I’ve never met a person who enjoys waiting. Waiting is the antagonist of all human beings. Our anthropological DNA propels us to movement and accomplishment. Often this trait of mankind conflicts with the methods of God. It seems that God is never in a hurry, which means we are always waiting, patiently or impatiently on his answers or supply.
I’ve made a game of watching people in traffic who try to beat the odds of waiting. The shoulder drivers, the lane changes, the right-left lane changers, the tailgaters and the creepers who have given up on beating the traffic flow are always amusing to watch. Often the car that has passed everyone in order to get ahead is sitting at the same traffic light as me when I enter the outskirts of a town. I’ve not zigzagged down the road but methodically driven to my destination and I’ve ended up at the same red light! It’s hard to wait but a lot more peaceful and accident free than those trying to “get ahead.”
God’s perfect timing in our lives often requires waiting. Waiting on a loved one to get well, waiting on a job promotion, waiting on an acceptance letter, waiting on a relationship to develop are all examples of the dreaded curse of waiting! During the waiting period we develop a fruit of the Holy Spirit called patience.
The following, wise old sayings have brought understanding and comfort to my waiting journey.
“Biblically, waiting is not just something we have to do until we get what we want. Waiting is part of the process of becoming what God wants us to be.” — John Ortberg
“All things come to him who waits — provided he knows what he is waiting for.” — Woodrow T. Wilson
“Don’t rush things. Anything worth having is worth waiting for.” — Unknown
“Waiting turns men into bears in a barn and women into cats in a sack.” — Robert Jordan
“There is no great achievement that is not the result of patient working and waiting.” — J.G. Holland
The scripture gives us a considerable amount of instruction on waiting. Please reflect on the following verses.
“Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” — Psalm 27:8 (It takes bravery and courage to wait)
“Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, you are the one, O Lord our God! Only you can do such things. So, we will wait for you to help us.” — Jeremiah 14:22 (No one else can do what God can do in our life)
“Meanwhile, the priests who were carrying the Ark of the Lord’s Covenant stood on dry ground in the middle of the riverbed as the people passed by. They waited there until the whole nation of Israel had crossed the Jordan on dry ground.” — Joshua 3:17 (Our waiting is sometimes delivering provision for others)
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” — Galatians 5:22 (The fruit of patience only grows in the waiting period)
“But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.” — 2 Timothy 3:10 (The apostle Paul talking to his young disciple Timothy listed patience along side faith and love as part of his character)
Later, today I have a doctor’s appointment for my yearly checkup. I will enter the waiting room, a room specifically designed for waiting. Ugh! I will arrive early and wait as other people exit the waiting room ahead of me. I can have a bad attitude, or I can see this experience as an opportunity to grow. I can be the bear in the barn or the cat in the sack – I have been both!
Today I choose to consider this waiting room experience as an opportunity to grow the fruit of patience. I will apply Isaiah 40:31 AMP “But those who wait for the Lord (who expect, look for, and hope in Him) Will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings (and rise up close to God) like eagles (rising toward the sun); They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.” Will you join me in making this scripture yours too!