I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.
Once upon a time there was this clunky thing called a telephone and another clunky thing, connected by a telephone cord, called an answering machine. That was the only mode of communication outside of letters sent through the mail or going by someone’s house. You had to wait for your call to be returned and were content doing so. The clunky phone would ring and if no one was available to answer it, it would ring a few more times, the answering machine would pick up and the caller would leave a message.
When the family returned, after work and school, the man or woman of the house would check the messages and relay them to whomever they were intended for. This became a norm. Then came pagers. The little square box, no bigger than a large package of gum, clipped to your belt or pants. It would beep, light up if on vibrate, if someone was trying to contact you. You’d then find a pay phone, put a dime in it, call the number back and say whatever needed to be said and hang up.
Fast forward to 2017 and everyone owns a cell phone. People call others and get upset when their call isn’t answered right away. Then, they send a text message asking why their call wasn’t answered. When did people become so impatient? (NOTE: If you call me and don’t leave a message, I assume it’s not important and go about my business; the call is not returned.) Somewhere along the way, people have grown more and more impatient and have forgotten what it means to wait for anything.
We live in a society that has given the false hope and satisfaction for instant gratification.
In that we are the most obese nation in the world, have the highest divorce rates, broken families and a host of other things. People used to save up for things they wanted to purchase. Once enough money was saved, they’d make the purchase and own whatever the item was out right. Now, credit card debt is at an all-time high because people are living on credit. Few save for those purchases and want what they want right now. Forget that they can’t afford the payment when the credit card bill comes in. God is not pleased!
The Bible is full of scriptures that tell us not only the importance of waiting, but also the rewards gained in waiting. For example, Abraham and Sarah were promised a child (Genesis 18:10). God told them that they would have a son born to them. Neither believed Him because they were up in age (Genesis 18:11-14). Abraham took matters into his own hands because he chose to view the physicality of God’s promise. Since he and Sarah were old, he didn’t believe they could or would conceive a child. So, Abraham chose to take matters into his own hands. Sarah gave permission for him to have a child with her servant, Hagar (Genesis 16). That decision threw a monkey wrench in the plans God had for Abraham, Sarah, and their descendants.
Although they finally had a child by the 21st chapter of Genesis, their decision not to wait on God affected not only their descendants, but also the lives of Hagar and the child born to her. Genesis 17 tells us that God appeared to Abraham and made a covenant with him and a promise for his descendants. Because Ishmael was not born of Sarah, God said He would bless him too and make him the father of 12 rulers and a great nation (v20). However, for Isaac, God would make an everlasting covenant for him and his descendants (v 19). That one decision, taking matters in their own hands, Abraham impregnating Hagar vs. waiting for God to fulfill His promise, eventually led to conflict between Isaac and Ishmael. A family divided cannot stand strong.
God knew from the beginning of time how each of our lives would play out. He knew every detail of our existence and when He’d need us to fulfill a purpose in His grand design, however, many of us (I’m guilty of this) take the wilderness route through life and get stuck with people and in situations we’ve no business being in. WHY? Because we grow weary in waiting. We think God forgot about us. We don’t trust Him to come through at just the right time to fulfill those requests we’ve made if they line up with His purpose for our lives. All too often, believers get caught up in the wait and become frustrated because God isn’t moving fast enough (guilty again) for our liking.
The Bible tells us in Isaiah 55:11 that His word will not return to Him void. That means we wait until whatever it is we seek is released in God’s time (Romans 8:24-30). Jeremiah 29:11 furthers that by saying, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” If that is the word from God, why not just sit back and as Iyanla Vanzant in her book “In The Meantime,” “Accept that what is yours will come to you in the right way at just the right moment.” The Word is God breathed (2 Timothy 3:16), therefore, believers have to take to heart Isaiah 55:11, “…so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” If God has promised you something, just wait for Him to move and fulfill His promise. Going against it and your own way will only complicate things and cause a longer wait time. Be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).