I have to be the first to admit something: I am a very impatient person. I know, I know, its hard to believe (totally kidding). There are some things that just get my annoyed meter to spike and situations that raise my blood pressure. Now, to be completely forthright, I AM working on these things. I’ve been working on them for years. Changing a habit is one of the hardest things to undertake. It’s literally part of who you are; part of your personality and character.
Some of the things that really get me impatient: sitting in traffic. I absolutely HATE sitting in traffic. I hate being on a road, seeing the green light, and still, just sitting there. It can almost make my blood boil. I know I’m not alone in this area because it seems like everybody else sitting in traffic hates it just as badly as I do. The other thing that really gets the best of my impatience is this: waiting on God.
Maybe its just me; maybe I’m a product of my culture, but I want things my way, when I want them, how I want them, and RIGHT NOW! I know that I’m also not alone in this. A lot of the conversations I have daily have to do with “I wonder when God’s going to do…[fill in the blank]?” “I don’t understand why God isn’t listening to me? Why is it taking God so long to answer this prayer?” These are all natural, innate questions we ask. It’s so hard to see what the will of God is in our lives some times. It seems we ask, seek, and knock all the doors, windows, and cellars that we can find looking for that “aha!” moment.
In my daily reading I just finished Habakkuk. The minor prophets are one of my favorite sections of the Bible because they are so relevant to our culture and situation in America today. The whole Bible is relevant, but I guess I mean the socio-economic situations we’re in right now and the way it tends to bring out the desperation and selfishness in people—especially those in power. As I read Habakkuk I begin to see a thread—this isn’t just a book—it’s a glimpse into a prophets prayer life. It’s a look inside the heart of God and His response to our often asked “When, God…?” questions.
I want to share the very last statements made after Habakkuk asks,
“LORD, how long must I ask for help and you ignore me?” (Hab. 1:2, NCV).
The rest of the book is God’s response and Habakkuk’s subsequent conversations and prophecies about Babylon. However, after seeing all this evil, all this pain, all this suffering, Habakkuk understands the One in whom he believes. He says,
“But I will wait patiently for the day of disaster that will come to the people who attack us. Fig trees may not grow figs, and there may be no grapes on the vines. There may be no olives growing and no food growing in the fields. There may be no sheep in the pens and no cattle in the barns. But I will still be glad in the Lord; the Lord God who is my strength. He makes me like a deer that does not stumble so I can walk of the steep mountains” (Hab. 3:16b-19, NCV).
My point is this: we may not know when God is going to do something or when His timing will come, but we do know that God is never late. He may not come when you want Him to, but He’ll be there right on time. He told us He’s coming back, church. You know what? I believe that to my grave. He will return and right all the wrongs, wipe all the tears, and stop all the pain and suffering. It may not be in my lifetime, but He’s coming. He’s told me to prepare and I am. I’m also going to bring as many people as I can.
My challenge to you this week is simple: those areas of impatience—bring them to God. Ask Him to help your unbelief. Trust. Wait. Hold on. Stand firm. God is with you. Don’t waste precious moments with impatience. Redeem your time wisely—it’s the one resource you’ll never get back. Just something to think about. – Scott