Learning to Wait with Grace

If there’s one thing that doesn’t come easily for me, it’s waiting.

And if there’s one thing we cannot avoid in life, it’s waiting.

I think it’s human nature to dislike waiting, though certainly our instantaneous-you-can-have-it-now culture and mindsets don’t help. We can watch movies on demand (no waiting!), order coffee on an app (no waiting!) and cook with an insta-pot (hardly any waiting!).

We choose the shortest line, feel frustrated when traffic halts, and want instant results.  Let’s face it: Waiting is hard. It’s boring. It’s tedious. And it delays the very thing we’re longing for.

At the beginning of the year we put our house on the market; it’s finally time for us to downsize. In preparation we scrubbed, gave away literally hundreds of books, cleaned out closets, and got rid of junk we haven’t used in years. We pulled weeds, made repairs, and cleaned the windows.

And then the wait began. I just now calculated that as I write this, our house has currently been on the market for 78 days, and trust me, it feels like 77 days too long.

Each of us is probably—at this very moment—waiting for something. We wait for a marriage proposal, a baby to arrive, test results, news from a loved one, a new job opportunity, and for a deployed family member to arrive back home safely. Regularly we wait for the grocery line to shorten, traffic to budge, dinner to be ready, and a delivery to arrive.

With all the waiting we endure, we can lead exasperated lives or…we can learn to wait with grace.

When we’re tempted to panic, feel frustrated, or grow weary because of the wait, we can instead choose to remember that:

God is developing His character in us. If love is patient, (and God IS love), we are not acting at all like Him when we feel exasperated by our waiting. Through waiting God tries and proves us, changes our hearts, and prepares us for what’s ahead. Consider how Joseph was wrongly imprisoned for 13 years, Abraham waited 25 years for the fulfillment of God’s promise, and Moses’ long 40 year wait in the backside of a desert prior to facing off with Pharaoh. Clearly God uses waiting to accomplish His purposes in us. This fact alone helps me relax and endure the wait with a better attitude.

God is trustworthy. (He really is.) It’s His very character, and the more we meditate on His character (try reading the Psalms!) the more our hearts will be at ease and trust Him. (1 Thessalonians 5:24)

Our times really are in His hands. We don’t have to be anxious; God hasn’t forgotten us, He isn’t neglecting us, and He knows the exact timing of every detail of our lives. (See Psalm 31:15)

God is sovereign. Ultimately His plans and purposes will come to fruition in our lives—maybe just not on our timeline. (See Isaiah 46:10)

A Prayer to Wait with Grace

Lord, You know the thing(s) I am waiting for. Please use this time to develop more of Your character in me. God, I’m grateful that You are trustworthy and my heart can be at ease and trust You. I’m thankful that as I wait I can rest assured that my times are in Your hands, and that You are sovereign and will accomplish all of Your purposes in and for and through me. Give me grace and peace as I wait, Lord. In the strong name of Jesus. Amen. 

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1 comment:

Terri Root said...

Once again your Truth-filled post came at exactly the time I needed to hear this word from the LORD. Thank you for your faithfulness to GOD.Sincerely, Terri

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