Of all the things that I could spend my time doing, waiting tends to be one of my least favorite options. As it seems, it’s also proven itself to be a consistent pattern in my life.
While walking through seasons of waiting, I’ve struggled many times, mostly because I want what I want when I want it, and so I’ve wasted countless opportunities to learn patience. But God, good as He is, continually brings me situations to learn what I haven’t grasped yet.
There is no way to learn to wait patiently other than by waiting patiently.
If there was a quick easy fix, there wouldn’t be patience, after all: that steady acceptance of delay without growing flustered or upset.
When God calls us to wait, He is giving us the opportunity to trust Him with one of our most valuables assets in life, our time. We don’t get to decide how much time we have, nor is there anything we can do to increase the allotted amount of life time that God has designated for us. Waiting on something questions whether I am willing to trust God with the use of my time. Sure, it feels more productive to me if I don’t have to wait. But then the question has to be asked: Which is more profitable: to get busy doing things right away (never having to wait) or growing as a person (becoming patient by waiting). If I want to be a patient person, I must wait. There isn’t any other way to learn.
Patience makes the heart grow stronger.
I congratulated myself last week for going on a spur of the moment run. Granted it was only about five minutes, but who cares, since I ran just because I felt like it. (That hardly ever happens.) Everything that sounds inspiring about running is just hard and painful when I actually run. I’m weak and easily tire out, but I’ll never grow stronger by sitting in front of my laptop. Growing strong calls for runs that don’t feel in the least bit exhilarating and continuing on when I want nothing better than to give up.
Patience is the same way. It won’t feel great or look impressive, but it will make your heart stronger. It will intensify your trust in God, and as time goes by, you’ll learn to wait for longer periods without feeling so desperate and flustered.
God is working in seasons of waiting.
Considering that God is patient and desires His people to be adorned with the same characteristic by His Spirit in our lives, when He calls us to wait for any reason, we can trust that He is working in our lives.
Have you ever looked back on a difficult situation and recognized in hindsight that God was trying to teach you something, but you were mostly missing the lesson? I’ve felt that sense of regret: “I wish I had been more thankful and eager to learn. That could have been such a growing time in my life!” I don’t want to miss the lessons of waiting. In fact, rather than praying for things to happen faster or for waiting to go away, instead I want to thank God for blessing me with a lesson in patience.
Waiting is built into life, so what should we do? Well, it’s pretty straightforward: wait. Don’t scheme and plan for a way to get out of that waiting. Don’t mope around or complain about it. Just wait, plain and simple, and thank God that you get to. The waiting will end, and your heart will be all the stronger for having endured patiently.
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” -Psalm 27:14