Insight for the Day

God’s Waiting Room

April 11, 2024 Robert Wolgemuth—Editor

So Noah, along with his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives, came out. All the animals, all the creatures that crawl, and all the flying creatures—everything that moves on the earth—came out of the ark by their families. —Genesis 8:18–19

“Why is this so important to you?” My late wife was fascinated with the unusual intensity of the way I was watching the final game of the 1984 National League Championship. I groaned with every strike and hollered with every ground ball that snaked its way through the infield. Until then this was the most important baseball game I had ever watched.

I have always been a Cubs fan. Having grown up in the Windy City, it was almost inevitable—little boys in Chicago followed the Cubbies. We made believe we were playing in Wrigley Field, we wore Cubs baseball caps, and we were Ron Santo, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert, and Ernie Banks, third to first. And one day, we promised ourselves that we were going to win the World Series.1

The Bible is full of two-part stories. The first part is the account of God’s spoken promise. The second part is the fulfillment of that promise. The problem is that between the first part and the second part, there is usually a gap . . . sometimes a large gap—a space of time where the people who received the verbal promise had to wait to see it come to pass. Kind of like being a Cubs fan my whole life.

From a purely practical standpoint, Noah had to wait it out in the middle of some miserable circumstances. He, his family, and all those animals had been cooped up for more than two hundred days. We can only imagine what the place must have looked and smelled like. The animals must have been restless. Noah’s sons certainly had taken their dad aside and asked him if he thought this would ever end. And Mrs. Noah must have been right on the edge of total insanity. And who could have blamed her? What an awful situation. Poor Noah.

God’s promises fill the pages of the Bible. These promises give us hope. They assure us of God’s trustworthiness and abiding presence. Like the wilderness between Egypt and Canaan. Unfortunately, some of our lives are lived in the gap between the hearing of those promises and the fulfillment of them.

Have you been there? Have you done something radical—moved your family to a new town or changed jobs—sincerely believing it was what God wanted you to do, only to find yourself waiting and completely miserable? I’ve been there, too.

Well, we’re in good company—Noah, Abraham, Jacob, David, Job. Men who heard God’s voice, believed the promise, and then had to wait. And wait. And wait some more.

Are you waiting for something you thought God would have delivered by now—satisfaction at work, healing from an illness, reconciliation with an old friend?

The assurance we have is that, in every case, in His own way, God meant what He said. His promise was good. Those who had to wait did not wait in vain. Take that promise with you.

By the way, the Cubs, after taking an early lead, lost that championship game to the Padres 6 to 4. The Padres!

Then thirty-two years later, I would be glued to another game. Believe it or not, it’s game 7 of the World Series. The Cubs—my Cubs—are in a virtual fistfight in the ninth inning against a mighty Cleveland franchise. This time these guys pulled it out. After 108 years, the Northsiders were able to hoist the trophy, which they did a week later in front of five million people.

Maybe not as thrilling as the Jews landing in the promised land. But close.

1In 2016, exactly thirty-two years later, when I was a much older man, the Cubs brought home the big trophy.