The biblical recognition that we sometimes must wait on God is clear (e.g., Psa. 130:5, Isa. 40:31). Most of us struggle with the waiting, though. Here are some reasons why:
- We’re often impatient in general. Think about it—we get frustrated sitting at the doctor’s office, click the channels between commercials so we don’t miss anything, choose the shortest line at the supermarket, and honk our car horns before the traffic light even changes. We don’t wait on much, including God.
- The issues we take to God are sometimes urgent to us. That’s precisely why we want God to respond now. If the problem weren’t serious (at least from our perspective), we wouldn’t be so impatient.
- We live in a microwave, sit-com world. We’ve grown accustomed to fixing our dinner in 2-3 minutes while we watch a TV situation develop, reach an acme, and be resolved in less than 30 minutes. “If human beings can fix stuff quickly, surely God can, too,” we think.
- We don’t see the big picture. We can’t, actually, see all that God might be doing when He calls us to wait. That’s where faith comes in—trusting that God is doing something in the big picture even when it seems like He’s not listening.
- Many of us are “fixers” by nature. We tend to see a problem and do our best to fix it, often without ever seeking God in the first place. When God does make us wait, it feels like we’re wasting valuable time.
- Few of us have been taught the importance of waiting. When’s the last time you heard a sermon that focused on the scriptural call to wait? Usually, someone talks to us about waiting only when we’re growing impatient over something—that is, when we’re least likely to listen. No one’s shown us the discipline of waiting.
- We don’t hear many testimonies about waiting. We write and talk about the miracles of God’s speedy intervention, but we don’t write many books like, “How I Trusted God for Twenty Years to Answer My Prayer.” My guess is that the latter wouldn’t sell well.
- We quickly forget the lessons we learn in our impatience. Maybe you’ve make an impulsive, prayerless decision that cost you much, and you made the commitment then that you’d never run ahead of God again. Then you quickly forgot that commitment . . . .
Check here to see why pastors are particularly impatient – and then stay tuned for a later post on how to wait for God.