Wait for The Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage.
Wait for The Lord. –Psalm 27
Patience has never been one of my top virtues. In fact it’s most likely my limiting fruit (Gal 5:22-23)–if only I could substitute sarcasm or cynicism for patience I think my “spiritual fruit profile” might look a bit more promising. As far back as I can remember, I’ve been horribly impatient when it comes to just about everything. My mom tells stories of when I was a baby how I came out screaming and didn’t stop for about 9 months….until I learned to crawl/walk/run (apparently there wasn’t a whole lot of transition time between these phases). Once I was mobile, I was apparently much more content in my newfound ability to navigate the floors, the yard, the neighborhood.
One of my earliest memories is when I was 3 or 4 (guessing) trying to put on a Cookie Monster shirt. I remembered to look at the picture, which was supposed to be on the front, before putting it on. I must have tried 10 times, each time with the shirt either inside out or backwards. I could feel my face getting hot and red in anger and frustration while my Dad gently offered to help. Stubborn and prideful, I threw off my clothes and stormed off to pout for a while, thinking I SHOULD be able to do this…
I think that “should” is one of the biggest barriers in my quest to gain patience. I have this set of expectations, these standards I develop and to be honest, many of them are somewhat arbitrary and downright silly. “I should be smarter,” “I should be able to understand how cars and electricity work,” “I should be married by now,” “I should make more money,” ”I should be good at gardening, sewing, cooking, and everything else [I strive to excel at].” I’m pretty good at holding others to various “shoulds” as well: “He should not be driving in the left lane,” “she should not wear as much perfume,” “they should not be able to take so much in taxes out of my paycheck.” Some of these standards are probably just ingrained assumptions I’ve had most of my life–such as having a family and children, some are probably imposed upon by the culture of our times, some may be whispered by the enemy, but what is most interesting is that none of these standards are what God uses as a measurement for growth in sanctification (2 Pe 2:5-11) and He who both sets the standards and holds those accountable is the ultimate judge before whom I will stand.
Scripture speaks so highly of motherhood (Prov 31:28), encourages domesticity (Prov 31:27), exhorts those who are wise and intelligent, and gives wonderful examples of courageous (1 Sa 25:3) and entrepreneurial (Prov 31:18-19) women. But I am not them and that is where my impatience in lies (say that 3 times fast!). Ultimately, I think that if my situation were to change, my problem would be alleviated, but this is neither scriptural nor logical. The problem is in my heart attitude and flawed worldview. I am selfish with the time God’s given me and not faithful enough to view life accurately in light of eternity. If I cared about Jesus more than myself and lived in a way that put his kingdom at the crux of my being and doing, I would have no reason for impatience, frustration, or anger….because what else have I to do with this time?–it is his and not my own–and what does it matter what I do so long as it serves him and others in love (Ro 13:10; Gal 5:6) I can do that single or married, young or old, and in various types of employment, hobbies, and interests. I can do it with what he has given me, asking that he might give me more, but content in trusting that he gives just the right amount to each & every one of his people and does not hold us to account for talents he doesn’t give us (Mt 25:14-19).
What does it mean to “Wait for The Lord?” I don’t think it means idly sitting on our hands doing nothing until we die, nor do I think it means we try to twist the application of scripture to say something that it doesn’t. I think it means actively trusting Him with our lives, knowing he is soverign and good and has the best of intentions for us regardless of how it looks or feels, all the while passionately pursuing biblical principles in order to have the greatest impact on his kingdom possible in our lifetime storing up as many treasures as we are able to joyfully present to him (Rev 5:8) on the day he visits (Eph 2:12).
PhotoCredit: Joyce Yong
I call all times soon. -Aslan, the Lion (C.S. Lewis)