I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and he turned to me and heard my cry.
(Psalm 40:1, NLT)
Patiently? How many of us can admit we wait patiently for the Lord? Definitely not me.
Usually I am quite impatient. If the Lord doesn’t seem to be moving quickly enough for me, instead of waiting, I start thinking up ways I can take care of the situation myself.
I take matters into my own hands. At least, I try to. Often, however, I find this choice typically doesn’t work out well for me.
Or I might give up. Depending on what the situation is and how important it is for me.
Evenually, however, I find myself returning to the Lord, and waiting.
Waiting can be discouraging. And tiring.
Isn’t it wonderful the Lord does not leave us waiting on our own? He gives us a promise.
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31, TLB)
When we get tired of waiting, when we feel as if we can wait no more, he will provide the strength to go on.
Patience is also a fruit of the Holy Spirit, not our own fruit grown from our best efforts.
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” (Galatians 5:22-23, NLT)
Isn’t it reassuring to know we’re not expected to wait patiently on our own accord?
Patiently waiting is also a process. In one translation, Peter calls it endurance.
“Supplememnt your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self control, and self control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.” (2 Peter 1:5-7, NLT)
As we choose to live well and grow in our knowledge of the Lord, putting what we learn into practice, self control and patience follow.
The Lord uses our times of waiting to grow us and mature us in Christ.
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop (patient) endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character stengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (Romans 5:3-4, NLT)
As much as we don’t like waiting, the Lord knows it is for our good. He doesn’t make us wait in our own strength or in our own abilities. And he uses the time of waiting as a process to grow a Christ-like character in us.
Which is why I find myself returning to the Lord, and waiting.
Heavenly Father, Thank you for your good and precious promises. I know you see from the beginning to the end and your timing is perfect. I will continue to learn to wait on you and trust in you, knowing that even in the waiting, you are doing a good work in me..
Grace & Peace