I hate waiting. I like to have what I want when I want it and for things to happen when I think they’re supposed to happen. I know this sounds super selfish (and it is), but think about it. The lifestyle that we live and the culture we are surrounded by has taught us that waiting is a bad thing. We’re used to having our food ready within minutes, we feel we’ve been let down if our packages aren’t at the door within a day or two, and we wonder if we’ve lost a friend if they don’t respond to our texts immediately.
The lifestyle that we live and the culture we are surrounded by has taught us that waiting is a bad thing.
None of these things are inherently wrong, and they certainly seem like modern conveniences to be thankful for. But is it possible that all of this speed has also hurt us? That we have lost the art of patience? That our daily lives have formed habits that hinder our walk with God? This may sound a bit heretical, but hear me out.
Our great-grandparents were used to waiting. To them, it was normal to spend weeks and months cultivating the food in their gardens before they could eat it. It was expected that the goods they ordered from the mail order catalogue would take weeks to arrive, and communication with friends could only happen by snail mail. With this mindset, it was more natural for them to wait on God. When they asked Him for direction or leading in their lives, they did not expect an instant response. They understood what it meant to wait, and they were willing to be patient for good things.
But life isn’t like that anymore. We have become so accustomed to instant gratification that we don’t even know how to wait or be patient for an answer. We are so quick to fret and worry and think that our prayers are going nowhere. Maybe this doesn’t resonate with you at all, but it’s definitely true for me and I’m sure some of you can relate.
We have become so accustomed to instant gratification that we don’t even know how to wait or be patient for an answer.
The past couple weeks, I’ve been playing the waiting game. It’s exactly like it sounds, except not much of a game, and it’s certainly not fun! I’ve been waiting to hear back from prospective employers, waiting to find just the right car, waiting for answers, and waiting for God to show me where He wants me to be. It’s been a real test of my faith, and to be honest, I’m tired of it. There have been moments recently where I felt like God wasn’t listening to my prayers, moments in which I questioned whether He even had a plan for me. But then my mind takes a break from worrying, and I remember that God isn’t on my schedule. He is never too late, but He’s never early either. He knows just when I need an answer, and He’ll give it to me then.
One of my favourite Bible characters went through a similar time of waiting. After he was anointed by God’s prophet as the next king of Israel, David spend years in limbo. It seemed like he would never become king. But David never gave up. He never tried to run ahead of God and sort things out himself. Instead, he learned to be patient and wait. And in God’s timing, everything worked out, and David did become king of Israel. Looking back on his own experience, he was able to say “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14, KJV).
So I’m learning to trust. I’m learning to believe that God knows what I need and when I need it. I’m learning to believe that He has a good plan for me — better even than I could plan for myself! I’m learning to wait patiently. I don’t mean sitting around and doing nothing and waiting for God to do it all. I’m talking about my mind. I’m referring to the way that I let go of my fear, worry, and desire to control my own future. Because I’m learning to do my part and let God do the rest. I’m applying for those jobs, looking for that car, and searching for the answers that I need. But I’m leaving the results in God’s hands. I’m choosing not to be frustrated when things fall through. I’m choosing to believe that God has something better in mind when my own ideas don’t pan out. And I’m becoming less stressed, hurried and impatient, and more relaxed, trustful, and hopeful.
I’m learning to believe that God knows what I need and when I need it.
Are you tired of waiting? Are you sick of being in limbo, with no idea what your future holds? Do you want to be patient and believe that God is working in His own time? Then wait on the Lord. Open your heart to the courage He wants to give you and watch Him work. I promise, God’s timing is always worth the wait!