Waiting For God When You’re Impatient
The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3:25-26, KJV
Island shrouded in heavy fog–am going on,” was Richard Haliburton’s last radio message before he sailed into oblivion. Haliburton was a flamboyant adventurer and explorer who was attempting to sail from Hong Kong to San Francisco in a Chinese junk. He intended to stop in Taiwan for supplies, but when he approached the island, he could not see light and assumed that it was shrouded in fog. It was not but Haliburton did not know that. The lights had been blanketed in a practice air-raid drill, and sailing on was his last mistake. He was lost at sea. Richard Haliburton’s impatience cost him his life. Had he only waited for guidance, he would have made his destination. James McConkey was right when he wrote, “Haste is the parent of 9/10ths of our mistakes…”
But waiting seems to be so contrary to the path of progress. Today we are generally convinced that doing anything is better than doing nothing. Waiting, however, is not doing nothing. It is positive action that prepares for the right choice in the future. It is awaiting God’s timing which saves us from tragic mistakes. “There is an appointed time for everything,” wrote Solomon in the book of Ecclesiastes. Awaiting the right time is never easy, but as Martin Luther wrote, “He who waits on God wastes no time.”
I do not know about you, friend, but waiting has never been one of those virtues with which I was born. Perhaps, you, like me, have found that learning to wait is a rather painful experience. One of the great differences between the way we think and the way that God thinks is that His thinking is not influenced by time; consequently, God is never in a hurry to do anything. We are not like that, and we have to learn to live on His timetable–not ours. Reading through the pages of Scripture, you will find that God has always had to teach His children to learn to wait for timing. David, Solomon, Job, Micah, Isaiah, the Apostle Paul, all wrote about the importance of waiting and thought of it as positive–not negative. When God’s people were overthrown by the forces of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, many thought that God had turned His back on them and forsaken them. Yet God said, “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).
Waiting on God’s timing–is not wasted time but running ahead of God’s timing can bring ruin. It brings our restless hearts into conformity with the divine and prepares us for what He has before us. Jeremiah, the prophet, wrote, “The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD,” (Lamentations 3:25-26, KJV). Friend, what is your hurry? If the doors have not opened, then keep knocking, but await the Lord’s timing. When He sets before you an open door, no one can close it.
Waiting demands that we acknowledge the fact that God is fully in control. “They that wait on the Lord…,” wrote Isaiah, “shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31, KJV). May God teach us the value of learning to wait, of learning to trust Him to work out the details of the future; and may He forgive us our restless impatience. Yes, there is a time for everything under the sun.
Resource reading: Isaiah 40:25-31.