I just booked a room for our trip to my niece’s wedding in Idaho this summer. Our first stop will be 13 1/2 hours from home (just over half way to our destination). I’m already anticipating the questions that always accompany such a drive, like the one every parent hears, “Are we there yet?”
After spending hours cooped up in a van with five other sets of arms and legs, and worse yet, five other mouths, I can understand the necessity of the question. I really can.
Waiting is difficult. Whether we are waiting to hear about a job offer, a big contract, the birth of a baby, or a vacation, it always seems to take longer than we expect. We cringe at even the thought.
Nevertheless, there are some benefits to waiting. No, really, there are.
At least there must be. After all, look at how long God made Abraham wait to have a son (Genesis 21:5). Or how long Joseph had to wait before being reunited with his father Jacob after being sold into slavery(Genesis 47). Or Jacob’s 14 years of toil for Laban before he could marry his beloved Rachel (Genesis 29:30). Or the length of Jesus’ ministry on earth before He fulfilled the requirement for our sins (Matthew 27:45). Or even how long the Lord is waiting before returning to permanently end evil (Revelation 21:1-4).
Yet, why is “waiting” even part of our vocabulary? I pondered that question while anticipating the wedding drive, the month and a half that must pass before I can see my parents and my college son, the first day of spring, and whether the Lord will open the doors I’m knocking on sooner or later.
Here are the five reasons I came up with.
- Gain perspective. Being apart from my loved ones has brought greater appreciation of them. After a tough winter, I always enjoy spring more. Given time to plan a trip or the arrival of a baby helps us better prepare for the unexpected. And waiting on the Lord, can drive us to a closer relationship with Him as we realize our strength isn’t nearly enough. Waiting also allows me to seek advice from others.
- Gain wisdom. Many things often get better over time: marriage, faith, cheese, wine. And wisdom. As we age, we have more experiences to draw on and are simply more mature … we hope.
- Gain confidence. I don’t know about you, but I have to roll most things around a little before I’m comfortable with them–take a test run. For instance, all of my previous writing experiences, although not fulfilling in and of themselves, have given me confidence (and practice [see the next point]) in my writing ability, so I can now brave writing for a wider audience.
- Gain expertise. Mastery of little steps first, leads to much more proficiency and efficiency in larger endeavors. Our experience early on breeds success later.
- Gain patience. Okay, this is a biggie for me. Patience has never been my strong suit. I’m certain God was grinning from ear to ear when He blessed me with Rachel. Likely, he had a good chuckle with the angels over it, thinking “This dear child will definitely stretch and ultimately increase Julie’s patience level. Just what she needs.” Indeed, both are happening: stretched and strengthened. I’m so grateful!
These are all wonderful blessings. But the overarching reason God created such a concept ultimately comes down to the impact we can have for His kingdom.
Shortly after the road and parking lot near our house was poured, I noticed impressions of leaves left in the now-dried concrete. The thought crossed my mind, leaves when left to cure in cement leave behind a lasting imprint.
Isn’t that what we all want to do? Make an imprint on someone else’s life. Leave a legacy. Be remembered for something beyond the house we own or the amount of money we have in the bank. Make a difference for God.
The waiting process is necessary to “cure” us, so we can indeed leave a lasting imprint—for the glory of God.
But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life (1 Timothy 1:16).
“Timing is so important! If you are going to be successful in dance, you must be able to respond to rhythm and timing. It’s the same in the Spirit. People who don’t understand God’s timing can become spiritually spastic, trying to make the right things happen at the wrong time. They don’t get His rhythm – and everyone can tell they are out of step. They birth things prematurely, threatening the very lives of their God-given dreams.” ~ T. D. Jakes
Q4U: Have you discovered more benefits to waiting? I’d love to have you share in the comments below.
By His daily grace,
- First agent queries/proposals sent; Hubby made supper; Thunderstorm in January?
- Learning to let go of perfection–a little anyway; Better signal for my fav. Christian radio station; Crazy Iowa weather
- 10+ inches of snow; Watching Star Wars with family; Lessons in perseverance
- Family traveling safely on slick roads; Barley in my soup; Hearing how well Danny is doing at college
- Quick online searches; Glimmer of direction in an otherwise befuddled mind; 4-wheel-drive vehicle
- Revisting my high school; Time alone with my youngest; Watching amazing speech performances at State, my boy’s included
- Hanging with 4th-6th graders in Sunday School–so fun; Superbowl food; High temperatures back in the double digits
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