Have you heard of patience? It’s that quality you admire in the driver behind you, but can’t stand in the driver in front of you. Back when they used to throw rice at weddings, a young guy dated a girl for years. She dreamed of the day he would say “I do.” She showed him engagement rings. Each time he got down to tie his shoe, she said, “Yes! I can’t believe you asked.” But he was oblivious.
One night he took her out to a Chinese restaurant, looked over the menu, and casually asked her, “So… how do you want your rice? Plain or fried?”
She said, “I prefer it thrown.”
Maybe you feel like that woman. Maybe your patience is wearing thin. Our culture doesn’t exactly teach the fine art of patience. We live in a fast food, fast fact, fast track world. I’d love some patience. Right now. Don’t have money to buy a new convertible? Who cares? It can be yours today for just $639 dollars per month for the next 3000 years. Why wait. Have it now.
And then we’re forced to wait. For that job, that special someone, that house to sell, that mechanic to hurry up, that grown child to smarten up. And we wonder, how can anything good come from this?
I’ve been impatient lately. Things need to change in a certain area, and it’s not up to me. I find that hard. Maybe you’d say, yup Phil, that’s my situation. My husband has been a jerk for 27 years. What if he never changes?”
Well, I’m not sure. But I do think we both need to remember three things. First, to pray like crazy. If you see a GAP hat today remember what it stands for: God Answers Prayer. Second, to trust that God knows what he’s up to even when we don’t. And third, to celebrate that we’re in good company. Moses waited in exile, Abraham waited for a son, Joseph waited in prison, the Israelites waited in the wilderness. And here’s the deal, anyone who has significantly impacted their world has spent significant time in the dark wondering what in the world God is up to and why is it taking so long.
If that’s you, don’t give up. God promises in Isaiah 40 that, “those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” You and I are learning lasting lessons we won’t learn otherwise. So let’s wait with anticipation, thanksgiving, and the joy of knowing that God’s presence is the greatest present we could ever unwrap. Even if you’re still single, and you’re sick and tired of fried rice.
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