I have been known from time to time (okay, most of the time) to be impatient.
When I get stuck behind a slow car in the left lane, I white knuckle grip the steering wheel. I always call ahead to avoid the mind-numbing wait to be seated at a packed restaurant on Friday night. And Lord, save me when I need to renew my driver’s license; the DMV makes me want to scream.
But when it comes to more important things in our lives, in foster care or ministry, waiting for God’s timing can feel difficult to understand. To me, speed would only benefit all parties involved! I find myself often asking, as David did in Psalms 13, “ How long, O Lord!”
Do you agree?
In seasons of in-between, it can be easy to turn toward God with an angry and impatient heart, but when we look to Scripture and see God’s perspective of time, it can give us a framework for waiting that can soothe our anxious hearts.
In Ecclesiastes chapter 3, the wise King Solomon writes:
“For everything, there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silent, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.”
I don’t know about you, but I would personally prefer to be in the second half on a lot of those examples. Who wants to mourn, weep, and break down when we could be dancing, laughing, and building something new? The answer, I believe, is that the Lord will always use pain and discomfort to teach us, grow us, and get our attention. Our Father in heaven is not a therapeutic, moralistic, vending-machine God. Waiting is actually one of the ways the Lord reveals our brokenness best. In waiting, we must genuinely grapple with the tension between trusting Him and trusting our own plans for our lives.
We can spend all of our time anxiously laboring, or we can sit in the awkward, frustrating in-between, listening for God’s voice as He works to show us His goodness and changes us by His Spirit into people more like Jesus.
The Lord does not move slower than we would like out of spite or laziness, but out of wisdom and love. We must remember that He works all things, at all times, to accomplish His good plan for us. Take time to consider and ask God: In what areas might He be trying to get your attention? What truth might He be asking you to learn? How is He working in the midst of negative circumstances?
James writes, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”
We are not promised a fast or easy life. There will be seasons, maybe long seasons, of waiting and wondering why God doesn’t do what we want Him to do. The better we learn to move at the speed of God and meet our trials with joyful expectation for the fruits of steadfastness, the more like Christ we will become.
And that’s when we can more fully experience Jesus, together.
Quinn is the Graphic Designer for our National team here at TFI. He loves good stories no matter what shape they take, including video games, books, and podcasts. He is passionate about creative ministry, helping to communicate the work God is doing to the world. He and his wife Emily were married in May of 2020 and love spending time with their dog Koda, doing ministry with college students at ISU, and eating good food.
Get encouragement and updates in your inbox.
Be the first to know about new episodes, posts, resources, and stay in the loop about what’s coming up.