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Waiting on God: Cultivating the Fruit of Patience

May 11, 2015 • Deb Koster

Scripture passage — Psalm 25:1-5

 

Isaiah 40:31 says, “but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." 

I am not a fan of having to wait for things. Our culture has spoiled me into getting what I want at the push of a button. Drive-up banking is now too time consuming when I can make a deposit from my desk using an app on my phone. I am irritated at the fast food window if I have to pull ahead and wait for my food.  I am impulsive by nature, let me act now and plan later. A broken computer leaves me stressed over the hours of productivity I must be missing. Waiting is a hassle, it interrupts the hamster wheel of busyness that I ride. And in waiting for God it seems like he is always late, at least according to my clock.

Waiting is a skill that God seems determined to teach me. Every time I have the illusion of thinking that I am in control, I discover that God is God and I am not. I am repeatedly reminded that his blessings cannot be rushed, God is working out his will in his own time. As much as I would love for God to consult my calendar, he makes it clear that his timeline is the one I am supposed to be following. The Holy Spirit is at work cultivating fruit in the life of every believer and one of those fruits is patience. This will require lifelong learning for me as this gift does not come naturally for me.

Blessings don’t come from rushing ahead and trying to fix things on my own. All that comes from my rushing is frustration and exhaustion. If we are anxious or stressed over waiting for God’s timing, we may need to reorient ourselves to relying on God and waiting for his timing. God tells us in Psalm 139 to be still and know that he is God. Being still is not my strong suit, it is something that still needs much cultivation in my life.

Waiting helps me to see God’s hand at work. When I am always rushing I miss out on seeing how God is at work in orchestrating all of the little details of life. Busyness becomes my idol. Isaiah 30:18 says, “Therefore the Lord waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the Lord is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Our gracious Father has blessings that he wants us to savor, that we will miss altogether if we rush past in a hurry.

Waiting may feel like a waste of our time, but it might be one of the most important things we do. Waiting for God involves acknowledging his control and trusting that he can work out the details in his time. Psalm 25:3 reminds us, “Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.” Waiting is not a bad thing, it is the place where we are blessed, where we learn, and where we grow into who God wants us to become.

Prayer

Lord, give us the patience to wait patiently for you. May we never rush past your blessings, but delight in the waiting in your presence. Help us to trust you always to work out your will in your time. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

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