Nobody likes to do it. It's even worse to be told we have to do it. In our consumeristic, instant gratification society it's almost unheard of. What is it? It's the need to WAIT.
Why we don't like to wait
There are a lot of reasons we don't like to wait. Some of them seem to be legit; I say seem to, but in reality they aren't. Here are 2 of the biggest:
- Entitlement. This is a warped sense of "my way, right away."
- Missed opportunity. We're afraid that we might miss out on something.
While we may not like to wait, there are real dangers when we don't.
Dangers of not waiting
What happens when we don't wait? What happens when we try to get our way, right away? The book of Psalms is helpful here:
- 25:3 - Shame. We bring shame upon ourselves when we think our timing is better than God's. He is all wise, we are not.
- 37:7 - Lack of Patience. We show a level of immaturity and lack of self-discipline when we refuse to wait.
- 59:3 - Striving and transgression. Our striving without God's blessing is essentially sin.
- 119:95 - Destruction. At best we will simply burn ourselves out and at worst we will bring ruin upon what we hoped to accomplish when things are done in our strength alone.
There are dangers when we don't wait. There are also benefits when we do.
Benefits of waiting
Are there benefits to waiting? YES, several. The book of Psalms is full of them.
- 25:5 - Truth and salvation. When we wait the results are left to God. His truth and His salvation always prevail. This takes away the pressure to perform and the pressure to succeed.
- 25: 21 - Integrity and uprightness. In waiting for God's timing we gain God's integrity and uprightness and aren't fooled into relying on something we don't have apart from Him.
- 27:14, 31:24 - Strength and courage. While waiting on God, we gain the strength to do and say hard things and the courage to actually do and say them in a way that will be beneficial and not harmful.
- 37:9, 37:34 - Inheritance. Instead of rushing to gain our inheritance we wait and thereby avoid a prodigal moment.
- 38:15 - Answers. Waiting gives us time to learn and grow and get the answers we need to benefit those we are leading.
- 52:9 - Godliness. In waiting we learn to walk more closely in reliance on God.
- 106:13 - Counsel. Waiting teaches us the wisdom of getting counsel from others which reduces our reliance on ourselves.
and last (but certainly not least) ...
- 62:5, 130:5 - HOPE (along with Romans 8:25 and Colossians 5:5). Waiting teaching us to place our hope in the only place it can be found; in Christ.
These benefits are important, they matter.
Why this matter & how I know
I'm writing this to help young, future leaders avoid the mistakes I made. When I was in Bible College and pursuing vocational ministry I was under the assumption that as soon as I had a degree, I'd have a job. I was more concerned with a career than knowing my Savior better. Once I had the degree, I started applying for positions.
God decided to make me wait... for 15 years. He waited until I had demonstrated faithfulness. He waited until I showed signs of maturity. He waited for His perfect timing. And because He waited to bless, I had to wait.
It's ok not be ready. It's ok to be honest and admit you need more time. It's ok to learn to rely more on the Lord than on yourself and what you think you know. It's ok to demonstrate faithfulness. I'm not saying waiting is easy. What I am saying is it was worth it.
Waiting isn't bad, it's good and it’s necessary.