Have you noticed this? The Christian life/experience is very much one of waiting. This seems to be a bitter pill for a lot of us North Americans who are used to instant gratification, or at the very least, life according to Amazon fulfillment. For many of us, the “now” life has been permanently ingrained in us and we may not have even had exposure to what the rest of the world experiences in waiting. Even playing the part of a “lesser god” by having all of Google’s wisdom at our beck and call has conditioned us to impatience, sometimes painful impatience.
It’s no wonder people are so often disappointed with God. He doesn’t “deliver” for us all the time. And He doesn’t deliver “on time.” Just picture yourself standing there tapping your foot waiting for something to arrive on the doorstep of your life that you think you were promised by God. We all do it, don’t we? Unfortunately for some, God is not like Amazon Prime. It’s not that God could care less about our expectations with regard to his performance and His timing. I do think He cares.
In what might be the bona fide “first place,” there’s a lot of stuff we can expect out of God that He never promised for us. Some of the promises found in scripture do apply to us collectively as Christians, and some personally. Some promises apply to Israel. Some promises are even conditional upon us doing something first. The point being, our expectations of God really need to be rooted in what He has said through scripture or we are destined for disappointment.
Just think of some of the waiting game experiences where God did come through as promised: That God would wipe every living creature from the face of the earth and yet save Noahand his family; that God would provide a son to Abraham; that all nations on the earth would be blessed through Abraham (Messianic); that He would provide a deliverer for Israel(Moses) and a Messiah for Israel (Jesus); He promised a child to Elizabeth and Zechariah (John the Baptist) and a baby to Mary though she was a virgin (and he would be Messiah) ; thatSimeon would see the consolation of Israel before his death (Jesus birth). Even now, we wait for the fulfillment of God’s promise of Christ’s return. We wait.
Waiting appears to be a testing of sorts, doesn’t it? It can be a real faith stretcher and a trust builder, can’t it? And faith is a real God pleaser. He said so. In fact, He said “Without faith it is impossible to please God.” (Heb. 11:6) I take from that that growing in my ability to exercise faith may be increasingly pleasing to God. Certainly there is something to be gained through the experience, the anticipation that comes from waiting, waiting in faith. God may redirect our thinking or our expectations. God may show us something new, maybe something even better than we expected. God may do something in others as a by-product of our waiting and trusting in Him. This often happens in instances of sickness, suffering and even death.
God is good. Very good. And He knows what is right to do and when to do His “right things.” Are you struggling to have faith? Are you struggling to trust in God even though you know He is trustworthy? Do you fight disappointment because you don’t understand the purpose of the delay or God’s methods? We all do from time to time. If we can come to the place in our life of faith where our “default position” is a certainty that our God is sovereign, that He is very much in control despite what we think or think we see, and that His intentions are consistently for our best interest, we can find rest, peace and build faith . . . . while we wait. If you haven’t gotten what you have longed for or prayed for, I encourage you to consider that God, in His wisdom and according to His plan for you, does not intend that for you . . . . at least not yet! And remember, that priceless resource, patience, is within you in the person of the Holy Spirit. Allow His “fruit” to be released in you. Think About It.