Lately I've been thinking about time and waiting and how the culture we live in is so instant. I remember when we first had internet, ours was dial-up, it was so slow but for us it was normal, you just had to be patient…though at times it was frustrating. We now have high-speed and yet there are those times when it slows down and I find myself getting impatient. Something doesn't load quickly enough and I feel this impatience and frustration rising up inside of me. And I catch myself and I know my attitude is wrong and I think if I get this way with the little things where I have to wait what about the bigger more important things in life where the LORD asks me to wait patiently even if I don't understand.
It's like our culture by way of it's ability to produce things so quickly is in turn producing a society of impatient people who have no idea how to wait anymore. Being able to wait patiently and let go of what we are waiting for and carry on with life seems so difficult. It doesn't mean that we necessarily give up what we're waiting for but we are no longer controlled and driven by it.
How often do you find yourself waiting impatiently in line at the grocery store, it's super busy and you just want to get out of there. Add to that that the person in front of you has an item that needs to be exchanged or something and the wait is longer and your impatience builds. How about driving through town and it's busy, you see that the light is yellow and you know you can make it through but the guy in front of you decides to stop at the yellow light and there you are left waiting when you could have made it through. What happens inside…frustration…impatience…negative words towards a person you don't even know. These are just minor instances where we need to wait and be patient but what about those places where we're waiting for test results from the doctor…waiting for reconciliation with a friend or family member…waiting for a child to come to the realization that he/she needs Christ…waiting for a conflict to be resolved when it seems it never may…waiting for a better day when day after day life has found you in a pit of depression. How do we wait patiently…
Ultimately time is in God's hands and it's His to give for what ever purposes He deems. All through Scriptures there are endless stories of God's people having to wait, not just minutes, hours or days but years, decades and centuries. Think of Noah, the LORD warns him that he is going to destroy both people and the earth because it is so filled with violence. He has Noah build an ark to save him and his family and yet it was decades before that flood ever came. Yet Noah followed the command of the LORD. Then there is Abraham and Sarah…the LORD promises to make him into a great nation and yet he remains childless…they wait decades for a child. Then there is Joseph…the beloved son of Jacob sold at the age of 17 by his brothers to Ishmaelites heading to Egypt. Joseph the beloved son is now a slave but the LORD was with Joseph and he prospers in all he does but despite this he is imprisoned for at least two years. It is approximately 22 years before Joseph sees his family again. But his time in Egypt is not wasted, God prepared Joseph for leadership by the suffering he endured. The coming of the Messiah was prophesied and yet it was centuries before He came.
There are are countless other stories in Scripture of God's people having to wait, not just days but many years...time ticking by. I've learned that God is in control and it's my duty to follow Him regardless of where He leads and regardless of how long I must wait in certain situations. I can take comfort in knowing that He knows the full picture…He knows the details and often times it is in the waiting that I grow and He is able to do His work in me. And so like Noah and like Joseph when I have a heart of submission to the LORD He can then entrust me with more of His Kingdom work because I will have been found faithful in the waiting, not giving into impatience, frustration, anger or doing things my way but having the heart of a servant willing to wait and at times to wait silently. It may not be easy but often times it's in those tougher circumstances where more of my will must be laid down and His taken up and in that more of Christ shines through.