On Waiting

. August 2, 2011
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Impatience dwells beneath the veneer of American life. We feel it every day when we borrow on credit cards, roll over the Federal debt, and buy frozen dinners. The churchy advice we give people sometimes tries to satisfy impatience by making waiting sound rewarding.

What do you tell impatient people about saving sex for marriage? Maybe you say that we'll hurt less if we wait, since our hearts are less likely to be broken. We'll have more time to serve God undistractedly. These are good reasons, but is there more to waiting than that?

Witness Part 1 of Donald Miller's series, "How to Live a Great Love Story."

Be willing to suffer: What this means for you is that your love story needs to have a lot of lonely crying in it. Believe it or not, there will come a day when a man will fall madly in love with you and you will have the honor of sitting down with him one special night to explain that, while you weren’t perfect, you turned down plenty of guys and and cried yourself to sleep hoping somebody would come around and treat you with respect. He will be honored by this, and he will love you and feel humbled.

Could it be that waiting, along with the attendant suffering, can actually be part of reaching our dreams? For the joy set before Him, Jesus endured the cross. (Hebrews 12:2)

Viewed this way, waiting makes us hurt differently, not necessarily less.

Maybe we're impatient because we know that waiting hurts. We want to believe that if we have faith enough to pray, God will suddenly and miraculously give us what we want.

But could it take more faith to wait and make the best of what God has given us? We can put our impatient energy to work by serving Him today. That might even take us a step closer to our dreams.

It would be a step in a story worth writing.


Joanna said...

I think you make a really good point that waiting can make us hurt differently but not necessarily less. I have often been surprised by how much trying to act in a God honouring way when it comes to relationships and singleness can hurt. I try to keep reminding myself that the pain that comes from doing the right thing is something that God can use for his glory and my good.

If you haven't read it already, I highly recommend Fab Sharford's series on the good things that come out of the pain of waiting as a single person http://www.fabsharford.com/?cat=25&paged=2

ReformedTrader said...

Thanks for sharing, Joanna. It looks like you and I both understand that ministry, including blog posts, is often born of the desire to help others from the context of our own pain.

Sometimes it can feel as if God isn't there. Life is hard. We want to love Him anyway. Then we find that, much later, we actually do. :)