I’m not the first person to notice our society is terrible at waiting.
Drive-thrus that take longer than Chick-Fil-A: horrible. Waiting four seconds for a YouTube video to load? What is this, the stone age? And now YOU’RE THROWING ADS IN THE MIDDLE OF MY VIDEO? Barbaric.
I’m 27, so that makes me old enough to remember what it was like to anxiously check the phone (aka landline, aka this phone that didn’t leave the house) when we got back from running errands for messages. I remember being super lazy and not rewinding the VHS tapes because LAME. And I can tap into the annals of memory to hear the dial-up sound of logging onto the internet. I also remember that there were some days the internet just didn’t work. You read that right, kids. Some days, it just didn’t work.
However, I’m also young enough to realize there’s no going back. Even though there are days I long for a simple Samsung flip phone, I know that technology is only moving forward, not backward.
Waiting for Growth
Strange how the immediacy of knowledge, entertainment, and updates seeps into our walk with God. Refreshing Twitter takes .5 seconds, but gaining wisdom? A lifetime. Watching a YouTube video takes four minutes, but learning discretion does not. Try decades. Waiting for your snap to post is not really waiting. Persevering as God molds you into his image, that’s truly waiting. Becoming who he wants us to be is more like cooking a roast in the crockpot vs. microwaving leftovers: the slow, steady, simmer produces depth and richness a microwave simply can’t.
Stop a minute and ask yourself, “What am I waiting on?” More importantly, how are you waiting?
Waiting on God to answer prayers, that in limbo season between promised and fulfilled can be fruitful and special, but so often, we make waiting out to be static, to be nothing. We devalue delays.
The Value of Delays
However, God places great value on delays. Moses wandered in the desert for 40 years with a bunch of complainers (aka PEOPLE LIKE US) and never even got to walk in the promised land. Abraham was an old man before he was a dad. Noah worked on the ark for at least 100 years before the flood came. The list could go on.
Waiting is not a malady that strikes God’s people, but a natural tool for growth, but we treat it like a disease.
Wielded in God’s hands, waiting holds great power for our growth. We are refined. Our trust muscles are strengthened. Dead parts are trimmed away. Painful, yes. But fruitful? You bet. In the midst of a such a season, we must continually ask for God’s wisdom to wield waiting wisely. What does that look like?
- It means doing less, not more.
- It means asking different questions of the Lord: not “Why am I going through this?” but “What is that you want me to learn?” or “How do I grow closer to you?”
- It means feeding your soul on the word, sitting under wise counsel, and reflecting over past trials.
- It means serving and encouraging others.
Whatever you are waiting for, there is an opportunity to wield your delays wisely. We need more examples of intentional waiting. We have enough examples of impatience and frustration to last a lifetime. So let’s make a different choice. I promise waiting hasn’t gone out of style.
I promise your wait won’t be wasted.
What are some of the ways that you wield waiting wisely?