A traffic signal, the grocery checkout, or a paycheck. Every day we’re all waiting on something (or someone) to move or to arrive. If we’re honest believers, when it comes to God, we want Him to show up and show out – on our schedule. If we’re even more honest, the waiting is hard, tempting us to speed up after the light turns green, shoot a disapproving glare at the store clerk and the customer ahead of us, or anxiously check our account balance.
Waiting isn’t always a pleasant rest stop along life’s highway. Sometimes it’s like a newly-purchased vehicle broken down on the side of the road, an unexpected detour, a delay with no end in sight. The wait is made more difficult when we wholeheartedly believe we’ve waited long enough, and that we’re deserving. But, outcomes have just as much to do with timing and God’s plan as they do with our worth. It’s a good thing waiting on a plan or a prayer to come to fruition is never in vain. Stay focused. Wait for it. It’s coming.
Waiting exposes the depth of our patience. When we’re denied something, does our behavior or emotional response indicate that we’re a well of patience that runs deep or a pool of shallow water? Every time we experience a delayed outcome, it’s a chance to self-assess.
And endurance produces character, and character produces hope… (Romans 5:4)
MEANTIME HAS MEANING
Waiting teaches us how to plan, strategize, and execute. Warren Buffet, one of the richest men in the world, earned 95% of his wealth after the age of 50. The meantime has meaning. The delayed delivery of the heart’s desire or a goal is the perfect opportunity to perfect our plan. Perhaps our original direction needs tweaking. Sometimes it needs to come to a full halt, and it might demand that we return to the drawing board to better execute our vision. Patience profits the planner. Patience is more than a virtue; it’s an effective strategy.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (Philippians 4:6)
NEED OR A WANT?
Waiting creates clarity. Do we need what we think we want? If after a while we’re still waiting, did we abandon the goal? If so, perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, or it’s proof we either didn’t have the resolve to see it through in the first place. If what we’re waiting for is merely a passing fancy, chances are we won’t bother to wait for it.
But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:25)
THE VALUE OF EXPECTANCY
Then again, waiting with a spirit of earnest determination shows us the value of what we desire. If we’re fighting through the frustration, it’s probably because it’s worth it. If the moment we want to quit, we suddenly get a second wind and a renewed hope; it may be a sign we’re meant to stay the course despite how it looks. In a fast-paced world, speed doesn’t always equal success. Be patient with yourself even if it looks like others are running laps around you.
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)