Psalm 25:4-5 NLT
'Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.'
Waiting has negative associations today. Western society expects instant results or access, whether it is medical results, superfast broadband access to the internet – even finding a suitable partner has been reduced to ‘speed dating’ so that we can budget our emotional energy effectively.
It’s all too easy to offer up a morning prayer for guidance – “show me the right path” – and anticipate we will have God’s response by sunset. We soon learn that God does not subscribe to a consumer mindset. Ease of access and mass supply is not one of God’s attributes. In this way, God appears quite old-fashioned. More like the ironmongers my dad took me to as a child, where he and the shopkeeper ferreted around for ages, looking for a screw to match the one Dad was seeking to replace. This was the very antipathy of newer DIY stores, with their neatly stacked aisles and pristine packets.
In reality, waiting carries within it a sense of expectation and hope. We are stationary in anticipation of something. The challenge is managing our emotions as we wait. It is also how to fill the time while we wait. If we mismanage that we can boil over with frustration, directing blame towards whoever or whatever we judge to be the cause of the delay. Fortunately, patience, the attribute we need to navigate waiting, is a fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), freely given to every disciple. It requires no supernatural intervention or anointing from on high. The challenge is learning to find and to use patience.
QUESTION: Is patience evident in your life and behaviour?
PRAYER: May I wait with expectation, faith, hope and patience.