We have a little guy who has a hard time waiting. Painfully so! He will be sitting quietly, focused on something in front of him when he realizes he is hungry, thirsty, tired, cuddly, or whatever. At that very moment, he switches from rational human to crazy surviver boy. Without involving anyone else in the plan, he will hunt down food, jump on the counter for a drink, smother an unsuspecting someone in a bear hug, or tell us we can leave his room now cause he’s ready to sleep. He is 100% all the time, and I love him for it. But his immediate need doesn’t always work for everyone. Sometimes it has to be curbed to consider other factors, like an upcoming meal he needs an appetite for, or the person he wants to smother is balancing on a ladder. Sometimes he has to wait, even be set aside to settle down or be still while he gets his right mind back, which is a painful process for both of us! He feels he’s going to die, even though we know he will be ok. And we have to hold strong, even when he protests that life is over.
We hope and pray for him to understand someday that patience is a GOOD thing, a God-in-us thing, even when it brings about pain, even though it is hard. We know that it is for his good, even his best – he has yet to be fully convinced.
This year of transition, I’ve seen this need for the NOW in myself more than ever before – with absence of answers, direction, knowing the next step, even the acquiring of possessions….
It has stretched me painfully to have to wait, again and again, to the point I felt I couldn’t wait another second. It has caused me to feel panic on occasion – as though crazy survival mode might just solve my issues. Father, forgive me! I have found myself struggle with indifference, laziness…even feeling sorry for myself. It hasn’t been pretty some days.
Sometimes the commitment to follow Christ wherever He leads is followed up with some big tests, namely having the right attitude to win the battle. Despite my attitudes, and the impatience of my flesh, God has faithfully held steady. He has withheld in His wisdom just the right amount of time, revealed at the exact moment it was truly needed, and encouraged my weak soul to keep trusting, keep praying, and keep believing He is still here and still good in every moment of my discomfort and frustration. Sometimes it’s meant I had to reorient – even recall what the mission is. Is immediate knowledge or comfort what I really need, or could it be that He knows what is truly for my best? Every time the wait has come to an end, because of the struggle of the wait, I have KNOWN: my God is worthy, He is love, and He is good. He asked me to wait, to be still, to quiet my driving NEED to have, in order to give me something He knew would be better for me all along. Character. Confidence. Commitment. Once again, I believe.
I turned 36 last month. You’d think I would understand this by now, but I need reminders often: Suffering produces perseverance, and perseverance character that wasn’t there before (Rom 5:8). Maybe when I’m 80 I will get it, but today I need the reminder – that patience is a gift, a way to experience more of Him, a way to KNOW that He is God, and there is nothing to fear!