By Lauren M.
“Willing to wait?” is the automatic question that I get asked in local fast food restaurants when the food item that I want to order (fried chicken! Tuna pie! French fries! Ice cream!) is not immediately available. When I’m in a hurry or just really hungry, I usually ask the fast food crew member what item they can give me right away and just settle for whatever that is even if it’s not what I originally craved for. But when I’m not in a rush or my stomach isn’t growling yet, I usually just wait until the food that I really want is finally prepared.
It’s hard enough to wait for food when we want it now but it’s even much harder to wait for other things in life, whether they be related to ministry, family life, career or personal life.
It’s not just modern people like us who have to wait for certain things; people who lived in ancient biblical times were not exactly strangers to waiting either. Abraham and Sarah had to wait until they were old enough to be great-grandparents before they became… parents (Gen. 18:10-14, Gen. 21:1-3). Joseph had to stay in whatever the Egyptian equivalent of Muntinlupa prison was for years because of a crime he did not even commit (Gen. 39:19-20). And the nation of Israel had to wait for thousands of years for the Messiah to finally come to earth.
But Abraham and Sarah became the ancestors of the nation of Israel (Matt. 1:2). Joseph’s imprisonment became the way for him to become the prime minister of Egypt, whom God used to rescue Israel from starvation during a famine (Gen. 45:4-8). And Jesus, well, Jesus was simply worth waiting for.
The Lord has reasons for letting us wait even though we might not understand why there has to be a delay at all. We have two choices. We can wait for God’s right timing: “I wait for the LORD, my soul does wait, and in His word do I hope.” (Psalm 130:5, NASB).
Or we can force something we want to happen to happen right now through our own methods, just like Abraham and Sarah who tried to hasten the promise of God, with messy results (Gen. 16:1-5), although God still redeemed everything in the end.
And if we do choose to wait, we also have two choices: we can either sulk or worry while waiting or we can enjoy what we have right now. I’ve done my fair share of both – I’m an expert at the former but, yeah, the latter is more fun.