In His timing.
I am not confident that others would describe me as a patient woman, and for good reason. I don't like to wait, and I can be very impatient-especially when it is something I want so badly.
I know I am not the only one that has waited for something, or is waiting for something. All throughout scripture God makes His people wait. Abraham and Sarah waited until they were 90+ yrs old before God gave them a son! That is LONG time. The Israelites were in the desert for 40 years. Abraham didn't even get out of the desert. The word patience can also mean "long suffering"--no wonder I don't like to wait.
Many of us have heard it said, "Good things come to those who wait", and I know that phrase can be true and often times is true. Waiting is worth it. God's timing is perfect. Yet it is SO hard!
This season of life is full of waiting. Full of unanswered questions. Painful surrender of life long dreams, in exchange for God's will to be done in my life. It can be easy to lose hope, to want to give up. I occasionally find myself thinking, "Is this even worth it anymore? God do you hear my cries? Do you hear my petitions? I want an answer! I am tired of asking God, please just tell me something, anything?!" Dear friends, this is when the pain of "picking up our cross" becomes uncomfortable, painful and exhausting but Christ gives us the strength to carry on and we are reminded in His Word that our hope will be restored:
3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5Suffering produces endurance.
Endurance produces character.
Character produces hope.
Hope does not put us to shame.
"Hope does not put us to shame" Do you ever find yourself telling yourself, "Don't get your hopes up" because you don't want to be disappointed or to be humbled if you don't get the outcome you were anticipating? Hope. Not the kind of hope that says, "I hope it doesn't rain today" or "I hope I win the lottery". But the hope that brings life, the hope that delights in the same things God does. "I hope I get to go on the mission field and serve people with the love of Christ", you might not set foot on foreign soil for many many years, but your hope is not limited by your location, you have a mission field in front of you everyday. "I hope that I can be a wife someday" that hope is not contingent on your beauty, charm, skills and abilities because you are already called the Bride of Christ.
Is it not bad to want and desire something deeply. In fact the Lord says in Psalm 37:3-7a (emphasis mine)
When my hope is in the Lord, my desires are conformed to His desires. That is a beautiful process, being conformed into the likeness of God, yet it is not without pain. "Suffering produces endurance" in the pain we are made stronger through Christ in us. The hope we cling to in this suffering, in this waiting, in this desert, is not that the desires of our heart would be given to us, but rather that the desires of our hearts are going to be aligned with God's heart for us, and His ways are always good. Therefore, let us rejoice dear friends in the trials so that God may be praised and glorified, and through our weakness He may shine through.3Trust in the LORD and do good;Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.4Delight yourself in the LORD;And He will give you the desires of your heart.5Commit your way to the LORD,Trust also in Him, and He will do it.6He will bring forth your righteousness as the lightAnd your judgment as the noonday.7Rest in the LORD and wait patiently for Him;