The old proverb says that patience is a virtue. If that’s true, then most of us must not be very virtuous. Myself included. In some ways I am very patient. I love helping kids learn how to catch a fly ball or boot a goal kick. I don’t get frustrated when they can’t do it and love working with them and seeing them improve as their little minds and bodies grasp the new skill.
But in many other ways, I am not very patient. I trust in God to do His good work … but I want it now, not in His timing. For example, my novel. I am having a great time bringing my vision to life. However, there are times where I wish I could just do a big brain dump and instantly suck my ideas out of my head and have them magically appear as a completed book. But it doesn’t work that way. So I must be patient and take it one step at a time.
Why does God make us wait for things? I mean, He is all powerful. If He wanted, God could just give us all the gifts He has planned for us all at once. Yet He doesn’t. So there must be a reason, because God always has a reason for the things He does.
M.H. Lount taught, “God’s best gifts come slowly. We could not use them if they did not. Many a man, called of God to…a work in which he is pouring out his life, is convinced that the Lord means to bring his efforts to a successful conclusion. Nevertheless, even such a confident worker grows discouraged at times and worries because results do not come as rapidly as he would desire. But growth and strength in waiting are results often greater than the end so impatiently longed for. Paul had time to realize this as he lay in prison. Moses must have asked, ‘Why?’ many times during the delays in Midian and in the wilderness. Jesus Himself experienced the discipline of delay in His silent years before His great public ministry began.”
There is much growth to come in the waiting. Learning to trust in God and rely on Him to take care of things is one of the most important lessons you can learn in life. Wait on the Lord, and He truly will renew you. He wants us to show our trust and faith in Him by acknowledging that we are not in control. It’s the truth and there’s nothing we can do about it, anyway, so you might as well give credit where it is due.
There are many reasons we are an impatient society.
First of all, we are a spoiled nation. We really are. Think about it. We have nice houses, fancy cars, designer clothes, and all the latest high-tech toys. We have to have the latest iPhone, iPad, iPod, i-whatever. Big screen TVs, home theaters, XBox 360s, Wiis, PlayStation 3s, Nintendo DSs. And we have to have them now. It would be a tragedy if you had to wait until you could afford to buy an iPad or a $100 pair of shoes or a $300,000 house. We think we are entitled to these things because, for so long, our country has been the wealthiest nation on the face of the planet. Each generation did better than the one before and each generation wanted their kids to have more than they had. So we as parents work and scrimp and save so that we and our kids can live a life of luxury. Which is all well and good, but it’s creating a nation of spoiled brats with a huge sense of entitlement.
Secondly, fear makes us impatient. We may believe that God has some great reward waiting for us, but if we can’t have it in our hands immediately, we are afraid it might not come. We can start out trusting in God, but as time goes on, our doubt and fear make us need results. But God is never in a hurry. His timing is always perfect.
So I just need to be diligent and patient and finish my book in due time. The reason I am impatient about it is my fear and uncertainty. I’m afraid that once it is written, I won’t be able to get it published. I’m afraid that once it is written, no one will want to read it. I’m afraid that it will all be for nothing. I’m afraid that maybe I’m NOT meant to be a writer and I’m just chasing a pipe dream. So I’m in a hurry to get to that point so I can see if my book is a success because I’m afraid it won’t be. But God wants me to write this book for many reasons, not the least of which I’m sure is to learn some lessons about trusting in Him and being patient. And even if it is God’s will that the book is never read by anyone outside of my circle of friends, I have to trust that it’s for the best. Just because something doesn’t work, it doesn’t mean that God isn’t in it. He may have a better deal in mind. Who knows, maybe it’s my next book that is meant to be published. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Did I mention that besides being impatient, I’m also stubborn? Yet one more area for God to work in me, I guess.
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and patiently wait for Him to act.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.