Patience is not my strongest quality. My ability to wait and be content has grown considerably in the past few years. But despite my efforts, I’ll admit that I’m a long way off from perfecting this trait. It’s just so hard to let go of my timeline and patiently wait for things to happen.
Paul lists patience alongside gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, and a variety of other traits in Galatians 5. Leading up to this, he warns Christians against behaviors that could damage their faith. Things like idolatry, witchcraft, sexual immorality, and rage. A far cry from sacrificing the neighbor’s cat in order to attain supernatural insight or advance, impatience opens the door for desperation. You know the saying, “Desperate times call for desperate measures”? When weexpect things to happen on our timelines and find ourselves disappointed, the road ahead often leads us places we never thought we’d go.
Books to Encourage You in Your Walk!
Recall the story of Tamar in Genesis 38? How about Sarah, the aged wife of Abraham?What about Lot’s daughters? Each one of these women was dissatisfied with the path their life had taken. They had other ideas of how things should go. When their expectations didn’t meet up with reality, they took things into their own hands and the outcome was not at all what they had originally imagined.
Tamar ended up seducing her Father-in-law in order to produce an heir,
Sarah told her husband to sleep with another woman.
Lot’s Daughters decided that Daddy’s sperm would do the deed just fine.
If you asked them before they reached this point of no return, I highly doubt that they would have imagined going to such great lengths to get what they wanted. But they did and for the rest of their lives, they had to deal with those consequences.
God doesn’t tell us to wait so that we can miss out. He tells us to wait so that we can receive the best. “I have something better for you,” he whispers. But do we believe him? Do we trust that his timing is truly better?
When we jump the gun, we end up missing out on the blessings set aside for us since before we were a thought on this earth. We take the pen and attempt to rewrite our stories without knowing all the facts
You settle for a mediocre husband because you fear no one else will come along.
You rush into having children. Though you’re thankful for those blessings, you wish you would have been patient just a little longer.
In desperation, you jump into a new job, only to discover that the environment is less than pleasant.
You dive into further schooling then wish you had better researched your options.
You move, but upon arriving discover that this new city isn’t quite what you’d imagined.
It’s okay – good, actually – to have hopes, dreams, goals, and ideas about the future. What’s not okay is deciding that those things must take place on your timeline. Being patient for the right timing and the right opportunities is hard, but in the end, you will look back and be thankful that you didn’t force things to happen. Waiting requires laying aside your timeline. It challenges you to let go and put your faith back in God; believing that he really does know best.
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” (Isaiah 30:21 NIV)
I don’t know about you, but I want to be sensitive to the Lord’s direction in my life. I don’t want to step off the path because it seems best in my mind. My desire is to go where He leads, even if that means my dreams never come to fruition. As a faithful servant, it’s not up to me to decide where the Master leads. My one job is to obediently follow regardless of where that takes me.
Wait, I have something better for you. Do you hear him telling you this? He doesn’t want you to settle for good enough. He wants you to trust Him to provide the best. Are you willing to trust Him? Will you let go of your timeline so that His plan can play out as was divinely intended?
Are you waiting on God? What has helped you in the waiting process? Share in the comments below!