I Thought My Bladder Might Explode

It began with a cup of coffee for the road, as I headed out a few minutes late for the Pittsburgh airport, 1-1/2 hours from my home. But daydreaming, I took a road I often drove out of habit – in the opposite direction from Pittsburgh. Ten minutes into the trip I suddenly jolted into reality and realized I was heading the wrong direction. I found a turnaround and began hurtling toward the airport, but I’d lost at least 20 minutes, and was going to be cutting it close.

About 45 minutes into the trip, my bladder kicked in from the coffee. Normally, I’d stop somewhere, but since I was running late, I decided I’d push on to Pittsburgh. That’s when I saw the sign: “Congestion next 5 miles”. Waiting in the slow moving lanes I felt a twinge of anxiety along with increasing pressure from the coffee. Emerging from the congestion, I gunned it toward the airport, praying I’d make my plane.

I finally arrive. Now I’m dying from bladder pain. At the shuttle bus shelter I frantically press the button, smiling weakly at another traveler. Where’s the bus? No bus in sight. I consider running to the terminal, but it’s too far away. I’ll never make it. I just have to wait. Finally, an eternity later, the bus appears.

Now waiting takes on epic dimensions. I’m almost hallucinating as the bus stops at every shelter in the parking lot. People board the shuttle in slow motion. I’m biting the inside of my cheeks to distract myself. Waiting, waiting, waiting. Arghhhh. Eons later, the bus pulls into the terminal, and dreamlike, I run inside to find the men’s room. Mercifully, I made it.

Waiting is part of our lives, especially as believers. Lamentations 3:24-26 says,

“The LORD is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.”

The LORD is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.
It is good that one should wait quietly
for the salvation of the LORD.

Waiting often feels hard and painful. Why can’t I have what I want right now?

Waiting helps us realize that “The Lord is my portion” – that which most satisfies, gives true life, joy and fulfillment. The things we often crave in this life, even good things, are not a believer’s portion. Only the Lord is. Since “the Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in him.” I won’t put my hope in the things I am waiting for.

It is good to wait, for as we do, we become increasingly aware that the Lord is what we most deeply long for. If we got all we wanted, yet without God, we’d be truly bankrupt, miserable and hopeless. If God always responded the minute we asked, we’d greedily grab his gifts, run off to enjoy them, and forget the One who gave them. Waiting focuses our hearts on the Giver of the gifts we seek.

How about you? Are you waiting on God for something? Praying and praying, yet the answer hasn’t come?

As you wait, say to Jesus, “Lord, you are my portion. I will hope in you. Teach me to be satisfied in you and you alone.”

By the way, I made my plane. And my bladder didn’t explode.

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.

Submit a comment

Your email address will not be published.