Waiting is hard. Everything in our world happens instantly, and most of it through technology. We are used to getting what we want without much of a wait. The phone in my pocket can provide me with more information in seconds than I could have gotten as a boy with a whole library at my disposal.
While young people have lived in this fast-paced world all their lives, we are now all conditioned to get what we want quickly. This song by Andy Gullahorn makes my point perfectly.
What do you do when waiting in a drive-through at McDonald’s or at a Starbucks and it takes more than four or five minutes for your order? I suspect you get agitated, check your phone multiple times, and wonder what’s taking so long. Often, I see people pulling out of line because it’s taking just a couple of minutes too long to place their order.
My concern is that everyone is ready to give up too quickly. We have become “quitters” too often. It happens everywhere, in both our personal and professional lives.
In work settings, I’ve heard people say, “If I don’t get the promotion (or new job opportunity) at my organization when I think I should, I’ll just quit and find a new job.” How many new entrepreneurs, starting their first venture, will give it up just before they might have turned the corner and been successful?
When I was talking to a friend, Stephanie, about patience, she pointed me to the following scripture, where the prophet Elisha is directing the King of Israel on God’s behalf. Look at what happens.
“Take the bow in your hands,” he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king’s hands.
“Open the east window,” he said, and he opened it. “Shoot!” Elisha said, and he shot. “The Lord’s arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!” Elisha declared. “You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek.”
Then he said, “Take the arrows,” and the king took them. Elisha told him, “Strike the ground.” He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times.”
2 Kings 13:16-19 NIV
God wanted the king to stay with it, to be faithful to His command. Waiting is hard when it’s something we want. If we are struggling, we want it to end “now.”
God doesn’t give us everything we might want, nor does he give it to us when we want it. He gives it to us when He is ready, and when He deems that we are ready. It’s a test, to see if we are faithful.
If you spent time seeking God’s wisdom and believe what you are doing is the right thing, even when the results don’t materialize, don’t give up!
If we are patient and faithful in doing what he wants, he will notice and bless us when the time is right.
Have you ever given up too soon? What was that like? And what was it like when you waited for a blessing to appear, even when you felt like giving up? Let us know in the comments below.
Dale Kreienkamp is a keynote speaker, Human Resources consultant, and the author of How Long, O Lord, How Long? Devotions for the Unemployed and Those Who Love Them. He has experienced a personal journey of unemployment twice when both positions were eliminated in organizational restructuring. These personal experiences created a desire within him to help others impacted by unemployment through inspirational devotions. Dale is also an active volunteer at his home church and leader in his local community.