One Roller Coaster Ride

It was a good Monday morning. I woke up earlier than expected and so prepared for work and arrived at the office 15 minutes before the start of my shift. I was greeted with a normal hello by my partner and of course, greeted back. I sat on my desk, opened my PC, and did all the reports that I have to do.

It was a normal day for me, until I was asked by an “abnormal” question, “Okay ra ka? (Are you okay?)” Then, I answered her with a question: “Why?” and she said that she asked, because I am abnormally quiet today. So, I just answered “Okay ra ko (I’m okay).”

Not later than 30 minutes, my other friend arrived and brought food. He happily announced that he brought ginaling (which I like so much) because I requested it. He even joked, “I brought giniling on the floor for you.” That made me laugh – the giniling on the floor joke. But I guess that was not able to cheer me up because I was asked: “Naunsa diay ka, my friend? Luya lagi imong katawa. (What’s going on with you?)” I brushed that off and just said I’m okay. Really, I am.

I got back on my desk, grabbed my Bible and read Psalms. And there it was. The conviction. The guilt. The still small voice of the Holy Spirit speaking: “You can fool them, but you can’t fool me.”

I smiled at that. Oh Lord, you alone know.

These days, my Christmas tree are full of gifts and it’s not even Christmas. There’s an outpouring of gifts, some of them in the form of promises, some in the form of breakthroughs, some in the form of conquest and harvest, and some in the form of having the right timing. They are all good gifts, wrapped in silver and gold, with ribbons of pastel colors. It was a good sight under my tree, and good news is they are all for me.

But then, I can’t open them. Yet. The giver of the gift instructed me (and really instructed well) to wait until his specified time to open the gifts. Some of them, I’ll open after a few months, one gift will be opened after a couple of years, but some gifts, he said, it’s a surprise.

What a mystery! I’m a person who likes solving puzzles and finding hidden Mickeys. But this is a mystery that I cannot figure out. For who can fathom the infinite mind of the giver of the gift? No one. All you have to do is to wait for that go signal.

Oh, here’s the word. Waiting.

As I said to the giver of the gift before, “waiting is good when I wait upon you.” And so I waited. But I was not warned that it wasn’t just waiting.

It’s waiting + fear
Waiting + discouragement
Waiting + pain
Waiting + what if’s
Waiting + judgements
Waiting + betrayal
Waiting + backstabbing

It’s like a rollercoaster of emotions and spiritual warfare. And I don’t even ride a roller coaster! But here I am, riding one.

Are we even aware that the waiting game is the only game that we don’t even stand a chance in winning? You have nothing to do but wait. You cannot push back the time, nor push it forward. You just have to wait. You can complain while you wait. You can cry while you wait. You can endure while you wait. And you know the common denominator behind all of these? It’s waiting.

There’s pain in waiting. You know how it begins, but you don’t know when it ends. Only the giver of the gift knows. But then, I heard that sound again, that one voice that I hear whenever I grab my Bible, my pen and my journal saying “find the joy in waiting.”

Find the joy behind the fear in waiting. It’s yours. The Word said that the gift is yours and no one can steal it away from you.

Find the joy behind the discouragement. The joy behind the pain. The joy behind the what if’s, when there’s no what if’s. You just created them in your mind. Find the joy behind the judgements, the betrayals and the backstabbing. Because He specifically said: “Those who mind, don’t matter. And those who matter, don’t mind.” Filter the ones who doesn’t matter. Save the ones who does.

And find the joy in the relief. Relief that this ride will soon end. You may end up black and blue with bruises, emotionally drained, spiritually consumed, but the end of this ride, where you can finally open your gift will be worthwhile. And again, I enter this covenant with the giver of the gift: that I would not choose to see the struggle behind the waiting, but I will choose to see the beautiful picture of my promised future, the future where I can open these gifts. I know when that day comes, I can look at the situation, the people or the person and can say to myself that they are all worth it.

But when is that time going to be?

Oh Lord, you alone know.

james-1-17

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