For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (ESV)
This blog post is as much self-reflection as it is teaching. Don’t we all despise waiting? Waiting in the drive thru line at Starbucks, waiting for the weekend or the next vacation coming up. Even something as simple as waiting in traffic. From having a poor view on waiting, frustration and anxiety can easily fester. Simply stated, waiting is the worst.
Patience is easy to talk about and hear, but extremely hard to live out. I’ve grown up in a church my whole life, and I’ve heard messages on patience dozens of times. I know for a fact that hearing those messages doesn’t make waiting on God’s timing any easier. Especially in our culture today, often we’d rather have “No” be the answer than wait on God’s timing.
Throughout scripture, we see a lot of people have their lives transformed by waiting. Two people come to mind immediately, Abraham and Noah. From waiting, Abraham’s character was transformed as he waited on God to fulfill His promise of making Abraham the father of a great nation. He patiently waited on God for years, even while Abraham was in his old age, God still fulfilled his promise. Secondly, we have Noah, He waited on God to Fulfill His promise and trusted God’s plan and timing while building the Ark. From his faith and patience, Noah built a dependency and closeness to God.
A good friend of mine once said, “God isn’t afraid to take the scenic route” and that resonated with me because while we are focused on the here and now and instant gratification, God is working in our lives and transforming us to grow closer to Him. As I sit at home, frustrated in the moment and thinking that God isn’t answering my prayers, I need to grasp that there is a bigger plan being executed and at the end of the day, it’s not about me.
As we look forward to what 2019 will bring, either with anticipation or anxiety, we need to keep two things in mind regarding waiting on God. First, God answers prayers in His own perfect timing. Second, God always keeps His promises. Take heart in those things while you wait and be ready for God to work through your life.