Wesley Noah Denison, the son of our youngest son, was worth the wait. He was due August 19th and wasn’t born until the 31st. He is a strong, beautiful, healthy boy and instantly loved by his family. A newborn baby is a reminder of the perfection of God. It is good to hold a baby and remember that God holds each of us with the powerful and abiding love a parent has for their child.
Wesley’s mom, Rachel, spoke of the immediate love and compassion she felt for Wesley as soon as the nurses laid him in her arms. Rachel had a long wait and the last days were difficult, but Wesley Noah’s arrival quickly replaced those memories with joy. I watched my “baby” hold his baby, and enjoyed the look on his face as he watched his son. Wesley will teach Craig and Rachel even more about God’s love in the days ahead. Perfect joy is worth the wait, and waiting is one of God’s perfect lessons.
Why is waiting such a big part of our earthly lives? We probably all have something we are waiting on, waiting for, or waiting to happen. We wait until it is time to leave and then wait to arrive where we are going. We wait in traffic, wait for doctors to call with a report, wait for kids to grow up, wait for jobs to change, and wait for our hopes to become realities.
Some studies suggest the average American spends about an hour a day waiting. Of course there are a lot of variables, but an hour a day seems about right. I was thinking about the days we spent waiting for the phone to ring telling us that Wesley was born. We continued to do the normal things of life, but his birth was always in our thoughts. Sometimes waiting is something we sense we are doing even while busy with other things.
I had a new thought last week while waiting for the phone to ring. I checked Scripture and I checked with my “live-in commentary” otherwise known as my husband, Jim. I could not find one reference about waiting in heaven. I considered the idea that waiting is only something we do on earth. Imagine never waiting for anything ever again. The more I learn about heaven, the more perfect it becomes.
James began his letter to the congregation he loved saying, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2–4). Perseverance is produced through the things that test our faith, but the “full effect” is an existence that is “perfect, complete and lacking in nothing.”
The hardest moments, the longest waits, the most difficult trials are the things that refine our faith and teach us perseverance. A few verses later James tells us: “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him” (James 1:12). The crown of life is the last thing we will ever wait for. Once we receive that crown, there will be no more need to persevere or wait for anything.
We will be standing next to Jesus when God rewards us with our crowns. We will be in the presence of God and our Savior. We won’t wait for knowledge, direction, or good news. We won’t wait for peace, health, or joy. We won’t wait for satisfaction, success or safety. We won’t wait for anything because we will have achieved everything.
Oswald Chambers said, “Perseverance is more than endurance. It is endurance combined with absolute assurance and certainty that what we are looking for is going to happen.” Perseverance is waiting with assurance because our hope is in God’s word. Some of what made the wait for Wesley seem difficult was the desire to see him safely born into this world. Now that Wesley is here his mom and dad will persevere just like every mom and dad before them. Raising children is a wonderful, challenging, and joyful act of faith and love.
We will wait to see Wesley smile, sit up, crawl, walk, and say his first words. We will wait to see him reach all of those early milestones and then we will wait to see what kind of man he will grow to become. Most importantly we will wait for the day he receives Jesus as his Lord and chooses to live with Kingdom purpose.
Perseverance is more than endurance . . . it is knowing God will work in the lives of the people we love. But one day, we will be done waiting—because God’s work will be complete. Heaven is perfection, and when we receive our crown, we will have nothing else to wait for, ever again.
Let’s remember Jesus’ word to John on the island of Patmos. It is our word of encouragement today. Jesus said: I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one may seize your crown (Revelation 3:11). That crown is the last thing we will ever have to wait for. Until then, we persevere with confidence.
In the meantime, we will persevere in prayer for our sweet grandson, knowing that God has a wonderful plan for his life. Wesley Noah Denison has been a wonderful reminder that the perfection of God is always worth the wait.
Join us at www.christianparenting.org and chime in on this week’s discussion question: How do you manage the level of your child’s participation in extra-curricular activities?