Patiently Waiting for God

Patiently waiting, I watched the bumper-to-bumper traffic crawl down the street.   What was going on in this small Arkansas town to cause such a traffic jam on main street?

My patience was tested.

Finally, a distracted driver in his shiny antique blue slowed just enough to provide my opportunity. As the driver waved to a crowd of people standing on the sidewalk, I revved my car’s engine, popped the clutch, and leaped my new 5-speed onto the street.  I was thrilled to be moving again, even though slowly.

On main street, I noticed the passengers in the car ahead of me wave with excitement toward another group of people standing along the road.  I turned my head in their direction and was surprised to see a third group of people standing and waving to the other passengers ahead of me.  Ahead of them, more people stood along the roadway waving.

I quickly glanced into my rear-view mirror.  More waving. A sense of panic.

I was in a parade!  I was stuck in a parade of antique cars with no exit.

How did this happen?

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Have you ever become so impatient that you made a knee-jerk decision without paying attention to the reality passing by directly in front of you?

Impatience is one of those things that can lead the most level-headed, law-abiding person to a behavior typically followed by a time of regrets.

  • You abandon your job over an incident at work.
  • You race through the red-lit intersection because you felt the slow pokes ahead of you robbed you of your opportunity to go.
  • You respond with a firm, terse comment to a loved one who took longer than you thought needed.
  • You leap your new 5-speed Honda Accord into a parade of antique cars.

Spiritually speaking, impatience is also one of those things that can lead the most devoted, well-intentioned believer to a behavior that immediately precedes an assortment of regrets.

Patiently Waiting for God

John Piper delivers a thoughtful perspective in that impatience is actually a form of unbelief.  “It’s what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God’s timing or the goodness of his guidance.”

  • Do you feel like God isn’t moving fast enough?
  • Do you feel like you’re stuck on the side of the road while the cars pass you?
  • Do you have have a Plan B in place with a subsequent Plan C already tucked in your back pocket simply because you are growing weary with the wait?

How we respond during the wait tells a lot about our trust in the One Who holds it all in His hands.

The truth is that many times there is nothing left for us to do but patiently wait.

A few years ago, my wife and I were patiently waiting to receive confirmation that we had been chosen.  We had been in the adoption process for a year, and we had done all we could do.  Our role at that point was to simply wait.

We waited on the agency to confirm when a “situation” was available. We waited on the birth mother to review our profile.  We waited for the agency to call us back and to explain the birth mother had chosen another family.  We waited for the next situation; and on the cycle went.

All we could do was wait.  It was an emotional time for us.

During that tough season, we were so thankful to discover this song by John Waller (insert link) that was the perfect reminder in how we can respond while we patiently wait.

“I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord”

John Waller   © 2007 Travelin’ Zoo Music (ASCAP) (admin. by EMI CMG Publishing)

Patiently waiting, we can find encouragement through His Word as we look to the One Who holds all things in His hands.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes. Psalm 37:7 NASB

I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1 NASB

Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary. Isaiah 40:31 NASB

Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious produce of the soil, being patient about it, until it gets the early and late rains. You too be patient; strengthen your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is near. James 5: 7-8 NASB

Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord. Psalm 27:14 NASB

My prayer is that this season be filled with His assurance as we trust the wisdom of God’s timing and goodness of His guidance while we wait.

Mary Bernard says:

OK — I really LOL’d at the thought of you pulling into a parade of antique cars. That is just too funny. 🙂

And, oh my goodness, how this post spoke to me. I really believe I am extremely patient — with all things and people, except God. I become restless and irritated when I don’t “hear” from him or don’t think he’s responding quickly enough. And then I become very bitter because I throw up my hands and just say/think, “He doesn’t care – that’s all. He cares about the big stuff — like tsunamis and cancer, but he doesn’t really care about our family budget (or whatever).”

Repenting of this daily and earnestly seeking what it means/looks like to wait patiently, reverently, expectantly on God. I usually do a lousy job of it.


RodneyDBowen says:

Yes, my parade moment was pretty funny. My friends in the car actually enjoyed the moment much more than I did in that moment. 🙂

Repenting daily, as well