The Waiting Game
But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:25 (NIV)
A while back, my family went to dinner and the server forgot to place their food order. When the server finally realized what happened, he felt so badly he sent the restaurant manager over to the table and the manager graciously deducted fifty dollars from the bill. Howard didn’t want or expect to be compensated for the inconvenience of waiting, but he certainly appreciated the kind gesture. Nothing tries our patience more in this day and age of instant gratification than having to wait! And if you’re wondering why I wasn’t with my family, it’s because my patience was being tested while sitting in traffic trying to get there!
We live in a world where everything is available at the push of a button, and we’re often rewarded if we are required to wait. Because we’ve grown accustomed to this way of life, we can easily find our patience running thin. Similarly, I believe Christians have fallen into a “quick-fix” relationship with God. This is exposed so clearly when we need God to act ASAP on our behalf.
The importance of Godly patience struck me when I read the story when David was anointed the second king of Israel. God anointed David as king when he was still a young shepherd boy, yet David did not reign as king until he was 30 years old. How did David have the patience to wait almost 15 years for God to fulfill what He promised to him? This seems absolutely impossible to imagine in our culture of instant gratification!
During those 15 years, David had the opportunity to kill King Saul twice. Even though Saul’s death would have put David on the throne, David chose not to kill Saul. What can we learn from David as we patiently wait for God? The secret to David waiting patiently on God has nothing to do with patience! David knew God was faithful to His promises, and God promised David he would be king. God rewarded David with faith and peace, which allowed him to trust God as he waited and watched for God to perform a miracle in his life. When our foundation for life is our faith in God, we learn how to patiently wait and trust God for the outcome.
Patience comes when our faith lies in and upon the faithfulness of God. If we know God will reward our faith, we will wait patiently and expectantly knowing God will be faithful. Instead of praying for more patience, let’s pray for more faith to trust God. Faith allows us to wait for Him to give us His best at the perfect time. Our reward is to know what we receive is from the hand of God and not from our own manipulation of circumstances. His gifts are worth the wait, and He will reward our faith. Faith produces patience.
1 Samuel 9-2 Samuel 2, Psalm 37, Romans 8:25, Galatians 5:22, Hebrews 11:6