Thought- Don’t waste the wait.
Scripture- “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
“But those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31
Insight: In day 6 of learning to apply biblical principles to your daily life, what we are referring to as Practical Christianity, let’s consider how God can teach us patience in a way that deepens our dependence and trust in Him by making us wait. In fact, waiting is a big part of God’s plan for us and it often is where he imparts great wisdom into our lives. But that doesn’t make it fun and it doesn’t make it easy. I have struggled with waiting for things since childhood. I wanted Christmas to come so bad that my brother and I would search the house to try to find presents prior to Christmas Day, which was to our own detriment as it would make that most special day somewhat anti-climactic if we found them before, which we usually did. I struggled with waiting to turn 16 so I could drive legally in N.Y. State. I struggled with waiting to turn 18 so I could have a beer legally in N.Y. State at the time. I was impetuous and impatient and that has mostly carried through to my adult life.I was and am not good at waiting for things. Baseball was always boring to me because the games took so long and the action seemed so slow. I never liked camping because it took so long to get everything set up, where as in a hotel or resort it is all ready for you. I much preferred flying to driving, because I want to get where I am going quicker. As you can see, I had and have major issues with patience.
In fact, waiting is one of the hardest things for me to learn in my faith walk, which means God is really giving me a good dose of learning to be more patient. Why is this so important for me and everyone else who chose to follow Jesus? Because when we move ahead of God and His perfect timing, usually catastrophe awaits. Abraham and Sarai were severely tested in patience and eventually they succumbed to “waiting fatigue” and used Haggar to bare Abraham a Son Ishmael (Genesis 16) who was not the chosen Son God had promised to Abraham and Sarai. Their impatience led to enormous struggles and difficulties that could have been avoided had they simply trusted more and acted more patiently. But I can certainly relate to this story as many times in my own life, I have acted hastily in many different areas, trying to “help” God along in aligning his plan to my timing. This has encompassed financial decisions, relationships, career choices and more. The results have always been poor when I act in haste ahead of God’s perfect timing. Like I am really going to dictate to God when certain things should happen, but in my deep and false pride, that is exactly what I am doing when I move before God tells me to move. So as Tom Petty famously sang “the waiting is the hardest part.” I have surely found that to be true. But when I came to know Jesus as my Savior, at age 37, suddenly I understood that some of the best things in life take time to cultivate and appreciate. Like a fine wine gets better with age, many things mature and grow better as they are seasoned through the experiences of time, including our faith. Therefore, instead of wanting to rush through the wait, I have begun to learn to not waste the wait and use these wilderness periods and experiences to deepen my faith and my trust in God, who alone knows the best time for His plan to be enacted. Psalm 27:14 serves as a great guide for me during the difficult periods of waiting when it proclaims, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”
Prayer: Father God, thanks that you always want to teach us new lessons in patience and trust during the waiting periods of life that try our souls. Help us to always run to you, and to deepen our trust during these periods, when our fleshly nature wants to run from you, and do things on our timing, which always leads to disaster. We pray for your strength in the difficult periods of waiting in our life in Jesus Christ. Amen.