In our instant satisfaction society, we aren't conditioned for patience.
Popcorn. Ramen. Social media. Amazon. Google. Netflix.
We click a button and it's ours.
No waiting. No line.
So now when we get to waiting seasons in our life, what do we do?
Google it? Hope the billions of results contains the answer we're looking for?
Put it in the microwave and hope something pops into place?
To explain our tendency to run towards instant satisfaction, let's break down the story of Adam and Eve.
The first humans, breathed into existence and perfect harmony with God. The Lord specifically warned them against eating from one tree but allowed them free range of any other tree in the garden.
But, it only took one day. One snake, to deter us from the Lord and His truth.
Satan tempted Eve to eat from the forbidden tree and convinced Eve that God didn't have their best interests in mind. Then, Adam and Eve succumbed to the instant satisfaction, thinking that that fruit would fulfill them. Although God personally did not give Adam or Eve a reason to doubt, it only took one encounter with Satan to disrupt their harmony with Him.
Immediately after they ate the fruit, they realized that they were naked. They were embarrassed and afraid so they hid.
Adam and Eve, masterpieces of the Lord, were ashamed and ran from their own creator because they succumbed to their demanding desires.
When God tells us to wait, He's not keeping things from us, but preparing things for us!
The story of Adam and Eve illuminates the humanness in us. The fact that we fall short, yes, but the illustration of the all-knowing and fully-trusting God.
Now let's take the story of Job.
Now, Job was a wealthy man with a large family and an abundance of livestock.
Then Satan challenges God, explaining that Job is only good because he was abundantly blessed.
The Lord allowed Satan to test Job:
Livestock, all dead.
Ten children, his legacy, dead.
Every "abundant blessing" Satan named was take away in only a couple of days.
But get this. Job BLESSES God in his prayers.
After, sores covered Jobs body and his own wife encourages Job to curse God and give up.
But, with patience and persistence, Job refused.
The humanness of Job's characters started to crack through as he turned anxious and bitter.
But through this patience, God intervened and commanded Job to be brave.
The Lord restored his losses and Job because of Job's hope and trust in the Lord through his waiting in suffering.
So why does he make us wait?
He makes us wait because waiting shows our intentions.
Once you have to wait for something, whatever it may be, you can dig deeper into that desire. Is it selfish or is it of God? Is it something based on circumstances or is it based on God's promises? If your intentions aren't to glorify God, pray about God's will in your desire. God has three responses to prayer: Yes, Not yet, or I have something better.
He makes us wait because waiting builds character and patience.
As you start to wait for a longer period of time, you can decide to become stubborn, prideful, or angry. Or, you can make a conscious effort to be patient, compassionate, and still in God's consistency in it all. A season of waiting can build or destroy aspects of your character.
He makes us wait because of intimacy and dependency.
Finally, when you wait and work on your patience, you have to let go of your independence and depend on the Lord and His plans. This dependency is an act of surrender to the Lord as well as an invitation for peace and intimacy in the silence that comes with waiting.
Think about this:
We have beautiful and complex seasons. But these seasons change slowly, right? Sometimes the winter takes a while to turn into spring. It seems like we wait forever for the snow to melt so that the first small sprouts can grow. It can be frustrating, especially knowing how beautiful the next season will be to come. But, there's so much going on behind the scenes. We eventually see that the leaves start growing and the birds start chirping and everything starts to adopt color. But, what we don't see is the tree collecting nutrients for the leaves to grow or the animals gathering food and getting ready for mating— we don't see the roots digging deeper in the ground or the birds preparing to migrate back to their original homes. All of those things seem so small but make such a great impact.
The Lord is doing the same thing in your life. Even though you might not see it or feel it, it's happening. Dig your roots into the word and prayer to prepare to bear this season and the seasons to come. In the same way we get excited about the coming spring and the life that comes with the season, get excited to see the work the Lord has done just for you. Know how beautiful the next season will be to come and praise Him for what He is doing now.
Pray about this gradual but beautiful change in the waiting because it's coming, I promise.