Waiting on the Lord
God is worth the wait.
Yet we cry "but I have been waiting!" In that case, we may be misunderstanding its purpose. Waiting measures our trust in God's perfect timing.
I used to say "I'm not a patient person" (almost proud of it), but that attitude short-circuits happiness. My new prayer is "Give me patience" (but I need it now of course!)
- The Mark of God's People. Typically in Jesus' parables, the Bridegroom "takes a long time coming" or the Master "didn't return for a long time", etc. Christianity is more about waiting for God than manipulating circumstances.
- Active Patience. Waiting isn't necessarily passive. For example, one can be an active patient listener. Patience means detachment from the timing, using the interim wisely.
- Ready for Game Time. Frequently God's servants are required to experience a lengthy prep time. Consider Joseph, Jacob, Moses, Jesus, Paul, etc. When game time arrives it's too late for training camp. (That's when you discover its success.)
- God's Strength Over Ours. Waiting forces reliance on God's strength. For example, fasting is not about self-denial as much as making room for God to act. See Fast Power.
- Charismatic Power. One main reason why visionaries don't experience more is impatience during worshipwe want instant love. This is common and experientially verifiable. See Visions.
- Keep in Step. Technology may encourage impatience. However:
a.) some things will always take a time, e.g., pregnancy;
b.) though some things get quicker, there's always room for more impatience!
c.) Happiness consists not in getting it quicker, but on-time.
(Too often I'm like a dog on choke collar.)
- The Speed of the Spirit. B. Lawrence describing a friend: "She seems to me full of good will, but she would go faster than grace. One does not become holy all at once." (Letter 9).
- A Wall of Peace. The one who can trade small, short-term gains for a great, long term gains is insulated against temptations of immediacy. "I must have it now" is a powerful loss because addicts can't think straight. The urgent is the enemy of the important.
- The Solution to Suffering. The answer to "why is there suffering" is "wait." (In fact, "patience" comes from a word meaning "to suffer"). Hang on: the day will be revealed how "all things work for good for those who love him." (Rom 8:28)
- It's About the Love. When the apostle Paul famously describes Love ( I Cor. 13), he begins "Love is patient." God is a lover. But who wants love on a schedule? "Do not waken love until it so desires." (Songs 2:7). Love is an art. All good filmmakers and musicians know the value of anticipation. Waiting is a sort of spiritual foreplay. Let God surprise you.
Style by God
Is patience doing a perfect work in you (James 1:4)? The fruit of Godly patience allows you to stand in the days of trials and still rejoice in who I am, not wavering with fears, doubt, or dissatisfaction. You are My creation and I have styled you to be a beacon of light, joy, and hope, a reflection of the Savior.
Are there places in your walk that are lacking for want of the next desired goal? My perfect timing is what makes goals into blessings. And the time in between all of it coming to pass requires patience, steadfastness, and a perseverance to know Me more deeply.
When your yearning brings you pain and despair, consider you may have lost the sound of My voice drawing and encouraging you and instead, have begun feeding on the thoughts of the enemy who seeks your downfall. My Word tells you there is a season and a time for every purpose (Ecclesiastes 3:1). How long will you bear up under your circumstances? As long as you walk by sight and not in faith, you are likely to know despair.
Ask yourself why is it you can't be patient with Me? Have you a better plan that more readily meets your desire? Beware the leanness of soul that awaits those who seek quail in the desert (Numbers 11). Impatience only leads to murmuring and complainingultimately, dissatisfaction and doubt toward your Lord.
Abide in the vine and let me take up your yoke. Know that I will find a way for you, a way you would never know outside of your surrendering to Me. Do not weary yourself in self-controlled endeavors that are not of Me.
Seek My face and I will lead you. And if you must wait awhile, stand strong and 'lean not on your own understanding' (Proverbs 3:5).
Let Godly patience be the measuring stick of your trust in
Me, the one who delivers you and lifts you up.