I guess there’s not too many people who enjoy waiting. Waiting is a part of life that is inescapable. We’ve all had to wait at doctor’s offices, in grocery store lines, at the post office, and to be seated in restaurants. But some people handle it better than others.
I remember one time being in my doctor’s office waiting room where I had been waiting for about 20 minutes. A man walked in, signed in, and then sat down just across from where I was sitting. I couldn’t help but notice that he was quite fidgety– so much so that I found it hard to concentrate on the book I was reading. He crossed his legs, then uncrossed them (and repeated this maneuver countless times). He repeatedly checked his watch. He would pick up a magazine, glance at the cover and then toss it aside. A minute or two later he would do the same thing with a different magazine. He picked at his clothes. He sighed. After waiting less than 10 minutes, I could tell his patience was wearing thin. He walked up to the receptionist and asked how much longer his wait was going to be. He did not try to hide his displeasure or his anger. Up until then, I had tried giving him the benefit of the doubt by telling myself that he might have had a medical issue causing him some discomfort where he felt he just couldn’t wait. But after observing his behavior with the receptionist, I came to the conclusion that he was just one of those people who didn’t wait well. There was a time in my life when I did not handle waiting well either.
I’ve learned in my many years on this earth that patience and waiting go hand in hand. If one does not possess patience, one will not handle waiting with ease. Merriam-Webster defines the word patient as: able to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting for a long time or when dealing with problems or difficult people. Patience is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. I’m slowly letting this trait be developed in my life.
In this world, we will all have trials and tribulations, whether we are Christians or not. We will all go through difficult times and we will all become angry and frustrated with people and situations. I will be the first to admit that I am not always the most patient person when I’m going through difficult times. I pray to God but sometimes I am not always patient in waiting for Him to work things out according to His will. I turn things over to Him but then before I realize it, I’ve snatched them right back. And as much as I am ashamed to have to admit this, I often have to re-hand him my problems over and over and over. I don’t always like waiting for answers and it’s part of my stubborn pride that makes me want fast and quick answers to life’s problems. But in my heart I know that God always knows best and He will never be late with His answers to me. God never makes mistakes!
Earlier this year, I completed a bible study of the book of James. It taught that we must always rejoice when we find ourselves going through trials and tribulations. Yep, I had to do a double take and read that one again! It taught that God’s way is always the right way and that we all need to practice humility and know that God will always work things out for good. And trust me, I’ve learned lately that it is not an easy thing to do– to rejoice during one’s trials. It’s the opposite of what I tend to want to do (whine, gripe, and complain).
I need to learn to be patient and wait on God, even when it seems he has somehow not heard my prayers. Even when it seems that he’s taking extra long in answering my prayers and even when I get an answer totally different from the answer I wanted. I need to stomp out my pride and learn humility in waiting, for waiting will always be a part of life.
How well do you wait?
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31