I Hate to Wait!

I don’t wait well.  Do you?   And I have a theory:  The acid test of patience is how we deal with delays in the drive-thru lines of our favorite fast-food restaurants! I Hate to Wait.

I hate to admit it, but often I act like the children of Israel. On one occasion they failed miserably in the “waiting department!”  They were required to wait on Moses, who had climbed Mt. Sinai to hear from God.  Moses’ delay sent them into an angry frenzy that ignited their rebellious and lustful natures.  The outcome was a golden calf – an idol!  

God’s unique purpose in our waiting is to renew and equip us for service.  “Those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary” (Isaiah 40:31).

What a revelation!  This is one reason why event-oriented Christians become impatient.  They hate to wait!  Furthermore, what they want, they want immediately.  They’re like the Christian who prayed, “Lord, give me patience, right now!” 

And often, event-driven Christians bounce from church to church, looking for the spectacular without ever giving attention to their need for solid Bible-based teaching and preaching and the need for participating and serving in a healthy community of faith.

What’s my point? While walking with the Lord, we tend to magnify events and downplay the process.  We often hear comments like, “Wow, can you believe that service?” or “I wish it could be like that every time we have church.”  The Children of Israel enjoyed their camp meeting on the opposite shore of the Red Sea following their deliverance from Pharaoh’s army.  Later they despised having to wait for Moses to descend the mountain.  However, it’s the process that makes us like Jesus.

In Psalm 95 we read this indictment against Israel:  “They tried Me, though they had seen my work.  For forty years I loathed that generation, and said they are a people who err in their hearts, and they do not know my ways” (verse 9-10).  Psalm 103:7 reminds us that “He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.”  While miracles are wonderful (and should be expected), it is God’s overriding desire that we assume His nature.

King Saul, on his way to battle, grew impatient and became incensed when the prophet Samuel delayed his coming.  It was solely the prophet’s responsibility to offer the sacrifice (the event).  However, Saul despised the wait (the process), took matters into his own hands and paid dearly for it.  His anger turned to hate, which turned to bitterness, which turned to mental instability.  By the time he fell on his own sword on the battlefield, while the Philistines were closing in, he had been reduced to a psychopathic killer.

So, instead of becoming angry at God’s delays, do like Charles Swindoll says and “enjoy the view from Mt. Perspective.”  Understand that God is “producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). 



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