Pursuing Patience

download (5)The other night I was talking to my brother at dinner. I had been feeling down that day and was telling him how it is hard to wait for my future husband. He quickly responded by saying bluntly, “Actually, it’s not that hard. All you have to do is wait.” As abstract as this whole “waiting is easy” concept was to me, my brother had hit on something I hadn’t realized before: patience is all about the mindset. If you daily agonize and wallow in the pain of patience, you will job yourself of joy. BUT if you accept that times of waiting have purpose and will help mold you into who your Maker created you to be, the waiting won’t be nearly as difficult.

images (12)  Abraham waited for a son. Noah waited for rain. Joseph waited in prison. Job waited for restoration. The Israelites waited for the Promised Land. Esther waited for deliverance for her people. David waited to be king. Nehemiah waited for reconstruction. Simeon waited to see the Messiah. Some of the most godly and well-known characters in the Bible had to go through 10, 20, 40, and even 100 YEARS of waiting to see God’s promises fulfilled. And when they were fulfilled—it was a beautiful and obvious declaration of the Lord’s goodness and Sovereignty!

Were the times of waiting difficult? I’m sure they were. Did they get discouraged? I’m sure they did. But each season was a part of the unfolding plan of God that would echo through generations for years and years to come. We must trust His timing.

The problem with our human tendencies is that we want to skip over these times of waiting in our lives. We want to move from one thing to another ASAP because we think our time is more valuable than God’s plan. I’m here to tell you from experience—don’t bypass times of waiting in your life! They are so vital in making you who you are. They give you time to seek the Lord and truly ask what He wants of you.

When we force another relationship, another trip, another job, another event, another timeline, we are usurping God’s authority and basically saying to His face, “I don’t trust your timing.”

waiting-on-godThis past year, I especially struggled with waiting for God’s best. I forced things that never should have been and I ended up hurt and confused. When seeking God’s healing, peace, and patience for my aching heart, I was reminded: it’s better to wait (even for many years) if it means God’s best than it is to rush things and end up broken and hurt. Many people today are facing broken jobs, relationships, families, hearts, and health because they failed to wait upon the Lord. Brokenness was never God’s intention. Seek His face in all things. Whether a spouse, a job, a child, a move—God is in control and His timing is always perfect. It may not seem like it at the time, but He has it all under control.

Times of waiting are difficult and dreaded, but it is in these moments God wants to teach us the most. Who we are in our times of waiting is who we truly are. Do you seek God in times of waiting? Or do you just let the schedule of life take over?

Never forget that our ultimate example of patience is Jesus. He waits patiently for us to repent and turn to Him. He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in faithful love (Psalm 145:8). Our beautiful First Love is patient with us because He loves us. May this example echo through our thoughts, actions and attitudes as we pursue a love relationship with the Almighty.

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