“The Lord is good to those who wait for him,
to the soul who seeks him.”
Lamentations 3:25 (ESV)
If I could invent a game, “Waiting” would never be its name! Nonetheless, it is the story of my life lately. Everywhere I turn, there is another waitlist or wait period while bureaucrats do their thing. I don’t mean waiting a few minutes or even a few hours. This is like mega marathon waiting that lasts days or weeks or months on end while people whose life is NOT hanging in the balance take their own sweet time to make decisions that substantially affect my future. Sounds like Ahhhhwwwwrrrrr! and GRRRRRR! and “Come ON already. Make up your mind so we can move on to the next step already!!” have been known to come out of my mouth.
But, I was recently watching Morgan Freeman’s version of God in Evan Almighty with my kids:
“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If he prayed for courage, does God give him courage, or does he give him opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for the family to be closer, do you think God zaps them with warm fuzzy feelings, or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”
OK – so yeah, I know every apparent “delay” is part of God’s greater plan to give me not only what I ask for but the opportunity to so ingrain the lessons in my heart that I will never forget that it is He who brought about the good things and deserves all the glory. He is teaching me patience, perseverance, insight and wisdom through everything. He is teaching me to want Him and trust Him more than anything and to never let go of His Truth and the Words of Life that He speaks over me. And just when I think I am so stuffed full of the right thinking and Truth He has been teaching me that there couldn’t possibly be room for more, He shoves it down and pours on some more. Not that I don’t like getting closer to Him. I love it. I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
But sometimes, I just want to scream — OK, GOD, how much is enough already? I have held my ground, clung to You, proved my faithfulness in the trial and the storm. Could we change up the story now — get to the part where I get to practice faithfulness when things are going well? Please — can the waiting be over and we just move into the bright new future You have promised me?
But God does not have a fast forward button. If I want all the goodness He plans for me, I have to walk through, not around all the shaping, molding and purifying difficulties that shave away all the parts of me that are broken, bent and out of line with His will. I have to trust that we will arrive exactly where He wants us, right on time — no matter how slow things seem in earthly time. I have to fix my mind on Him and do the next right thing He has for me rather than fretting like an impatient child whining, “Are we THERE yet?” I just have to stay in the car with Him and we will be.
Thank You for knowing what I need better than I do. Help me to trust that Your plan is playing out even when it seems like someone is overplaying the cliffhanger moment right before things finally fall into place. Help me to keep doing the right thing even as I wait for the fulfillment of Your promises and that I would prove as faithful in the good times as the bad, never forgetting that You are the Source of all the good in my life and never failing to tell of Your glory in seeing me through hard times and blessing me with good times. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Be strong and courageous for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
I am not ashamed for I know in Whom I have believed and am convinced that He is able to guard that which I have entrusted to Him until that day. 2 Timothy 1:12