by Trey Faull
I’m not a very patient person. When I want something I usually find a way to get it as soon as possible so I don’t have to wait. When there is an event or a trip planned, I will often waste the time leading up to that event because all I can think about is how much fun it will be. I’ve wasted much time not being productive in my waiting because my impatience drives me to obsess over whatever is on the horizon.
It’s ironic though, because I’m obsessed with my time. I’m never late and always early. I love watches and have a clock in every room. One of my greatest professional skills is time management - I always get my work done. Yet, I still get impatient and waste time when there is something I want waiting for me in the future. The thought of a future reward often distracts me from working and getting things done in the waiting.
I think we often approach God in a similar fashion. We pray for God to move in our lives and do a miracle, but then we fail to make the most of our time while we are waiting on Him to move. It’s easy to pray, “God please relieve my financial stress,” wait a few days, and then get mad and quit when we don’t have a big increase in income.
But that’s not God’s fault… That’s our fault for not knowing how to wait.
What if, instead of sitting idly by and wasting our waiting time, we actually set out to grow and improve so that we are ready when God does answer us. Let’s go back to the finance example.
You want an increase of income, but do you have a budget that says, “I can manage money?” Have you worked to pay off your debts so that you’re not slave to the lender (Proverbs 22:7)? Have you taken the money you do have and been generous with it by tithing or helping others?
You see how the attitude is different in the waiting when you commit to working on yourself in the process? By the way, this is a principle that Jesus taught in the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. Except in this situation you’re investing in yourself and in the time God has given you.
What if instead of throwing a hissy fit when God doesn’t give us what we want, when we want it, we inclined ourselves to wait and grow through the time we spend waiting?
Maybe you are waiting on a job, so while you hustle with Uber Eats to make ends meet, you should spend extra time learning software, a trade, adding new skills to your arsenal, and getting yourself ready to accept that job that you have prayed for.
Maybe you’re waiting on the relationship to heal. Have you gone to counseling? Have you taken inventory of your life and apologized for the wrongs you may be guilty of? Are you working through the pain (s)he caused so that you can forgive him/her when (s)he asks?
You see, when we decide to grow while we wait, we end up placing ourselves in a better position to receive the answer to our prayer. Your growth in the waiting will often indicate that you are ready to receive whatever God has in store for you.
So be patient. Trust God’s timing… But use that time to grow. Grow by pursuing God. Grow by becoming a better you. And maximize the time God has given you while you wait on Him.