Actively Waiting

So many sermons are preached about the “instant” society we live in.  We have microwaves, email, instant mashed potatoes and instant messaging.  Online banking, Google, e-books, and iTunes are even just a few more examples.  Life is so fast-paced.  Technology allows us to be more efficient with hopes of making our lives easier… yeah, right.  We are more stressed-out than ever before.

In contrast, the Bible instructs us about patience and the benefits of waiting.  “But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” (Luke 8:15) “In your patience possess ye your souls.” (Luke 21:19)  Even a commonly repeated proverb tells us that “good things come to those who wait.”

Waiting…Ugh! A horrific word! Who wants to wait? We want things when we want them.  That’s why Wal-mart is open 24 hours! Children are the worst at waiting, but some people never grow out of this way of thinking, and society has taken this fact to the bank.  We will even pay more sometimes just for the convenience of having something NOW. 

Sometimes our misguided thinking will talk us out of waiting.  We feel as if waiting is a sign of laziness.  Laziness is a disease that is plaguing our nation and we have to be careful not to fall into that way of life, but waiting is not laziness.  We are also fearful of being accused of being lazy by others if we appear to not be doing something to change our situation.  Too often we are more concerned about what others think of us than actually wanting the right solution to our problems.

Don’t let anyone ever try to convince you that waiting is being lazy.  If you’ve ever waited for something, you know it requires effort and in the end, worth waiting for.  Doing nothing at all is not waiting.  Waiting is using your time wisely to prepare yourself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.  Actively waiting is the key to helping us enjoy fully the reward that lies ahead.

Waiting also makes us feel so helpless.  The control is out of our hands when the only option we have is to wait on God to move in and work.  Trusting in an invisible God to take care of the very visible storms in our lives is very difficult for us.  Fear and doubt try to overtake us.  The battle can be overwhelming, causing us to make rash decisions, often making solutions unobtainable. 

Something we need to realize is that waiting does not have to bind our hands, but instead can set us free.  When we actively participate in waiting, our lives are more fulfilled.  Reading scriptures and believing in those precious promises give us strength beyond measure.  Praying, fasting, and applying these principles to our lives will shape our character and help us become a beautiful individual while God is working on our behalf.  Helping others by showing compassion and lending a hand will give our lives true meaning.  Even reaching out for strength and encouragement from others helps us to build strong relationships that make life so much more enjoyable.

There are lessons that can’t be learned except through waiting.  They are very hard lessons, but they are not easily forgotten.  Some situations didn’t happen overnight and we can’t expect for them to be worked out overnight.  We don’t need a quick answer that might not solve our problems, but if we are honest with ourselves, we want a solution that will take care of it once and for all, completely. 

In my opinion, a great person is not someone who is able to keep their lives free from trouble, but rather the person who is enduring trouble by practicing patience.  Only the strongest and wisest are able to commit their lives to daily prayer and Bible reading.  Heroes are those who are able to take the day in stride and face adversity with the tools that God has given us.  These actions will bring forth results.  In contrast, if we put into action our own solutions to our problems, we will find ourselves only spinning our wheels, putting us deeper into the problem, and collapsing from sheer exhaustion.

We are always presented with choices; we just don’t always like the fact that we have to face the consequences of our choices.  It may start to become clear to us that God’s way is the way to life and peace, but our own ways lead to death and destruction.  Our carnal nature wants to rebel against this.  Some critics will use this as the foundation for not believing in or following God.  The truth is that He loves us very much and knows what is best.  We have to believe that He has everything under control and rest in His mercy.  Our own children become frustrated with us when we ask them to wait, but we know what is ahead and how happy they will be when they are enjoying what they have waited for.  God knows what is in store for us ahead and He knows how happy we will be if we can just trust in Him for the answers.

 So, if you feel like you are in the middle of the storm of a lifetime, wait, actively.  Place your trust in Him.  Read God’s precious word and keep in contact with your Saviour, every step of the way.  Allow your heart and mind to become transformed and rest in His love.  He will help you endure to the end and you will see the end of the matter.  

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:3-5)

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. (Isaiah 40:31)