Tuesday, November 30, 2010

‘Tis the Season to Be Waiting

Can you remember how you felt around Christmastime as a boy or a girl? I recall the giddiness of anticipation, wondering what surprises would greet me from under the tree on Christmas morning.

The problem is, you have to wait. Even though Christmas fervor starts building immediately after the Thanksgiving turkey has been sliced and served, to young minds time passes interminably slow. We know what we want; we just want it right now.

Christmas Eve I would go to bed, wanting so much for sleep to swallow me up, knowing in slumber time would speed forward. Unfortunately, adrenalin coursing through my veins banished sleep from my head. So I waited…and waited…until at long last, weariness subdued my excitement, lulling me mercifully into somnolent release.

Perhaps Christmas no longer stirs the same anticipation for you, but it’s still true – we hate to wait. Whether it’s an important phone call, a job promotion, or a major purchase, we want it immediately. Instant gratification is king – and we’re his servants.

Years ago I was pondering an important career change, ready to move ahead. But days dragged into weeks, weeks into months. Several times I even tried to force the issue, but remained stuck where I was.

Confused, convinced God was preparing me for a new job, I turned to the Scriptures for insight, as I often do. I read Psalm 37, and you know what He told me? Wait.

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…,” Psalm 37:7 said. In case I missed the point, God reiterated in verse 34: “Wait for the Lord and keep his way….” Then I remembered what He said a bit later: “Be still, and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10). I tried my best not to utter anything stronger than a sanctified “Oh, man!” But I had no choice; I had to wait.

As it turned out, the result was far better than I could have hoped. My heavenly Father truly knew best. He was just working out the details.

I still don’t like waiting – at traffic lights, checkout lines, even for the mail. But time has shown waiting isn’t necessarily bad. Often it enables the Lord to “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).

So if you’ve been waiting on something important, hang in there. Be patient. God’s probably preparing something incredible for you.

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