Are We There Yet?

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” ~ Psalm 27:14

Waiting is one of my least favorite things to do, but anticipation can be one of the best parts of an event. Why the difference? We don't know the outcome in either case, and both involve waiting. My mental image of anticipation is actively leaning forward, eyes sparkling as the excitement builds; but waiting finds me leaning back, drumming my fingers, sighing occasionally, not knowing when the end will come. Is it all about control? Uncertainty, perhaps? With anticipation, we usually have a good idea what is coming and when it will happen. Waiting seems endless and we don’t always know the outcome. Who hasn’t said at some point in their life, “Are we there yet? How much longer…?”

The Bible repeatedly tells us to wait on God, trusting Him for the good things to come, so why is it so hard? Even when we trust that he will give us good things and that the plans he has for us are nothing short of wonderful, we experience disappointment when we are told to wait because we want to see his promises fulfilled now. Although deferred gratification usually involves a better outcome, we become impatient because we are not in control of the situation. Plus, waiting usually involves a lesson in patience, wisdom, contentment or some other virtue we cannot attain without doing the “work” of waiting. It is frequently painful and the end is seldom in sight. Some would call that torture!

However valuable they are in this life, I believe that the experiences and knowledge we gain while waiting will also become information that we will carry with us to use in our eternal lives. This precious gift of wisdom from God is something we will need to have there in order to fulfill our ultimate purpose - our gifted profession - in Heaven, where time, as we know it, does not exist. The only way we can learn these lessons is here, in this life, doing it the hard way. You can believe that if God is putting us through it, there is a divine purpose. He promises that he only wants what is best for us, and we have to trust that, even when the reasons for our struggles are not apparent at the moment. One day we will be deeply grateful that we were given the chance to learn these things, even if they came to us through pain and suffering. These “trials by fire” will be our badges of honor - like war medals for veterans - that we will wear with pride and gratitude. And when that glorious day comes, we will bow before Jesus with praise and thanksgiving, acknowledging that we would never have received the accolades of heaven without his sacrifice. And at that moment we will know the wait was entirely worth it as we hear those priceless words, “Well done my good and faithful servant!”

Prayer: Father, forgive us when we are impatient. Thank you for the joy of knowing that you love us as a good father loves his precious children. Thank you for the reassurance that you want only the best for us. Help us to see our lives and our circumstances through your heavenly perspective so that in keeping our eyes on you, all else will dim in the light of your glory. We trust that if you are asking us to go through something unpleasant, your purpose will be worth it when we look upon your face. We love you, praise you and thank you for your wisdom, mercy, patience and grace, in Jesus’ name, amen.

Additional Scriptures:

“For 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 29:12

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” ~ Psalm 46:10

“’What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’— the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.” ~ 1 Corinthians 2:9-10

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