Christian Living

Spiritual Life

The Waiting Game

In our American, fast-paced culture, we want things to happen, like, yesterday. And if not yesterday, then … well … NOW!

We grab our quick-brew coffee and donut as an on-the-go breakfast, pay bills online, and send e-mails instead of letters – all because we don’t like waiting.

Unfortunately, that need for speed can easily creep into our spiritual lives as well. We want our Bible reading in five-minute devotions, expect God to answer our prayers like He is some cosmic vending machine, and run to purchase tape series about easy keys to success. We want to reach a level of Christian maturity without having to walk the often painful road of faith. The bottom line is, in our impatient mindset, speed is always right and delay is always wrong.

But isn’t it just like God to turn the tables on our thinking? Life is more often about process than product. Those times of delay, if we will let God take the reigns, can be some of our most fruitful seasons, because it is in the waiting and wondering that we wrestle and grow and change.

Mary and Martha had to wait three days for their prayer to be answered: their beloved Lazarus had to die before God manifested His awesome glory and power through a resurrection miracle. Abraham and Sarah had to wait until old age before birthing the son God promised them years and years before. The disciples were asked to wait in the Upper Room for the Holy Spirit to come upon them before continuing in their ministry efforts – and they had no idea exactly what that meant. I could give more examples, but I think you get the point.

It is in the waiting that God is able to work the fruits of the Spirit in us – love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). God asks us to bloom where we are planted until His specified time of fulfillment.

Did you know that it can take five to seven years for a sweet cherry tree to bear fruit? Did you know that the Grand Canyon as we see it today in all its majesty took, according to some estimations, millions of years of erosion to create? Did you know that Jesus, the very Son of God, didn’t start his official public ministry until around the age of 30?

God’s timing might seem painfully slow to us, but God’s timing is always perfect. Good things don’t happen overnight. They must be planted, watered, weeded, and watched over. Then, and only then, can they be harvested.

The Bible instructs us, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry" (Habakkuk 2:3, KJV). And in Galatians 6:9, the apostle Paul tells us, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up" (NIV).

Can we wait for that appointed time until the vision is completed? Can we endure until that proper time to see the fulfillment of our destinies? Are we willing to lay down our timeline in favor of God’s better plan?

If we will submit to the Lord and His ways, we will get the blessing that is coming. We might not see it right now. We might not see it a week from now. But in our Spirits we know that His best is coming – if we will allow God to mold us and shape us and use us according to His plans and His schedule.

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