Patience has never been a strong suit of mine. I have an idea in my mind of how long a project, or errand should take and when that time limit is exceeded the frustration level begins to rise. Impatience for me is about unmet expectations, and a need to feel like I have more control over a situation than I actually do. It’s not just about the carefully laid plans, it’s about the timing. Timing is everything. So many times in life I want to speed things up. Speed up growth, speed up moving onto the next project, speed up losing weight and getting in shape, speed up the days when my boys seem to have woken up with the explicit intent to torture and pester each other as much as possible. I want to speed up getting through whatever the current trial is, so I can move onto the “good stuff”. I think that I know not just what I need, but when I need it. Some of my biggest frustrations haven’t been with God’s plan, but the timing of His plan. “Hey God, this is not a good time for you to want me to do this,” or “hey God, this sounds great, so let’s speed this thing up.”
I always come back to the story of Abraham when I feel the impatience growing. God makes a promise to him that he, and his wife will have a son, and then they wait, and wait, and wait. At one point they decide that God’s timing is not for them, and try to take matters into their own hands. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t work out. And then, finally, a son is born, when God decides it’s time. God not only promised them a son, but that their descendants would outnumber the stars, and be a blessing to many nations. Abraham and Sarah don’t even live to see this promise come to fruition. God’s timing doesn’t always make sense to us, but it’s always perfect.
He knows how long we need to wait in order to build faith and trust in His promises. He knows when we need to be pushed out of our comfort zones and have our plan disrupted. He understands us so well that He knows what it will take for us to grow closer and more reliant on Him. He looks at our lives and sees just what needs to be removed or added. Maybe right now you are in the midst of a struggle and just wanting it to end. Perhaps you are experiencing something great and you want to get to the end goal sooner. Either way, God is along through the experience, not just at the end destination. When we’re frustrated with God’s timing we have to admit it to Him. Whatever we confess to God, He can redeem. Tell Him if you’re impatient, scared, or you feel like you don’t trust His timing. Go to His word. All throughout scripture are stories of people waiting on God’s plan, not just Abraham. Ask God to help you see what He’s doing, and to help you submit. Don’t just say it, mean it. If you don’t want to submit to God’s plan and timing, admit that too. Spend some time looking back over your life, and appreciating the times that God making you wait was for the best. Don’t long for what’s ahead, but look for God in the moment you’re in right now.