I’m not a particularly patient person. I do not like lines at the grocery store, or lines of slowly moving traffic. It’s hard for me to even wait for good things — like birthday dinners or my kids to open their Christmas gifts. And they’re adults! Oh – and the crowds at theme parks? Don’t get me started! If I add any other ‘issue’ into the waiting — like, hunger, or tiredness, well — Jesus, take the wheel!
What does our impatience say about what we truly believe? It’s hard to admit that we want what we want, when we want it, and the exact way we want it. That may work at Burger King, (for those of us old enough to remember their slogan), but not so much in the Christian life. Most of us have matured to the place where we can hold our tongues or adjust our schedules if we get held up in heavy traffic…
But, what about the wait time between the job interview and the call back?
Or between the health diagnosis and the surgery?
Or how do we respond to the abrupt, unplanned end to a relationship, and the uncertainty this introduces to our future?
This kind of waiting is so much harder because it also involves trust. Our responses to situations that are out of our control can often be an indication of where we’re placing our faith. We can easily slip into a deep well of sadness, doubt, discouragement, fear, or anger, when we are not placing our trust in the Lord.
It’s hard to wait on God sometimes.
What we wish for, the things we hope for — these are clues to what our hearts truly love. They aren’t necessarily bad things — in fact, often they are good things. But, the challenge is to be willing to submit that thing — whatever it is: relationship, health scare, career change, family or life change — to the Lord. In truth, we do not have control over very much at all in our lives; we can only control ourselves — our responses, our behavior, and our attitudes. Everything else is out of our hands. This can be a very disheartening thought — unless you know the God Who has created all we see.
The scripture above, Psalm 84:11, contains principles for us to call to mind in times of trouble. A helpful practice I’ve found for meditating on the truth of scripture is to try and paraphrase His words:
The LORD will light our way and protect us; our reputation and our advancement are from His hand. He gives only good, with nothing held back, to those who walk in right relationship with Him.
HE does it ALL; our part is simply to, as the old hymn says, “Trust & Obey.”