As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. James 5:11
May I have a show of hands of those who like patience? I wouldn't dare say, “Love patience,” as that would be pushing, right? Yes, just as I thought. Not a single hand.
Patience is not something I like – and I can assume you don’t either. I don’t know about you, but waiting in line for anything is not something I look forward to. Even for a ride at Disneyland, a special dairy free ice cream, or a special time with family. I get impatient waiting even for these things. But, seeing how I am older than 3, I have learned that life is about waiting.
WAITING. Did you know that Scripture is full of waiting? Abram waited for the promised heir. Israel waited for deliverance from the Egyptians. David waited for his kingship. And then Israel waited for the promised Messiah. Then, we too, as believers are waiting for Christ’s return.
All of those times of waiting served a purpose as well as received an incredible blessing through the waiting. I think the challenge comes in not knowing the duration of the wait, or what will actually be the result of the waiting.
Back to Disneyland – when I see that the wait time for Space Mountain is 45 minutes, to me that is a no-brainer. I will wait. But if it says 2 hours, I move on. I mean, there are other things that can be done in those 2 hours instead of waiting in the blazing hot sun waiting for a 2-minute ride. Here’s the catch – many people do wait the 2 hours. Myself included, at times.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7a
I’ve been grounded this week. Yes, grounded. It’s the feet. Somehow, someway my feet got me into trouble. It’s been a month since I got the great news that I was moving forward with their healing – and now, here I am back where I was for over a year. Can you tell I am not taking it in stride? For that matter, I am not striding anywhere for the moment. I’ve had to use muscle memory on what I did for over a year while I was grounded. It’s amazing how easily one forgets when one is able to move on. I know, because I had forgotten.
And yet, God asks us to wait and to wait PATIENTLY (emphasis mine). We can wait tapping our foot, or we can wait patiently. I know God asks us to do the latter, but oftentimes I do the former. And I do not have ADHD - at least I don’t think I do.
James points out that we are called blessed if we persevere. Blessed. Favored. Yes, you read it correctly. So, not only do we ultimately receive that which we waited for, we are called blessed. This is a great promise and one worth waiting for.
How does one wait patiently? I am definitely not an expert, but I’ve heard others talk about ways to pass the time while in a season of waiting. There are many types of waiting, as mentioned above and each has a certain strategy. There could be cross- overs, but generally, waiting has the same foundation. Occupy your mind with something else. Yes, folks, you can drop your payment in the mail for that bit of advice.
When my girls and my sister along with her girls went to London 2 years ago, we had to wait to see the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace. It was cold, threatened to rain and then rained, was crowded and became more crowded the longer we waited. Did I mention it was cold? I think we waited about 2 hours standing there at the gate – the best place to stand. We were a shoe-in to see the whole thing. We were very excited. But dash it all, minutes before the said event – it was too rainy for the full changing of the guard. We were told to disperse. All that waiting for nothing. Or was it?
We had planned to eat at a fish and chips place that served gluten free fare. But it was not open yet – you guessed it. We had to wait. But, we found a coffee shop right next store, got warmed up, and then proceeded to have the most delicious gf fish and chips at a Michelin star restaurant. That meal was a highlight of our trip.
Waiting does have its perks.
I have found that doing the next thing is best when waiting. Going on with life helps keep the mind focused on something else while I am in the process of waiting, allowing me to be productive, thoughtful, distracted from the wait.
Being grounded again can give me the opportunity to enjoy this Advent season. Times of prayer, worship and study can linger rather than be rushed. Waiting patiently for these very injured feet (I think I am finally realizing how injured they really are) to fully heal – and keeping my eyes on the prize, which are long hikes with my loved ones, standing and talking to someone, driving by myself. All of which I do not do currently but are waiting for me when I get to the front of the line.
This MUST be an E ticket ride for such a long, winding wait.
Father God, You are worth waiting for. Every plan, every path, every measured step is one step closer to You. Forgive me for being impatient. Help me Lord to keep my eyes on You and not on the waiting. Because nothing is wasted that has been designed by You. AMEN