We live in a culture that expects to have their needs and desires serviced immediately. Americans do not like to wait! It first began with T.V. Dinners and a few drive- thru conveniences like the Milk Jug…speed through and pick up your milk, Bread and egg needs by conveniently driving past their open door and paying just bit more for not having to exit your vehicle. Then there came more and more fast food opportunities that worked in much the same way. After some years, new technology became available- the microwave oven. No longer did we have to wait 30-45 minutes for the traditional T.V. Dinner, no now it only took about 15 minutes. As the technology improved that time decreased to 5-7 minutes.
Really, where has that gotten us? We have gotten more and more accustomed to having what we want and having it now! We have become an impatient and self-centered world that wants what we want when we want it and has little patience for ourselves or anyone else. Don’t misunderstand, I am all about saving time if that saved time is used for good, but in most cases it just makes us more selfish.
This is not how we were designed, nor is it the desire of our creator for our lives! In James 1 we are told:
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
Now for many of us a trial is to get behind someone in line at the grocery or department store who has a buggy full or only having three lines open and they all have 3-4 customers in line, or someone has the audacity to be writing a check and slowing us down. How spoiled can we get before we realize that we have become rotten? I am not sure I really want to know! Sadly, we who are followers of Christ are not immune. We often ignore or are ignorant of the wisdom of the Word, some examples:
A man’s wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. NIV
The end of a matter is better than its beginning and patience is better than pride.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
If then we have impatience in the smaller things in our life, how will we fair when the whole world comes crashing down around us? A devastating diagnosis? The loss of a loved one or a job? Will we crumble into pieces or will we seek our Father, will we tumble into a dark depression or seek God’s wisdom and wait to hear from Him? If we haven’t learned patience in the little things, how will we wait on God’s answers, His wisdom, His timing??
The Word tells us in Isaiah 40:28: “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom. 29 He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. 30 Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 31 but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
When we hope in something, that generally means that it doesn’t happen right away, there is a waiting period; some translators use the word wait rather than hope. Once again, the question is how can we wait on God when we cannot tolerate waiting a few minutes in a line or wait a few days for the latest timesaver or gadget? Is it all about us, or all about Him? When we find ourselves waiting, what can we learn about ourselves; about our relationship to others; or about our relationship to God? Maybe this is a time to reflect on our own attitudes rather than get impatient, frustrated, or grumpy.
It is so easy to point our finger at our circumstances, at others actions and behavior when things are not as we’d hope or just are not going the way we think they should. What would happen if instead we actually took a good look at what is actually going on in our own attitudes, examining our own heart and our own motives? Honestly, unless we take the time to slow down and enjoy
our lives, we risk losing much more that we can even imagine. The thing that seems to suffer the most from the fast paced lives we see most people living is personal relationships. Ironically, it is these very relationships that we need the most when we enter into God’s waiting room. Our relationships with others is where we draw strength to face life’s challenges, they are the ones who lift us up in prayer when we don’t have the words within us to pray, who help us up when we can’t get up on our own. It is the wonderful family and friends in our lives that come along to minister to us, strengthen us and draw our attention to Him as they act as His hands and feet to us when we find ourselves in God’s Waiting Room.