Have you ever had to wait a really long time for something? When I was a kid, it took forever between the time we put up the Christmas tree, and when presents were actually opened. It was horrible! I was never a patient kid – not on Christmas or birthdays or any other event when I knew I might be given something.
JUST GIVE ME MY STUFF NOW DANG IT!
Now, as an adult with kids, I see that same thing in them – an impatience when they know something good is coming.
I still see that same impatience in myself, too. I need to get over that. The last week has been pretty rough. I gave up a habit that I felt was holding me back, and I guess I expected everything to change immediately, and when nothing changed, I got all twisted up about it.
I really felt like good things would happen if I could just do this one thing. Maybe I even deluded myself a bit about it. But still I quit dipping snuff, and almost expected the heavens to open and gold coins to come falling down on my head. Instead I got a sinus infection.
Waiting is hard. It’s the hardest part. The bible addresses this by saying “hope deferred makes the heart sick.” Hope can be a very pleasant thing – something great is coming! There’s a blessing just around the corner – just hang on! Be patient and God will show up and work a miracle in your life!
Hope can also be a beast. It can be torture. Something is coming – something good! But when? What do I do in the meantime? Do I just keep doing what I’m doing and keep hoping? When is this blessing supposed to arrive? Tomorrow at noon? Today would be better, but I can wait a day or two. But not three days.
I have been waiting years. Sometimes I feel like the little kid with presents he can see just sitting there. But my mom is keeping an eye on me so I can’t even get close – I know something is there but I can’t have it, can’t touch it, can’t experience it. But I also know the day is coming.
Sometimes I turn my back on what I know is there and get all twisted up over it and forget that the giver of these gifts doesn’t actually owe me anything. Sometimes I act like a spoiled brat, demanding my inheritance. Sometimes anticipation is making me late.
A few days ago, I met with a person I had never actually spoken with before. We’re facebook friends, and I consider him a mentor – He’s one of about 5 people that I read everything he writes. His words are full of wisdom and understanding. So I sent him a message on facebook, and we met for coffee early one morning.
He sized me up pretty quickly. I told him pretty much everything. He told me that my heart had grown sick because of anticipation. He told me that my confidence in God had been shaken – that I didn’t trust Him to be who He says He is, and in turn, I can’t be who He created me to be.
All because of a problem with patience.
We hear that good things come to them that wait. But I have become hesitant – I lost sight of how absolutely good God is, how much He really loves me, how He really wants to bless me!
If hope deferred makes the heart sick, how much more will those who wait upon the Lord renew their strength? How much more will those who wait patiently for the promised blessings mount up with wings like eagles? How much more will I run and not be weary, and walk and not grow faint?
That’s what I’m talking about right there! That’s the life I want! I don’t want to care about specifics – did I get a pack of socks for my birthday or is it that new video game I’ve been dying for? That’s not what it’s all about! It’s about walking with God in the cool of the day, and just knowing that you are His, and He is yours.
My prayer for me and for you – that instead of being impatient children, we will become spiritually mature, and learn to wait upon the Lord!