Waiting it out & waiting on God: (John 11)

I learned these lyrics when I sang in a Barbershop Quartet years ago: “I’m dreaming dreams, I’m scheming schemes, I’m building castles high... I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in air. They fly so high, nearly reach the sky. Then like my dreams, they fade and die. Fortune’s always hiding, hiding. I’ve looked everywhere. I’m forever blowing bubbles, pretty bubbles in the air.”

Disillusionment and bitterness is a tough shell to crack. And after it’s run its course, you often end up a different person than before. Your faith has been tested, from the frying pan to the fire. You have perhaps matured and deepened as a person. You know God as much in the wonder and mystery than in finely chiseled creeds of almost two thousand years ago. 

It can be disappointing to look back and realize that things were not what they seemed. In any given situation, and with any person, we see only the tip of the iceberg at best. Now we know “in part,” whether that knowledge is about ourselves, others, the Church, or God. I Cor. 13. 

We often forget that by the time John’s gospel appears, a full generation of “church” has been seen and experienced. Don’t you know that churches of the First Century struggled with disillusionment amidst terrible persecution. After all, where was God’s deliverance from evil when that deliverance wasn’t apparent? 

But disillusionment can save me the trouble of thinking I can know another’s thoughts and intentions, and it delivers me from judging others without mercy. Too, in the disappointment, I’m set free! When my illusions die, I’m never freer to live and love. There’s one less attachment to life on my terms. 

There’s no replacement or “Cliff Notes” for waiting on God. Today, we are invited to wait through the night (Psalm 130). We are waiting for Jesus, with Mary and Martha in Bethany, at Lazarus’ tomb.  (John 11) What will we learn about the Resurrection and Life when Jesus does not show up when we had hoped?

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