But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. Romans 8:25 (NIV)
Recently my family went out to dinner, and the waiter forgot to turn in their food order. When he finally realized what happened, he felt so badly he sent the restaurant manager over to their table, and the manager deducted fifty dollars from their bill. Howard did not want, nor did he expect, to be paid for the inconvenience of waiting, but he certainly appreciated the kind gesture. Nothing tries our patience more than the amount of time we have to wait! You may wonder why I wasn’t at the restaurant with my family. It’s because my patience was being tested while sitting in traffic trying to get there! I most certainly would have enjoyed seeing fifty dollars fly in the window of my car as I waited in traffic!
We live in a world where everything is available at the push of a button and where we are often rewarded should we be required to wait. It can be very easy to find our patience running thin. I’m not blaming our “you can have it now” lifestyle for our lack of patience, but it has created a sense of expectation that we shouldn’t have to wait. I believe Christians have continued this expectation in their relationship with God. Nothing exposes this more than when we think we need God to act ASAP on our behalf. Especially when we find ourselves believing there is no evidence He has even heard our request.
The importance of Godly patience struck me when I read the story of David being anointed as the second king of Israel. God anointed David as king when he was still a young shepherd boy, yet David did not reign as king until he was 30 years old. How did David have the patience to wait almost 15 years for God to fulfill what He promised to him? This seems absolutely impossible to imagine in our “you can have it now” culture!
During those 15 years, David could have killed Saul twice but chose not to even though Saul’s death would have given David his rightful place as king. How did David have the patience to wait on God? What can we learn from David as we attempt to wait patiently for God? I believe the secret to David waiting patiently on God has nothing to do with patience! I believe the treasure we find when learning how to wait on God is built upon the foundation of our faith in God. David knew God would be faithful His promise, and God promised David would be king. God rewarded David with faith and peace, and this alone allowed him to trust God as he waited and watched for God to perform a miracle in his life.
Patience comes when our faith lies in and upon the faithfulness of God. If we know God will reward our faith, we will wait patiently and expectantly knowing God will be faithful. Instead of praying for more patience as we wait, let’s pray for more faith to trust God. Faith allows us to wait for Him to give us His best at the perfect time. Our reward is to know what we receive is from the hand of God and not from our own manipulation of circumstances. His gifts are worth the wait, and He will reward our faith. Faith produces patience.
Further Reading 1 Samuel 9 - 2 Samuel 2, Psalm 37, Romans 8:25, Galatians 5:22, Hebrews 11:6