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. Isaiah 40:31
Few people these days are endowed with the virtue of waiting patiently. Whether we are waiting for a husband or wife to get dressed or waiting our turn to go through a revolving door, few of us are long on the virtue of waiting. Impatience has become the mark of life today.
We are sympathetic with the listener who wrote, “Waiting is such a waste of time in my line of thinking. I am a very poor waiter. Never seem to learn my lesson, so have to take the test over and over again.” Most of us are like that. Actually though, learning to wait patiently is part of a wellintegrated personality. Impatience only runs your blood pressure up too high and sets you at odds with the world.
When I took a Bible and began to jot down references to “waiting,” I was surprised. In a few minutes I filled two singlespaced, typewritten pages. It is a rather rewarding experience and I heartily recommend it to you. The Old Testament psalmist and warrior, David, has more to say about waiting than perhaps any other Biblical writer. You will recall that David was an aggressive person who got things done. The person who gets things done is not usually thought of as a waiter, yet David said we must learn this lesson if we are to please God.
For seven long years David waited for God to give him the kingdom from his predecessor, Saul. During that time he could have taken things into his own hands; he could have killed Saul on two different occasions and had what God had already promised him, but he did not. He chose to wait and let God give him the kingdom in His own time. During that period of restless waiting he wrote, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage and He shall strengthen thine heart; wait I say on the Lord” (Psalm 27:14).
Here is a lesson you may need to learn. When you commit your life to Christ, you allow God to give you guidance and direction. It means that perhaps for the first time in your life you take your hands off things and let God put His on. Waiting is not easy. Like Saul of old, who was denounced by God for his impatience, we want to take things into our own hands. Waiting suggests a dependence on Godsomething we try to avoid.
To wait upon God is to put yourself in a position of personal dependenceyes, even weaknessbut it also enables you to be protected by the very strength of God Himself. Isaiah wrote, “They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV). Jeremiah wrote, “The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him” (Lamentations 3:25).
What can you do to conquer the enemy of impatience? The first thing to do is to realize that, unpleasant as it may be, waiting may result in great personal gain. Waiting gives you the time you need to put life back into perspective. Secondly, you can conquer impatience by looking to God and realizing that if you are trusting Him, He has a plan for your life. Remind yourself of Paul’s advice: “In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (1 Thessalonians 5:18).
If you miss your plane, or fail to make that important appointment, relax and remember there will be another plane, or another opportunity for an appointment but remember there is only one YOU. Waiting may be your opportunity to find God’s sustaining strength.
Resource reading: Isaiah 42