Since moving to Florida, one of the characteristics of life here which we have constantly observed besides the warm weather is that, since many of the residents of our community are “older”, the pace of life is somewhat slower. The speed limits are lower and, in general, the timing for the events are always earlier.
With an older population that, in many cases, does not like to drive after dark, whether it be automobiles or golf carts, the maximum latest time for most events completing their course is 9 pm.
Ironically, though, that does not mean that people are more patient and willing to wait for anything.
Do you remember that TV commercial from several years ago that portrayed an oversized and very impatient man bellowing “I hate to wait!” while standing in line? His face was crimson with rage. His nostrils were flaring, and his neck veins were popping as he vented his frustration at having to wait for his rental car at the airport.
“He hates to wait!” echoes his wimpy friend who was standing a few feet behind him.
“But you HAVE to wait!” retorted the sales girl from the other side of the counter.
Some of you (like me) probably laughed at that commercial – not because it was that funny, but more likely because we see ourselves in that man and his reaction to the very thought of waiting for anything!
If we are honest with ourselves, we would have to admit that more than once we have gotten fed up with the whole idea of waiting, too! Remember the other night standing in line at the grocery store, or right after you placed your order at the drive-thru for that “fast” food restaurant and only then realized there must be at least a thousand others who had the same idea (not to exaggerate or anything)!
The whole idea of waiting came to mind when I read about a couple in Minnesota whose wedding venue fell through at the last minute.
Desperate to find a suitable place, Krista and Jeremy Bourasa decided to hold the ceremony at the groom’s fire station in St. Paul Park, Minnesota, knowing that it was possible an alarm could disrupt things. They made it through their ceremony without a hitch, but while taking photos before the reception, an urgent alarm did in fact ring.
There was a need for mutual aid to knock out a fire engulfing a house in a nearby town. Krista told her new husband to go ahead and fight the fire.
“I’ve got the rest of my life with him,” she told Minneapolis TV station KARE-11. “They needed him for that moment.”
Three hours later, Jeremy returned to the reception, and the bride and groom had their first dance.
“That just kind of put the icing on the cake that I know she’s the one for the rest of my life,” he said.
That bride had patience!
Perhaps you have been waiting for something (or someone) for an awfully long time. Maybe you’ve waited through some lonely nights when it seemed as though the darkness had become your closest friend.
When the quietness that enveloped you was disturbed only by a few painful sobs, muffled by a pillow drenched with tears. When an outcry of anguish would pierce the silence of the night.
And when you would repeat these words used by David over and over again in the opening verses of the 13th Psalm: “How long?”
How long until I find work again?
How long until my loved one gets well?
How long until my prodigal son returns home?
How long until I find the right mate?
And there are times, aren’t there, when it seems that the only answer you get is to be placed on hold? And so you sit and wait … So, HOW do we wait, when we HATE to wait but we HAVE to wait?
Here are a few biblical thoughts for you to chew on mentally the next time your life goes into a holding pattern…
First, we are to wait PATIENTLY. In Psalm 37:7, David said, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;” (By the way, from Psalm 40:1, we see that David took his own advice. Check it out!)
Secondly, we need to wait SILENTLY. By this, I mean that we are not to moan and groan and mumble and grumble. Jeremiah wrote in Lamentation 3:26, “…it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD.”
Thirdly, we need to wait OBEDIENTLY. In other words, don’t throw your own pity party where all you do is sit back and sulk and sour. Do as David said (and did) in Psalm 37:34, “Wait for the Lord – and KEEP HIS WAY.”
Fourthly, we need to wait PERSISTENTLY. Don’t give out! Don’t give up! David wrote in Psalm 62:8: “Trust in Him at ALL TIMES.”
Finally, we need to live EXPECTANTLY. David stated in Psalm 25:3 “No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame.” And in Psalm 27:13, he added, “I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” Talk about living expectantly – wow!
That’s HOW to wait when you HATE to wait but you HAVE to wait!
So if you find you strength fading, an answer delaying, opportunities fleeting, illnesses lingering, friends procrastinating, traffic slowing, and lines lengthening – and you are just sick and tired of waiting – please don’t forget that
God’s DELAYS are not necessarily DENIALS
God is NEVER in a hurry, but He is always on time
God has not FORSAKEN you, neither has He FORGOTTEN you.
Your times are in God’s hands!
And even though you HATE to wait there will be times when you HAVE to wait.
So … do it patiently, silently, obediently, persistently, and expectantly.
And while you are waiting, remember, God will be working! (Check out Romans 8:28)!
Chuck Tabor is a regular columnist for the News Journal and a former pastor in the area. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.