The Agony of Waiting
God loves you and has chosen you as his own special people. So be gentle, kind, humble, meek, and patient. Colossians 3:12 CEV
My friends, follow the example of the prophets who spoke for the Lord. They were patient, even when they had to suffer. James 5:10 CEV
Step 3: Learn From It! Have you ever wanted something right away? Maybe you’ve even told someone, “Hurry up, I’m tired of waiting.” This impatient attitude often hurts other people’s feelings and assumes that what you want is more important than anything else. While it is easy to put your own needs first, this often leads to trouble. For example, let’s say you’re sitting down and waiting for your pizza to arrive. You tell the waitress, “I’m tired of this wait. Bring my pizza out right now.” In order to keep you from making a scene, the waitress brings out the pizza. However, when you take a look at the pizza the cheese is not melted. Even worse, when you bite into the pizza the dough is still raw. Too full of pride to admit that you’re wrong, you eat the half-done pizza. Later that night you become sick and think to yourself, “Oh, if only I’d waited my stomach wouldn’t hurt so bad.”
Sometimes the wait seems impossible to endure because the problems you are facing are much worse than a hungry stomach craving pizza. Maybe you’ve been facing the same problem for six months, a year, or even longer. You may begin to wonder, “Does God hear my prayers? When will he ever do something to help me?” This feeling of frustration can often make you want to solve the problem yourself. However, God is willing to help you and promises to give you the patience to endure. God does not promise that he will instantly remove all the difficulties from your life. God’s promise is to walk with you, comfort you, and lead you while you are waiting. The desire of God’s heart is for the waiting to cause you to come to him more often in prayer and seek his help. In this way you are developing a closeness with God that will give you the strength to overcome any obstacle.
Often, a period of waiting will change your relationship with God from a casual friend to a best friend. Once you get to know God as your best friend, you will have the peace to hang on while God works on the problems that are attacking your life. And yes, God will work to help you with the difficulties you are facing. Just remember that God can use the wait to do great things in your life. Maybe during the wait you’ll discover the best friend you’ve ever had.
Step 4: Act Upon It! Is God your best friend? If not, what can help you have a closer relationship with him? How can a close relationship with God help you while you are waiting? Why is it so difficult to wait for God’s help?
For two weeks, keep a record of the times when you have been patient and of the times when you have been impatient. At the end of the two weeks look at the things that made you impatient. These areas are your weaknesses. Ask God to help you with these things and give you patience in all areas of your life.
Step 5: Pray About It! Dear God, thank you for your glorious power which can make me patient and strong enough to endure anything. I pray that you would give me patience and the ability to endure all things without complaining. However, my greatest need is a closer relationship with you. I need you to walk with me and comfort me during my problems so that I can learn to be content and enjoy life while I am waiting. Change my thoughts from, “Hurry up, I want action now,” to “God, help me enjoy your company while I wait.” Amen.