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Oh, I Can Hardly Wait

February 22, 2007

Ecclesiaetes 7:8  “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.”

Isaiah 40:31  “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”

Patience is something that seems to be in short supply today.  We are constantly running  to keep up with the pace of life, meeting deadlines, paying bills and occupying our space in the ocean of synchronized chaos.  This hectic pace shows no sign of slowing as better living through science marches on, keeping the masses caught up in its draft. This is why I often blog in the middle of the night, or in the mornings when the house is empty, save for the pets.  In the context of confessing our faults, I have to admit that I’m not the best example of one who is patient.  By the grace of God It’s a work in progress, as we all are. 

Psalm 37:7-9  “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.  For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.”

There’s a lot of gleanings in this passage, primarily an encouragement to “rest in the Lord.”  A state of being relaxed; not agitated or apprehensive. Trusting completely in the Ancient of Days who always has perfect timing.  Knowing that, regardless of the designs implemented by those who have made themselves the enemies of righteousness, God sees it all and he really does have it all under control.  Psalm 73 tells about the apparent prosperity of the wicked.  Likewise Psalm 91 tells about trusting in the Lord during perilous times.  Waiting is simply a manifestation of trust. 

Philippians 1:6  “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

When I reported to the USS Guam in the summer of 1984, I had been a christian for less than a year.  I met up with the saints on board and soon began to realize just how much growing I had to do.  I visited Bro Marks church and the Lord baptized me with the Holy Ghost before the service even began.  Gods timing is always perfect; never too early and never late.  I soon began to realize, however,  just how much growing I had to do.  The others didn’t seem to ever get rattled while I was constantly “taking thought.”  They could pull scripture out of thin air it seemed while I struggled.  On the streets they seemed flawless as they would witness while I would take missteps constantly.  It was often frustrating and yet I was right where I needed to be; with serious minded saints who loved the Lord Jesus.  It was hard to be patient, but a lot of growth was taking place that I never realized until quite a while later when viewing those days in hindsight.

In a way, this ongoing battle with patience has a positive side.  It indicates a strong desire to grow into the fulness of Christ.  A hungering to be more like him and less like us.   It also is an indicator of a sincere concern for those outside of the household of faith.  Here is an area that can be like walking a tightrope over a minefield while sneezing repeatedly.  In the earlier days, I had a lot of zeal but very little wisdom to go along with it.  This led to a lot of scattering when I was intending to gather.  Speaking much but praying little and thinking even less, I complicated a lot of situations in those days.  The longsuffering of God is beyond incredible.  In fact, the very thought that he empowers and uses us to carry his words of new life in Christ to a dying world is amazing in itself.   

It’s like a paradox; knowing the seriousness of being without Christ and yet striving to share the truth in meekness with sincere love for those in the balance.  Thus it’s all the more urgent that we abide close to the Lord Jesus at all times and strive to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit.  A lifelong process to be sure; as we continuously strive to be more Christlike in all that we say and do.  In writing this, I find myself taking note of my own array of shortcomings.  

II Peter 3:9-10  “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.  But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.”

This passage portrays the longsuffering of God, the steadfastness of his word and the temporal nature of this world.  It also portrays yet another paradox.  Those who know Jesus as Savior and Lord long for his appearing.  This is our most blessed hope; as we earnestly desire to be absent from the body and present with the Lord Jesus.  (And so shall we ever be with the Lord)  At the same time, we all know folks whom we love dearly, who are not ready for the Lords appearing.  As much as I desire to be with the Lord, I also thank him for each day that he tarries for this very reason.  We know that time will eventually run out.  Until then I pray that we would all be diligent concerning the task at hand.  This ties in with waiting on the Lord and seeking his perfect will in all things. 

Waiting is hard; especially when issues of eternal significance are at stake, but it’s a must.  The best thing to do is to stay in prayer at every opportunity.   We can be in continuous communication with the Lord Jesus; standing in the gap for those around us, meditating upon his ways which are awesome past finding out, and simply loving him in all sincerety.  Keeping our thoughts in heavenly places regardless of where we find ourselves in this world.  It’s hard to explain in words, but things just “flow” better when we spend quality time in prayer.  I like the telling of Anna the prophetess who never left the temple but served God night and day with prayers and fastings.  (Luke 2:36-38)  She was in touch with that which truly matters, although some may have thought her to be “out there.”  (I would much rather be “out there” with Jesus than to be “in” here.)

Well, it’s time to wrap up for now.  I’m supposed to go to Kalamazoo to pick up some items, but it may not happen.  (It’s not critical)  This attribute of patience is one that I need to work on.  It always feels awkward writing something while being under conviction about the very topic that’s being discussed.  It happens a lot, to me anyways.  I pray that we would all seek the lord Jesus in all sincerety and be more like him with each passing day.

Philippians 4:6-7  “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

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15 comments

  1. This topic is very dear to my heart, as I am exactly the same – impetuous, impatient and always trying to be 9 miles ahead of myself – dangerous sometimes as my flying instructors were forever shouting at me about rushing through pre-flight checks etc. Thankfully it’s not bitten me yet :). However, I know many times when the Lord has taken me in hand for it, and very deliberately made me hang fire and slow down – like when I returned from my first trip to S. Africa on my flying scholarship, and knew instantly I got home that I’d be going back out again to complete the training my health had prevented me from doing. But that waiting time was the toughest lesson in patience I’ve ever endured as I got enough money given to me unexpectedly so knew the trip was on, but had to wait right up until a week before I was due to fly out – having booked everything with only 1/4 of the required funds available, and getting to a point where to cancel would have cost me hundreds I didn’t have. So I just had to sit and wait, and incredibly the Lord provided me with more than I needed the week before I was due to fly out – from the same uncle who’d provided me the first amount – doubly incredible as this was an uncle I’d little contact with, but who was so impressed at me stepping up to what he considered an incredible challenge (it WAS!!) and thus was willing to fund me. But after that experience I did learn to a minor degree to just sit back and wait and see what the Lord would do rather than trying to provoke some event in my own strength. And invariably the outcome is always AWESOME!! 🙂


  2. Thanks Tikkiro. That’s a great testimony. I didn’t know that you were a pilot. I’ll keep you in prayer upon every rememberance.


  3. Timbob, waiting is indeed hard but not waiting is even more difficult, because it is in our not waiting that we take things in to our own hands with disastrous results.

    No, I have learned, am learning and will yet continue to learn how and the importance of, waiting upon the Lord Jesus Christ!

    Our impatience is only evidence of our making all things about us, no matter how we mask it. In the end, impatience is just about me.

    So, once again we wait. We wait upon He who is our hope, knowing that he is forever faithful and knowing also, that to not wait is to turn everything into something that is no longer about Him, His Kingdom life and ministry, but simply about ourselves.

    I choose life and not the death of impatience.

    Thank you for once again providing us with good food for thought and stretching, in our lives and walk, in and with our Lord and Savior.

    Blessings in Christ Jesus Brother, Blessings!


  4. Thanks Phil. As I was reading this I found myself thinking about King Saul not waiting for Samual. I Samual 13:12 where he states “I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering.” He allowed the physical situation to become the focus. Thanks for taking time to comment. I’m running late so I have to go for now.


  5. The Christians claim the patience is a virtue. I call it a vice. Sure, life is fast paced and some of us are indeed unhappy but there are some of us whom happyness is not something immediate but is only to be had fully after the run; it is only an end and the fast paced life that we are thrust into almost without thought and without carefull attention is the means to that end.


  6. Sometimes the secular world also has the ability to put things into proper perspective:

    “The Waiting” by Tom Petty

    “The waiting is the hardest part
    Every day you see one more card
    You take it on faith, you take it to the heart
    The waiting is the hardest part”


  7. Thanks Cumby. I had actually thought about titling this post “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” but kept it shorter in the end. I always appreciate your perspective on things.


  8. I am so glad for the peace I have in Christ. I knew years ago patience would be the hardest virtue for the Lord to teach me. But I have finally come to a point in my life where I can put in my best efforts and leave it in God’s hands.

    -J. Kaiser


  9. Thanks Martynblackburn for commenting. The waiting is by no means an unhappy time; although I don’t think that you are implying that it is. The joy of the Lord is ever present and not dependant upon the physical realm. Running or standing, blizzard or drought, strong economy or depression, it surpasses all of these things. The apostle paul wrote that he had learned to be content in whatsoever state he was in. I appreciate your thoughts as it’s always good to engage in dialogue that makes you “think about things.”


  10. Greetings Totaltransformation (another awesome screenname) It takes patience to acquire patience. I have been to your site a few times and you are indeed patient and steadfast in commitment. The peace of Christ is truly incredible. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight.


  11. Great post on patience. I am blessed with lots of patience for everything else except for myself! I berate myself, I fill with guilt and frustration when I can’t seem to grasp or do something at the pace that I expect from myself.

    Also, I think of Mary and Martha, waiting for Jesus to come because their brother was sick and then died. Talk about the need for patience! But, even 3 days “late,” Jesus was right on time!


  12. “impatience in many ways are like small bursts of anger.” -joyce meyer-

    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    saftey in god’s timing…


  13. A nice reminder. Waiting requires a lot of trusting in God


  14. Thank you timbob for another good post. Someone once said” We write best of what we know”, or have learned the hard way; or are in the process of learning still.
    I’ll agree with Phil, being impatient; running ahead of the Lord, is far harder in the long run than waiting.
    Been there, done that and don’t want to do it again by Gods grace!
    May the Lord help us all.

    Bless you!


  15. Hi Timbob,
    what a great post!!! My life as a believer is relatively short (1) one year. But already in me patience has changed for the better. When my mom came to the hospital last year and was told she had terminal cancer she is 78 years old I might add. I was ready to fly out to germany even though, finacially it had ruined us. We are not rich by no means. I was only a believer for a very short time at that time. I waited till I had alone time, and in that time I prayed my heart out to God and asked Him A). to keep her alive :)..B). to let me get her saved, before He takes her. C). To let me know what to do, fly or not fly?!
    The answer came instantly…”stay and wait, everything will be ok”. I just felt it, that she would pull through. After a series of severe complications, she did pull through and you know the rest of the story from my earlier post “Cancer and Prayer”. If I had went to see her at that time, nothing would’ve changed but that we would’ve been bankrupt. And now I am sitting here and waiting patiently for her to heal from her last surgery, so that she may come and visit with us.
    Our GOD is AWESOME and wonderful. We have a unbelievable Counselor in our Lord Jesus!
    In Christ
    Andrea



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