Her sigh was loud and then her bottom lip stuck out.
She was trying to comprehend how many days it was until her birthday but the squares all lined up in a row on the calendar meant nothing to her and it was way too many sleeps for her liking.
I could see her four-year-old spirit wanting to burst out and I was waiting for the angry tears.
Instead she sat her face on her hands. With a combination of pout and disappointment she grumbled, "But I've already been waiting a very long time."
I know darling, I know.
I've waited too. I know how the waiting can feel.
The swirling mix of emotions. When anger and resentment taints the carefully guarded hope.
When faith whispers a quiet yes, but then doubts storm in loud like a marching band and pounds out the questions; but when? but how? but didn't you say...?
And we hold on to the Anchor, even though the double-minded sea churns around us and threatens to sweep us away.
We say no to resentment, even though everything in us wants to stomp our feet.
We say no to manipulation or control, even though Maybe I could just try this and then I could get what I want.
We aren't good at waiting.
Our food is fast, and shopping on our iPhones provides instant gratification. We use credit instead of saving our pennies, and we tap our toes impatiently when the person in the queue takes more than their allocated 3.5 seconds to decide what they'll order.
But patience? Patience is a virtue.
How do we learn to ride out the empty space between what we hope for, and holding that tangible hoped-for thing? If we learned the art of patience maybe the ride would be less bumpy and devoid of our self-made twists and turns.
And maybe then true contentment wouldn't be so elusive.
Maybe patience and hope are plaited tightly and it's only with hope we can endure.
I can tuck the hope down deep in my pockets, away from the cold, and hold it tightly as a reminder when I feel like stomping and shaking my fist.
If we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience*
Even after Miss Four-Year-Old-Brown-Eyes sighed and groaned, she asked again how many days. And even though she didn't have the ability to conjure this amount of days into a tangible sense of timing, she trusted me.
It's soon little one, it's coming soon, just wait patiently.
* Romans 8:25