A friend of mine is trying to slow down her daughter who is making an important decision. The daughter doesn’t want to wait even though waiting makes more sense and would allow the family to better plan and prepare. As we talked about the frustration of dealing with delays, we acknowledged how bad Americans are when it comes to waiting for things. We are used to instant everything. Need a restaurant review? Jump on your smart phone and get it instantly. Need to talk to someone? Text or face time them and get an immediate answer. See something online you like, buy it now.
Waiting tries our patience when we live in an immediate gratification culture, even when we wait for something good to happen in our lives. This is also true when it comes to waiting on the Lord and His timing for things. We want quick, easy answers that reflect our culture. But God’s timing is always best. The delay can be divine as God works the details out of our sight and in His good way.
Our natural response to waiting can be to become aggressive and push people to act or we move on our own time line like Sarah did with Abraham. She had a promise from God to bear a child, but took the timing into her own hands. When she did, her life became much more complicated.
James 1:3 tells us that the trying of our faith brings patience. Could it be that God allows circumstances around delays to build patience in us and to orchestrate things in His timing?
Our relationship with God the Father is like our parent-child relationship. When you watch your child work at something and see no immediate response to that hard work, you encourage your child to hang in there. You know the reward is around the corner.
I remember doing this my daughter’s senior year of high school. She was tired of studying, tired of pushing herself and wanted to stop working so hard. But the reward of multiple college scholarships was right around the corner. I could see it and knew how patience in her studying would pay off. Because of the encouraging voices of mom and dad, she was motivated to keep going, keep pushing, doing what she knew she had to do and it all paid off. And she developed the study habits she needed for college.
God, our Father, is a good parent. Even though we can’t clearly see the purpose of a delay, God is cheering us on: “Hang in there. Let the trying of your faith bring patience. I am working it for your good. Your reward is around the corner. You can’t see it, but I can.” He continues to build character in us. Waiting on the Lord brings strength.
So today, wait on the Lord. Renew your strength. In the process, treat those creating delay with kindness. Trust God and His timing. He controls our days and watchfully keeps His eye on your situation. The wait is your opportunity to trust.
I pray to God—my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do. My life’s on the line before God, my Lord, waiting and watching till morning, waiting and watching till morning. Psalm 130:5-6