The beloved believers may have felt oppressed by the wealthy and powerful but they were being encouraged to be patient. They were never promised a life of ease, or of quick fixes, but they were to take heart in the long view of things. Waiting was to be a normal part of the life of the beloved.
Just like a farmer who waits patiently for the rains to come, so God’s children are to wait for God’s provision. While we wait for that provision we are not supposed to pick on or complain about what others may have. When we speak negative words against another, remember that they may be used against us!
God’s servants who have gone before us have suffered with patient endurance through the good times and the bad. It’s in those crucibles that they have been shaped and formed into the very image of Jesus Christ.
I’m writing today as we are driving from Dallas to Kansas City (actually my husband is driving!). We stopped at a McDonald’s to pick-up some lunch. The drive-through line was so long that we decided to go inside. You see, I don’t like to wait! However, the situation inside was no better than it was outside. They needed to take the time to cook chicken and it took more than 15 minutes to get our food from when our order was taken. Did I mention that we were at McDonald’s — where we are supposed to be getting “fast food.”
We’ve been trained over the last couple of decades that we are supposed to expect instant gratification. This has also spilled over into our spiritual lives. I’m afraid that we have equated spiritual comfort with gratification and this, in the form of worship services that make us feel good and devotional tweets that inspire.
What’s gone is the patient waiting upon the Lord, realizing that there are dry seasons before the rains. When they come in the right order a spiritual harvest is produced in our own souls, as well as in the life of the church. In a number of churches attendance is far less today than it was even ten years ago. We tend to blame it on the current cultural context, but could it be about behaviors that we began to adopt ten to twenty years ago? Gradually we became impatient with the church, and with the Lord’s expectations for our spiritual life and development. Instead of spending a quiet hour with the Lord in the mornings, soaking in God’s word, we adopted fast food devotions that we hoped would satisfy us in just five minutes. Because we didn’t slow down long enough, we stopped recognizing God’s voice. Suddenly the Lord seemed silent and so the void needed to be filled. Maybe we filled it with “exciting” worship that touched us for a few minutes while we were in church. Sadly, on Monday morning we plunged on into our daily lives without taking time to be fed spiritually. After a decade of this kind of spirituality, we discover that it’s pretty easy to check out. We’ve bought everything the world has been trying to tell us and because instant gratification is not lasting, we simply give up.
What we face today is because we don’t like to wait. We haven’t waited for years and now, suddenly, we discover that we don’t have much to hold onto. The good news is that we don’t have to live this way. We can slow down and learn again, to wait upon the Lord. A commitment to quiet time with the Lord on a daily basis will become revolutionary. I have discovered that I can worship at most any church on a Sunday if I’ve been spending time with the Lord. When I’ve had my quiet time before the Lord, I get excited to go to church and the myriad of experiences only seem to enhance my love for the Lord. It’s in each and every unique situation that a facet of Christ is revealed. I have the opportunity to stand in the showering rains of God’s grace. They come at the times when they are needed the most.
We don’t like to wait but in not waiting, we are missing out and losing our faith. Patience is a spiritual discipline that allows us to get to know the transforming work of Christ that brings peace and mercy.
Lord, please help me to live in your discipline. May I embrace the silence where I learn to recognize your voice. Amen.
This post was written by Rev Carla Sandburg. You can find her original post here: reflectingtheimage.blogspot.com/2018/07/we-dont-like-to-wait.html