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Hurry Up and Wait

Most of us do not like to wait. "When my father missed a plane," says Cavett Robert, the founder of the National Speakers Association, "he caught another one. When my grandfather missed a train, he caught another one. Their world did not come to an end. There were other planes and other trains. Today, we miss one section of a revolving door and our entire day is shot." One sharp wit said, "I need to take a course in patience. Do you know where I can take a crash course?"

It takes humility to wait. When we wait, we admit there are some things that are not under our control. Most of us like to believe that WE are in control. We imagine that we are masters of our own destinies. If we work hard enough, if we sufficiently prepare, if we just concentrate, we can make life work. And we can. To a point. But there are some things that can't be hurried. Recuperation from surgery, the grief process, the maturing of a child, the wounded heart of a broken relationship, a couple adopting a child.

It takes hope to wait. Why wait unless there is something worth waiting for? The world reasons that since there is no great eternal hope to wait for, why wait for anything else? Christians are hit hard by this attitude. Believers will formally subscribe to the doctrines of heaven and eternity but live as though they didn't. When it comes to how to deal with a difficult marriage, failing health or a bleak job situation, they live as though there were no tomorrow that shines with God's promises. So Christians join our culture with the affliction of "insantitis."

To wait demands faith. We do not like to wait because that means we are not in control of things. Faith is the conviction that there is One who is in control. Whose nature is love. Sometimes that is a faint hope to hold onto to. Fatigue and depression suggest, "throw in the towel;" "give up;" "it's not worth it." How often we need to remember the words of the psalmist, "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass." (Psalm 37:4,5).

The word "wait" appears 106 times in Scripture. Sometimes there is nothing else we can do. Like the early Christians we can only wait, watch and work. May we all have the tenacity of the little boy who would not take his eyes off of the department store escalator. Finally, a salesperson approached him and asked, "Are you lost?" "Nope," came the reply, "I'm waiting for my chewing gum to come back around." We, too, must wait. We must wait recognizing there are some things in life we can't control, but we also believe there is Someone who can - and will!

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward