I placed the order…and then waited. What else could I do?
What I did do was mark my calendar four weeks into the future. I wouldn’t get impatient until then. Since deliveries of most things took four to six weeks, I waited until the four-week mark to begin marking off days. Occasionally, things arrived sooner. I checked the mailbox daily and huffed when my item didn’t appear.
What I ordered didn’t matter. Books, magazines, clothing, a knife. In my younger days, nothing came overnight or even next-day delivery. And patience was never one of my virtues. Age has helped me develop a little more of the virtue, but I still struggle.
Fortunately, technology has solved my problem…or made it worse, depending on how I look at it. If I want a book, I can get it immediately in Kindle eBook form. If I want something else, chances are Amazon—or some other company—can ship it by the next day if I want to pay the extra shipping cost. Since I struggle with patience, I love what technology has done with delivery times.
Seemingly, the psalmist had learned the art of patience, although we aren’t told his attitude as he waited. “I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1 NLT).
The attitude with which we wait holds as much importance as the practice of waiting itself.
One thing I’ve discovered about God is that He works according to His timetable, not mine. And He normally works on the four-to-six-week schedule rather than next-day delivery. I’m sure helping me develop patience is one of His reasons, but a myriad of other reasons may exist as well.
At the right time, God will lift us from the despair that often accompanies waiting. What the psalmist doesn’t say is that the lifting is often a process, too. And, again, often longer than four to six weeks.
God will help us find solid ground. Yet the ground might shake numerous times before the solid ground ever appears.
God also gives us a new song in our hearts. After we have waited. And normally after we have sung a few off-key notes.
Whatever we wait on, God will come to our aid. In His time. In His way. And when He does, we’ll wonder why we had such a tough time waiting.
Let God teach you the art of waiting…patiently.