Conversation with my daughter:
Dylan: Mom, I’m so bored. When are we going to do something fun?
Me: Well, we have to finish cleaning then we can play. You just have to wait and be patient.
Dylan: Ugh. But, why do I have to wait, mom? And, what’s patience?
Toni: It's waiting for something to happen. It’s being happy and content while you wait. even when you really want something right now.
Dylan: No thank you, mom. I don’t want any patience. Can we play now?
Patience isn’t fun gals. Even my 5 year old strong-willed-blessing can recognize that in her naivety. Patience is hard and sometimes painful. Our ability to be patient fits in all sorts of categories. From waiting for the food to be ready, to waiting at a light, to waiting for God to drop your Prince Charming at your front door all the way to pleading for God to take the anxiety away or waiting for Him to give you the miracle baby you’ve prayed for night and day.
But the truth is; even in our most validated waiting God calls us to patience. David says in Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned and heard my cry.” That scripture gives me chills because in some of the first books of the Bible, we find this beautiful foundational truth; that God hears us in the waiting. And, not only does He hear us he turns to us and leans into our waiting.
With that knowledge and acceptance of attention from a Father who cares, scriptures like Galatians 6:9 settle in a little easier. “Let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Paul is furious while writing this letter, these scriptures. He finds out that the Galatian church communities are making new believers practice old laws that Jesus came to fulfill. He wants so badly for these new believers and kingdom builders to understand the fullness of what Jesus came to do for us and act in that understanding. He’s fighting fervently for them to understand a posture. And, in that context, Paul is saying that these believers should do good by people and help lead them closer to Christ through relationship, not practicing “religion”. But, this posture applies to our waiting as well. What do we do when we don’t get the promotion that we’ve been promised? Not grow weary in doing good. What do we do when the guy we thought was our forever dumps us? Not grow weary in doing good. What do we do when our husband just isn’t meeting our felt needs? You guessed it gals, not grow weary in our doing good. This isn’t a cop-out or easy road, it’s the hard work of patience.
Now, here’s the good news. All of this hard work and patience does lead to something beautiful. And, it’s delayed gratification. “The process that the subject undergoes when the subject resists the temptation of an immediate reward in preference for a better later reward.” That’s what we’re signing up for. A better later reward. The abundant life Jesus promised in exchange for our commitment to him. The prize after the waiting. We can probably all think of a time when God came through when we thought all hope was lost. What would it look like if we started approaching situations knowing that God’s got us? What would it look like to wait in patience for the thing we have faith that God would fulfill? A beautifully dependent relationship on a Father who’s operating in His timing, not ours.
We’re not saying it’s easy, but we’re for sure saying it’s worth it.
So, we challenge you in this series to shed or prune that baggage, get ready to grow and be willing to wait for the things God has in store for you now...but many times later.
Toni is a host, communicator and consultant from Houston, arc. And, in this digital age of anxiety, she is teaching people all over the country that you can be young and a boss, and you can be broken and worthy. She doesn’t want you to just face your demons, she wants you to quash the illusion of your brokenness so you can live the most colorful life possible.Connect with Toni to learn more.