Waiting is so difficult for children at Christmas time! The anticipation of opening those glittery gifts under the tree clicks some kids into overload mode. Many a home echos with parental threats of Santa skipping their home because of such hyper behavior! Child or adult, none of us like to wait, really.
When we have the medical test, we would like the diagnosis immediately, thank you. How many drivers feel personally attacked when the light turns red on their road! Having to make an extra round circle of the parking lot because there are so many shoppers is annoying. Computers that take an extra few seconds to load are considered obsolete. Waiting is not our default mechanism. Food is fast, and we want it faster. And waiting in lines? Thank you for online shopping and small local shops. We don't like to wait.
And then there is prayer. We want the quick answer, the miraculous, the "sign" - a neon one if possible. But instead, we wait. Sometimes we seem to receive instant results for those incidental prayers (a close parking spot, Lord - it's raining...). However, we wait for that unthinkable and mentally excruciating circumstance day by day, season by season and many a time for years. When will that loved one come back to You, Lord? When will I be able to get out of debt? When will that job I wanted so badly come to fruition? When will that teenager make a mature decision? When will that person apologize for their actions? When will my loved one's health improve? And we start to think that perhaps God is not hearing.
Isaiah has some words for us about waiting: "So the Lord must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help." Isaiah 30:18 (NLT)
Interesting that the Lord is also waiting for us. Waiting for us is a time that either intensifies our faith or a time we choose to give up. Waiting for the Lord is a time when He demonstrates His mercy, compassion and long suffering. Isaiah goes on to say..."though the Lord gave you adversity for food and suffering for drink, He will still be with you to teach you."
Ah, so waiting is a time that we are learning. What we learn pivots on our attitude as we wait. The impatient driver may swerve around the slow moving car in front and into oncoming traffic. The patient driver eventually sees the light turn green and moves forward.
Mrs. Charles Cowman articulates in Streams in the Desert, "Our unbelief is always wanting some outward sign. The religion of many is largely sensational, and they are not satisfied of its genuineness without manifestations, etc.; but the greatest triumph of faith is to be still and know that He is God."
Our world doesn't place much value in stillness or quiet faith during times of adversity. But a trusting patient heart gives our Heavenly Father delight and increases our ability to experience the fullness of joy at the time of His choosing. May you have some quiet peace in your waiting today.