By Victoria Wairimu
Do you reckon yourself to be a patient person when it comes to the daily things in life? Or do you find yourself biting your lip and fidgeting when you are in line waiting to be attended to in a bank queue? Bank queues, aren’t they the worst? Here you are in a crowd of people, and there are eight counters and only two cashiers attending to everyone. Or a supermarket! Sometimes with long queues stretching to the produce aisles, with just two cashiers. And here you are with a loaf of bread feeling like you are wasting your youth waiting to pay for bread. The list could go on and on, and it is virtually endless. There are many situations in our lives that force us to wait be it a few minutes, hours, days or a couple of years. This has become increasingly difficult in the world of instant-coffee. Everything has been made to fulfill an immediate need or desire. You get money at the click of a button; messages and emails are sent and received in an instant. Food is warmed within seconds. Don’t we live in a glorious age? Can you imagine living in this era and having to wait for fourteen years?
Waiting and Time
In Gen 29 we read the story of a robust young man called Jacob who fell in love so deeply that he was willing to wait for 14 years to marry the love of his life. In this story, Jacob had already identified the girl he wanted to marry, but for him to fulfill his desire he had to wait for 14 years. This sheds light on something vital that waiting is about expectations; we wait because there is a particular desire to be fulfilled at the end of the wait.
Waiting is all about biding your time as you quietly nurse your longing. You know that at the end of it, you will get fulfilled with what you have been yearning for a long time. Like waiting for half an hour to see your doctor because you know at the end of it, you will get some pain-relief medication or a way forward.
But unlike our forefathers who waited with grace, ours is a bit difficult because of the external pressures that ultimately affect our sense of calm. Social media has been a proactive tool used to remind you how “late” you are. Every day, you are bombarded with pictures and news of friends and relatives who seem to be moving ahead leaving you to feel a sense of stagnation in your sphere. As if this is not enough, society will put a timeline on when you should get married, have children and the like. With all this “noise” that surrounds us every day, it is challenging to wait patiently for the Lord as Psalm 27:14 encourages us.
Waiting and patience
Although the two may seem synonymous, they are not and should not be substituted for each other. Patience is a virtue that all Christians ought to have. Apostle Paul in 1 Cor 13:4 begins by defining love as being patient. You can wait patiently because waiting expects at the end. What you choose to do in your time of waiting is what makes the difference. You can either wait patiently for the Lord knowing that He knows what is best, or fret and be anxious which will rob you of peace and lead you to take actions based on fear. The later rarely has a good ending.
Waiting on God is an expression of faith, the Christian life will be impossible without faith. Hebrews 11:1 and verse six goes on to say that it is impossible to please God without faith because those who come to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who earnestly seek Him. Beautiful, isn’t it?
So how do you deal with your time of waiting?
Submission and faith
Waiting requires submission and faith. Submission to God’s will for your life and faith that He will fulfill what you are waiting for patiently. You will be at peace if you trust the process of the Almighty. Granted that the process is not always smooth; there are lessons to be learned along the way, but you know who holds your life in His hands.
Keep yourself active
Be busy and productive. Involve yourself in church ministry; invest in your calling and talent. Waiting is not a time to be passive and blasé. Life has to continue. Remember that life is made up of a series of “waits.” Waiting is not a one-time event, rather events in your life that can happen simultaneously. Don’t be stuck during your waiting period. This even boils down to the seemingly annoying wait in a supermarket queue, why don’t you put that opportunity to use by calling a relative or a friend whom you have not spoken to in a long time?
Know that God’s timing is the best
Sounds cliché but it is still as relevant as when it was first said. You know why God’s time is the best? Well, because He knows the plans He has for you, plans to prosper you and give you a future and hope. Isn’t it much better to trust the author of the process rather than let our fear and anxiety lead us in paths that will end in regret? The Psalmist exhorts us to wait patiently for the Lord Psalm 40:1. God never disappoints those who wait for Him Isaiah 64:4.
In His song, While I’m Waiting, John Waller puts it so well. Worship and serve do not faint.
God is faithful, and you can lean on that. His purpose for your life will stand despite the circumstances and social norms. Remember He is the God who caused a man, who was as good as dead, to have descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky, Hebrews 11:12.
Of course, it is easier said than done, waiting can be painful and hard, and many times you may feel like giving up but remember there is grace, lean on His ever-abounding grace. God will renew your strength Isaiah 40:31.