Have you ever spent time in a waiting room? It’s usually not fun, and it sometimes feels impossible. Whether it’s anxiously waiting for the lab results, or eagerly anticipating a child’s birth, waiting can be hard. Whatever the reason, we all find ourselves in the waiting room from time to time. Waiting is not a matter of if, but when.
In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a parable of a “man who sowed good seed in his field, but … his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat.” (v.24-25) Even if we don’t understand farming, as well as his audience likely did, we can see the issue here. No farmer wants weeds; they’re a problem. In response, the servants ask the master if they should go ahead and pull them. Good strategy, right? I’m sure there’s an As Seen on TV tool that’s perfect for the job! Deal with the problem and get it over with.
However, the master’s response might surprise us. Deal quickly with the issue? No. Instead, he tells his servants to wait and let the weeds grow along with the wheat. He instructs that only after the harvest should they be separated, with the wheat stored in the barn and the weeds thrown in the fire. Why wait? The master realized that acting too soon would make things worse by pulling out some of the wheat along with the weeds. It may seem counterintuitive, but the master knew something the servants did not. He knew when it would be better to wait.
At times, we all experience problems that we’d love to deal with and try to forget as soon as possible. An illness, work issue, financial pressure, a relationship breakdown; in our fallen world, we sometimes find ourselves in the weeds. We can find comfort in that our master, Jesus, knows and cares. In fact, verse 17 of today’s psalm reminds us that the Lord hears the desires of the afflicted. Still, as in the parable, sometimes when we ask to pull out these “weeds,” Jesus’ answer might also be, “Not yet, just wait.” This is never an indifferent response. On the contrary, it’s because he loves us and knows not only what’s good for us, but what’s best for us.
Are you struggling with life’s weeds? Today, we’ll also read about Joseph, and if we’re unfamiliar with his story, we might be tempted to despair about his circumstances. Don’t worry, just wait. God will be faithful. Are you feeling stuck in a pit of your own? It might not be today, but when we wait, we will see God’s faithfulness to us as well.