I was listening to an audio devotional yesterday. The speaker was reading through Ephesians 5:22-23. He speaks slowly and methodically which is good to hear him correctly, but not so good when you have ten things to do before you leave for work. So I listened as he read: “But the Fruit of the Spirit is love . . . Joy . . . [is there a speed-up button on this thing] peace . . . patience . . . And that is when I saw myself and the lack of that one particular fruit. I confess I am not a patient person. Especially when I’m trying to get a shower, get dressed, make coffee, read my Bible, read the devotional emails I receive, post and write the day’s Scripture, write the daily devotional on my blog, put supper in the crockpot, fix my breakfast (which I ate on the way), fix my lunch, fluff my hair, brush my teeth, find my shoes and my knee brace, grab my purse and books and head out the door to get to work on time. Whew. There I was, impatiently listening to a man read about being patient.
How good are you at waiting? Ever told a microwave to hurry up? Waiting was a constant for the people of the Bible. Noah spent a little over a year shut up in the ark, from the first raindrop until God gave the all-clear. Abraham waited 25 years for the fulfillment of God’s promise, the birth of his son, Isaac. Joseph waited 13 years – through slavery and imprisonment – for God’s plan to come to fruition. They didn’t just wait – they waited well. Because they had faith in God. They understood Psalm 37:7 – “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”
Notice I didn’t say they had faith that God would work everything out in a certain way. They had faith in God, in His character, in who He is, not just in what He could do. They had faith that whatever God did, in whatever way He did it, and however long it took, it would be the right and good thing. Because He is right and good.
Beloved, what are you waiting for? The spouse to come to church, the kid to straighten up, the funds to turn around, the hard season to be over? Or are you waiting with your eyes fixed on God, trusting that He, in His goodness, faithfulness, and love, will do what will ultimately be for your best; whatever, however, and whenever that may be? I think the lesson God is trying to teach me in this waiting season is simply this: The secret to patiently waiting is not looking for the answer, it is trusting the One who has the answer.