanks for showing up at Your earliest convenience.”
Like me, Mary and Martha were flailing all over the bouncy seat, crying their eyes out, wondering where their milk was. When Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead – four days after he kicked the bucket – the sisters did a victory dance and forgot the funeral. And when my daughter gets her milk – four seconds late – she starts chugging it down and forgets she even had to wait.
So, yeah, I know, in theory, I can trust Jesus to come through, even if it seems like He’s running late. But when I’m still waiting – four years later – I often find myself privately freaking out in my spiritual bouncy seat. “Give me my milk, Jesus!” I wail.
I know in my head He’s coming to the rescue, but it’s so hard to get my heart to understand it. I want Him to show up and answer my prayer – like, now. And to that, He says, “Surely I am coming quickly,” to which I reply, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:20) – please, Jesus – pretty please? Amen.