Nobody! Especially not people in our fast-paced culture. I must admit to not having a lot of patience for certain things. One of my pet peeves is waiting to be seated at a restaurant. Here in the Bay Area, there are just too many people, and for some unknown reason, they all want to go out to dinner the same time I do! Most restaurants don't take reservations here, so you're at the mercy of the crowds. On the other hand, my husband hates standing in line at stores, which I handle much better.
All that to say that nobody really likes to wait. Waiting is hard. It requires patience and a calm spirit. Yet if you've been a Christian long enough like I have, you have realized that in God's economy, waiting is commonplace. It's not a matter of if you will have to wait, it's a matter of when and how long. God rarely answers any of my prayers right away. Occasionally, yes, and those moments are great, but 9 times out of 10, I have to wait for an answer. Years, some times. Even now, I'm waiting for certain answers that haven't come for 20 years. In fact, isn't the culmination of the Gospel all about waiting for Jesus to return?
But 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. Isaiah 40:31
The word WAIT in the above verse have some very interesting meanings. It not only means "to abide and adhere to over time" but it also means "to carve or etch an image into"
That certainly enhances the meaning, doesn't it? It also reminds me of the verse in Romand 8:29
For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son
God's purpose in our lives is to transform us to be like Jesus. That message is throughout the New Testament. Paul exhorts us to take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. He also tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, 2 Corinthians 3:18
So it would seem that part of the way God transforms us into the image of Jesus is by waiting! Ugg. I know you don't want to hear that any more than I do. Yet, there's more. It's not just the waiting that does it... it's how we wait. Do we wait complaining and angry like spoiled children waiting to open their gifts at Christmas, or do we take the time to allow God to "etch the image of Jesus" onto us by growing closer to Him through prayer and Bible study and by submitting completely to His will in our lives.
In other words, waiting seems like a great opportunity to grow in our faith! I know. I know. I'm with you. I still don't like it. But is there anything of value in life that comes easily? Yes, salvation is free, but discipleship is not. Paul exhorted us to run the race put before us with all diligence.
Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.
Obviously there is more at stake in our walks with God than salvation. So, if you are waiting on the Lord now for something, consider it all joy and ask God to use the time to help you run the race He has put before you!