Recently, I received an email that made me giggle. It said, "You must have the gifts of perseverance and patience." When I read those well-meaning, though grossly inaccurate words, I heartily laughed out loud. And, I am pretty sure that Jesus laughed along with me. For few people who know me well would use either of those words to describe my personality.
To the contrary, I have never been very good at waiting. In this fast-paced world of instant gratification, waiting sometimes feels like such a waste of time. It seems I am always in a hurry to get where I am going, and my time-table doesn't always match up with God's. However, as I reflect, I must acknowledge that waiting has always served me well. In my experience, God tends to "show off" most significantly during seasons of waiting.
In Hebrews, we are instructed and assured, "do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." (Hebrews 10:35-36) As we wait for God's promises to unfold, we are called to trust, remember, and endure. It's a lesson many of us seem to be continually learning. Often, it seems that as one season of waiting ends, a new one begins. At times, it feels as though the waiting will never be over.
And so, we must choose to actively trust as we wait on God to act on our behalf. Since God is good all the time, we need not doubt His beautiful intentions towards His people. Indeed, the Heavenly Father is always at work, sometimes behind the scenes, to bring about His purpose in your life and mine. As we fix our eyes on God's sovereign power, God's plans will surely unfold in His perfect timing. But, we must place our trust in Him alone.
Further, we are advised to remember God's faithfulness. Truly. the LORD likes to "show off" in the lives of His children. Recalling His great victories is a good way to ease the angst in our seasons of waiting. Look to the past and remember all that God has done. Be assured that the God who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow will surely meet you where you are. Even in our toughest circumstances,it is a certainty that God will accomplish His purpose. Still, He will do so in His perfect timing. And His time-table is not negotiable.
Yet, we are not to be passive as we wait. Rather, we are called to endure. Perhaps this is the most difficult challenge of all. The dictionary definition of endure is "to suffer without yielding; to hold out." One could argue that a better definition in God's kingdom could be "to hold on".
Hold onto God's promises.
Hold onto God's faithfulness.
Hold onto God's power.
Hold onto God's hand.
A new year is upon us and with it come many new beginnings. Some of us are waiting for a new job. A new opportunity. A new start. Our Heavenly Father is in the business of making all things new. Whatever you are waiting for, accept His plan and trust that He will be glorified in your life. Thank God in advance for the blessings to come. Remain in His presence. Cling to His promises. And endure.
Just hold on... and watch God "show off".