“Wait for the Lord.” (Psa 27:14)
God called Abraham and gave him great promises of descendants and homeland, yet “he gave him no inheritance in it, not even a foot’s length, but promised to give it to him as a possession and to his offspring after him, though he had no child”(Acts 7:5). He promised Jacob the land, yet allowed him to deal with scheming Laban for 20 years. Joseph dreamed of his family bowing to him, yet it is hard years of slavery and despair before God’s purpose for him is fulfilled.
Moses thought by killing the Egyptian it was time to deliver God’s people (Acts 7:25), but he was wrong. He needed 40 years of desert shepherding to get him ready. David was anointed as a young boy, heralded as a great warrior as a young man, and had a seat at the king’s table—yet it would be many fugitive years before he became king.
All these men were used by God, yet combined, their stories tell of decades spent waiting.
Modern America has attempted to eliminate waiting. It is a source of great annoyance if our internet connection takes a few seconds to load, the stoplight is red for a minute, or our fast food isn’t fast enough. Scripture emphasizes the character-building value of waiting.
“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”(James 1:2-4).
Waiting helps us develop maturity, making us “perfect and complete”. Many millionaire athletes are simply young people given “too much too fast” who careen out of control. Waiting allows character to ripen as we develop patience and learn to lean on the Lord. It shows us that many tasks we have, such as raising children or pursuing a career path, are long-term values, which helps us gain perspective for our ultimate pursuit. Getting everything we want quickly and easily would spoil us; God wants us to appreciate what He does for us.
It’s good for us!
“Wait for the Lord!”