Guest blogger Ebony Taylor
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me and heard my cry.” Psalm 40:1
“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.” Isaiah 40:31
I hate waiting. I have been told it’s because I am from the generation of instant gratification. I don’t like waiting for an iced coffee at Dunkin Donuts or for the bus to come to my apartment complex. I don’t want to wait with shampoo in my hair for the five minutes the directions instruct, and I don’t want to sit at a red light on the way to the grocery store. As far as I’m concerned every time I have to wait I am being tortured. So when my roommate is running late, and I have to sit around and wait for her, I’m angry. And when the bus takes too long to pick me up, I trek my way across campus on foot because it’s “good exercise.” Patience is not my strong suit.
For me, waiting is a series of breathing exercises channeled at keeping me from snapping. When it comes to God, my prayers are often accompanied by unspoken deadlines. A constant concern that He will be late floats in the back of my mind, souring the experience of speaking to the father. It causes me to doubt his promises and question his goodness. A lack of patience compromises my peace.
Biblical patience doesn’t look like my waiting. Patience is the act of enduring with an expectant spirit. It is placing hope in God when it seems he has yet to fulfill his promises. Patience is an act of true reliance on the sovereignty of God and the hope that is found in his son Jesus Christ. Oftentimes, patience is tied to suffering. In Isaiah 40, the Israelites are in Babylon waiting to see what God has in store for them. In this situation, the people are called to patience.
Many times our struggles will not be to a level where we feel the need to practice true biblical patience. After all, there is another Dunkin Donuts five minutes down the road. Other times, placing our hope in God and believing that he will deliver us might be the only thing that keeps us going. But practicing patience is beneficial regardless of what is at stake. Our patience has a bearing on our joy, our peace, and so much more.
Pray to trust God. When we rely on him it makes the enduring easier. Practice thankfulness. It makes a difference when you’re getting annoyed. Let this be a week of expectancy for what Christ has in store for us.