Instant gratification. Don’t you love it? If we get sick, there’s medicine to fix us within a day or so. If we shop online, the package is coming tomorrow. If we want to text or message someone on the other side of the world, a response comes back within seconds. If we want to hear a song, iTunes has it. When we want to know something, Google tells us all about it. With all of these modern conveniences, most anything and everything is available to us almost immediately. But even with these modern conveniences, waiting is still a very big part of our lives.
Whether it be a doctor’s office, the security lines at an airport, or your significant other selecting what they are going to wear for the evening, you’re going to have to wait. Whether it be rush hour traffic, standing in line for coffee, counting the days for summer to come, or even calling on God to answer a prayer, it’s inevitable that waiting will be involved. The longer we wait, the harder it is to have patience.
According to Wikipedia (hey, it’s gotten better) patience is defined as the state of endurance under normal or difficult circumstances, which can mean persevering in the face of delay or provocation without acting on annoyance/anger in a negative way; or exhibiting forbearance when under strain, especially when faced with longer-term difficulties. Patience is the level of endurance one can take before negativity.
I don’t know about you, but after reading that definition, I can’t think of too many people who are patient. Why? Because being patient it hard. We all are guilty of losing our patience, but from my own experiences, when something is hard, there is usually a lesson to be learned. The bible tells us in Psalm 27:14, “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”
When we have true patience, we are faithfully waiting on God, but not the kind of waiting like we would do in the waiting room of a doctor’s office. Waiting on the Lord means to be actively seeking Him through His word and claiming the promises He has already given to us. When we wait upon the Lord, we are to seek wisdom and discernment for what He wants to work in our lives. Waiting on God also means to be content, to not complain, and to not take things into our own hands. Things may not always unfold the way we plan, but if we wait on the Lord, He will eventually provide according to His timing and purposes.
What situation are you facing that you could practice some patience waiting on the Lord?