Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Waiting Game

No one likes to wait. In our American culture, we have become very bad wait-ers. We honk, we holler, we stew when someone makes us wait. We look for shortcuts and the fastest way to get somewhere or get something done. Just look at what a thriving and integral part of our culture fast food has become. Meanwhile, inventors produce a steady stream of products designed to do things for us faster.

Most of the time, however, our God is not into “fast.” Part of that is because time doesn’t exist for Him. With a thousand years being like a day, waiting as we know it has no meaning for Him. But He does know something about waiting because waiting is one of His special tools. Because He is God, He understands what waiting means to His children. The good news is that, because He is God, He knows exactly how to use the waiting for good.

Writers, especially those of us who aren’t published, know a lot about waiting. We wait while we learn the craft, we wait to find the right critique partner, the right agent, and we wait for responses from publishers. Most of all, we wait for that illusive piece of paper called a contract. Even after that, we wait through all the steps of the publishing process. Finally, we wait for that incredible moment when we hold that published book in our hands.

So why, if God is so powerful and can do anything, even in the blink of an eye, does He elect to make us wait? You know the answer, don’t you? He lets us, makes us, wait because He knows that what He will accomplish in us during that wait is more important, in light of eternity, than whatever it is we are waiting for. When people make us wait, it may or may not have a worthy purpose or outcome, but when God makes us wait, we can be sure that He will have a divine and worthy purpose. God uses waiting to accomplish in us things He knows will deepen our faith and strengthen our character.

Our task is to stay in tune to His voice and to trust that He knows exactly what He is doing.

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