Why is it that it seems harder and harder to wait?
I watched a mom at the grocery store the other day as her 2 year old threw himself dramatically onto the floor—he refused to wait. I had to turn away and laugh because waiting is so very frustrating even as adults. Maturity tells us it’s not appropriate and temper tantrums don’t work, but sometimes even adults go there. The good news is God never turns away from us, although He may chuckle at times, knowing that the frustrating wait is meant for our own good. He knows that wisdom comes during the wait and He has lots to teach us.
The problem is that we live in a culture of instant—an “I want it now” world. Technology allows us to consume our time with a mobile device and we’re losing our ability to have to wait. What had been boring wait time is now an opportunity to check our mobile phones and fill the time with work, social media and entertainment. We use to call it dead time—wasted time. Now we fill it. Having the ability to not waste time seems like a good thing until we realize that we’re loosing our ability to think, observe and contemplate. Now our faces are planted in a tech screen, and we don’t have to engage in thought or with others. We’re in our own world focused and in control. Or are we? Romans 1:28 says, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not proper.” Are our minds being manipulated and brain washed with an overabundance of media?
Just as a child trusts the wisdom of a parent, so too we’re to trust our Father in Heaven. Luke 21:19 says, “In your endurance you will gain your souls.” We’re to endure, and when we do, God promises that we will “reap, if we do not give up” (Gal. 6:9). During “the wait,” it becomes up to us to decide if we want to trust Him and wait patiently or throw ourselves down and wail. It comes down to our consistent intimate relationship—maturity with God. How we control our emotions is a surrendering of our will. Just as Jesus taught us to pray, “Your will be done, on earth, as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10), God works on His timing and not ours.
Next time you’re frustrated and waiting for God to answer your prayers, examine what you’re doing during those boring times—or if you’re even having them. Quiet time may be an opportunity for you to hear something from God. You’ll never hear Him if you don’t turn off the media distractions. You might even find “the wait” gets shorter.