The other day Patty and I were at a Christian worship concert. It was a beautiful venue with powerful worship. Towards evening Patty was getting hungry for nachos and apparently everyone else was as well. I finally inched toward the window and guess what? Two young girls were trying to cut the line and move in front of me. With Christian music playing in the background I blocked them out feeling justice must prevail. As I waited for my order to arrive I felt the nudge of the Spirit convict me of my impatience and my own struggle with waiting. Truth is deep down I struggle with waiting, be it in a long line for nachos, sitting in traffic, or on the promises of God. I have grown up in a culture that loves quick results and instant gratification.
Yet as I continue to ponder Romans 4-5:1-11 and the life of Abraham it is overwhelmingly clear that waiting is at the heart of a trust relationship with the Father. Abraham was 75 years old when God made His big promise to him about being the father of a “great nation” (Genesis 12:1-3). It was a 25 year long wait before Isaac, the promised son was born, talk about a long wait! The same story is repeated again and again in Scripture; the Father makes a promise and then the waiting begins. But why? What is His reasoning for making His children wait? Again in Romans God displays two important reasons for the wait. I will share one this week and have you wait until next week for the other reason.
Reason 1: “…..we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope..…” (Romans 5:3-4). The Father uses the struggle of waiting to build into our character a passionate hope in Him alone. The wilderness of waiting strips us of self and creates a total dependency on the Father and His faithfulness. This is the place the Father desires His children to live from, a place where He is our only hope for this life and the next.
I wish I could say I’ve mastered this “waiting thing” but I haven’t He continues to shape His character within me. But as I learn to wait in line for His promises I also learn to cry out for the Spirit of the one who waited perfectly in His suffering. Jesus, the True Son, not only shows me how to wait on the Father, but has cleared the way through the cross, resurrection, and His present reign to wait with me. As I wait all I need to do is keep my eyes fixed on Jesus. He is my hope and He gives me hope! The Father sealed me with His precious blood; He has sealed you with His precious blood. AND this is a guarantee that every promise will be fulfilled in His perfect time.
Are you struggling today as you wait in a seemingly endless line for His promises? Gaze with me at the One who stands right next to us; keep your eyes glued to His beautiful face and trust that He will lead you into the presence and the promises of a loving Father. Join me in meditating on Hebrews 6:13-19 this week.