Do you feel like we are all in time out? That each of us has been sent to a corner before we can resume our normal activities? 

As the oldest of four sisters, I spent many hours in time out. My sisters clamored at their bedroom door for the punishment to end so they could get on with their day. I would be sprawled on my bed happily reading. My mom quickly figured out that going to my room wasn’t a punishment for me. I had to serve my time in the living room on the most uncomfortable chair in the house without a book. Time dragged on. I waited for it to be over.

Some days I feel like I’m back in that chair, sulking and doing my time — waiting for life to get back to normal. It is becoming clear that this pandemic will not be a short-lived event and life will not be “normal” for a long time. 

Waiting is not new. We have all waited for something — test results, a special event, a birthday. In my Lutheran Study Bible concordance, the word wait appears 18 times. Abraham and Sarah waited for decades for God’s promise of a son to become a reality. Moses and the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years before a new generation was finally allowed to enter the Promised Land. They waited but they weren’t always patient or obedient. They often took matters into their own hands or grumbled. Are we waiting patiently for the Lord during these unusual days? Some days are so hard. What hope can we hang onto?

Some of my happiest and most content moments these days are spent in Bible study or prayer. One verse that has been especially comforting is Psalm 40:1-2. I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to hear me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.

God hears our prayers, he know our fears and our worries. He pulls us out of our pit of despair and hopelessness and puts on His firm foundation. When everything is uncertain and we travel through uncharted territory we can cling to our Savior, the Solid Rock. We can trust that we are not alone and that God’s timing is perfect. 

During this time of waiting, don’t focus on the negative. Look for the beauty and joy in the world. God has created a beautiful world. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says He has made everything beautiful in its time. Enjoy the sunsets, the comets and planets, the growing crops, the birds and butterflies. Joy isn’t dependent on our circumstances. We can have joy because we have a God who loves us and walks with us through this uncharted territory. No matter what.