Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:14
I waited and waited and it seemed like it would never come. People say that good things come to those who wait. I’ve heard that a lot but I’m not sure I believe it. In fact, I’m not even sure I know what it means. But one thing is sure…I know what it means to wait…especially if it involves the government and a by-pass.
When I came to Harrisburg in 2000, we bought a house on West Poplar Street. Now back in those days that was THE main drag. Every car and truck going East and West through Harrisburg had to travel down Poplar Street. When we looked at the house we were told that a by-pass was on the planning board and would be done within five years. Well, that sounded pretty good, so we bought the house and waited…and waited…and waited. As it turned out it was a little longer than five years. In fact—it was almost twelve.
Now in our 20th year at 217, I am grateful, very grateful, that the by-pass finally came. I know some folks weren’t sure we even needed one and some went another way so they are indifferent. You might ask, “What’s the big deal about the by-pass? Well if you have ever lived on West Poplar Street…you would know.
You see, Mr. Bob, my neighbor back in the days before the by-pass, told me that he counted in one day, and 60 semi-trucks went by his house in one hour–that is one per minute. In those days there were probably more coal trucks, but believe me there were still plenty of trucks. You kinda wondered where in the world they were all going.
Now check this out…for the first seven years…count them 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 years or 2,555 days, there was a hole in the road right before my house. Every time a semi-truck went by it would hit that hole with a resounding “BANG.” Allowing for 60 trucks an hour and 12 driving hours in a day that equates to 1,839,600 bangs. Remember how people say if you live by a railroad track long enough you stop hearing the whistle? Trust me…that does not apply to bangs.
Now do you understand why I was so excited about the bypass? Oh, and did I mention waiting two or three minutes just to get out of my driveway? So, we waited and finally in 2012, the bypass opened and traffic was drastically reduced. Oh, and gravy on the mashed potatoes…they even fixed the hole.
I guess it is true, good things come to those who wait. But waiting is hard. There was a lady in the gospels who was sick for twelve long years…about the same time I waited for the by-pass. She had been to doctor after doctor and the only thing that left her was all her money. Then she met Jesus and He changed everything. She was overwhelmed with gratitude.
I supposed that is the one good thing about waiting. When, and if, what you are waiting on comes to pass, you are usually pretty grateful. She was, I am, and you would be too. The psalmist writes, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Psalm 27:14)
Down in the South we say, “a watched pot never boils.” Well that isn’t true…it will boil, but it sure seems to take longer. So, if there is something in your life and you are praying and you are waiting, be patient. Wait on the Lord and who knows, your “by-pass” may come too. All this COVID hot mess has definitely stuck around longer than I ever thought. I still believe, though, that it hasn’t come to stay…it has come to pass.
I think this afternoon I will go sit in my quieter front yard and take a rest with the God who made all of this. He even had a big hand in the by-pass! After that, I’ll just remind myself that no matter what…He’s got this.