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Wait Patiently
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While waiting in an unusually slowing moving checkout-line, I curiously watched the four or five people in front of me; the group's body language and facial expressions spoke volumes. One gentleman stood hands on hips, his facial expression revealing disgust at his inconvenient predicament. Another rolled his eyes and predictably glanced at his watch before looking back at the rest of us, shaking his head.

People do not like waiting. We've been programmed this way by up-to-the-minute news feeds and instant communication on smart-phones, tablets, and the internet. We live in a fast-paced world!

Recently, I asked a friend about an email I had sent him. "I skimmed it,” he said. “I don't have time to sit and read a whole email." I must admit that perturbed me. I felt the topic an important one and not the type you just "skim." It seems that the old adage, "Patience is a virtue" is lost on people today.

Even when it comes to God, people are impatient. Abraham waited 24 years for a child (see Genesis 17-19); he was 99. But instead of patiently waiting, he tried to play God, and in doing so created long-lasting issues. In Exodus, we find Moses waiting 80 years to enter the Promised Land. But an impatient act prevented his entry. And the Jewish people anticipated a Messiah for centuries. Yet their wait caused them to invent the type of Messiah they wanted, which ended in the rejection and murder of the true Messiah. It seems that waiting is our lot in life.

Work of Hope

Author and theologian Lewis Smedes wrote: “Waiting is our destiny. As creatures who cannot by themselves bring about what they hope for, we wait in the darkness for a flame we cannot light. We wait in fear for a happy ending that we cannot write. We wait for a not yet that feels like a not ever. Waiting is the hardest work of hope.”

We often see, in our life-cycle, events that spring up sucking the life out of us. When something goes awry—a family member suddenly dies, a relationship ends badly, a business fails, your family's budget experiences an unexpected major dent— we anxiously wait on God to fix it.

The message of the Gospel is beautiful in that God does His best work when all else seems hopeless. We have many promises of what we can expect if we wait on God’s timing. “Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary,” (Isaiah 40:31).

Yet, in order for this to happen, we must learn to be patient and work within the parameters of this world. Our lives may feel chaotic, especially when we’re struggling hopelessly and desperately waiting. But no doubt about it, God IS ultimately still in control, and one day He will reward our patience.

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By Daniel LaFlair. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE ®.

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