When my son Nate was little, he was into everything, I mean everything. Even before he could speak somewhat intelligent sentences he always seemed to gravitate to all those items in which we didn’t want him to get into. Early on, I could tell when he was getting into trouble when I would hear his little voice repeat “no, no, no” from the other room. Sure enough, when I rounded the corner he would be standing there, with his tiny hand pointing towards the fireplace tools. He didn’t know at the time that he was giving himself away, and was heading into doing something that could have put him in peril. Later, his crafty little mind figured out that he shouldn’t be giving himself away so easily. During the later end of the age of two and throughout the age of three, we were in a nearly constant battle for “I want.” I would have to chase after him and take things away from him, as it seemed like it was always something that could break or that had value to others. I would invariably hear the words “I want that” over and over again, so much so, that I began to say “You don’t need that,” as I took away whatever treasure that he had in his hands. After a while, he came up with an automatic response to my automatic response: “But, I neeeeeed that!” Thinking back on those memories makes me smile now, however, it wasn’t always so charming back then.
What Nate did as a little toddler, we also do. We spend our lives chasing after those things for which we feel enamored. We see the world offering so many things tied up with great big shiny red bows, sort of like the new automobile commercials at Christmas time – you know, the brand new Cadillac in the driveway with a giant red bow on top of it. Only at the time that my son was grabbing every little treasure that he saw, he really didn’t know any better. As adults, we however do know better, or perhaps I should say that we should know better. We listen to the world and the enticements that it offers. We want the immediate gratification for that shiny object that offers us so many empty promises for joy and happiness. And usually we don’t want to wait for the newest object of our affection. We must have it now! We too say, either out loud, or in our minds, “But, I neeeeeed that!” And once we’ve acquired our newest shiny treasure, it’s not long before that treasure begins to tarnish and we’ve moved on to the next big bright thing. Days of indulging ourselves to get what we think we must have right away can lead a person right into huge pile of debt, if we are so inclined to whip out our credit card over every new want and need. I am speaking from experience here.
We are a society that doesn’t want to wait for anything, nor do we seem to want to build something that’s going to last, nor do we seem to be a society that wants to preserve any age old wisdom or traditions. We’ve thrown it all away in our progression for the next newest thing or the newest cause that the media says is important. And, we don’t seem to be willing to wait or work for anything.
For us, the idea of waiting is counterintuitive. Had I learned how to say no to myself, or learned to wait for things, much earlier in my life I would have saved myself so much trouble. In my rush to get myself to where I thought I needed to be, I set myself back even further. You’ve heard the saying, “two steps forward, one step back,” in my case it really was more like one step forward, two or three steps back. I never stopped to wait, I just barged ahead full steam and didn’t take the time to listen to God’s promptings, and sometimes, I didn’t even consult God before moving forward. I just took the reigns and relegated God to the passenger seat of the vehicle as if He was the toddler that my son once was.
God’s Word has a lot to say about waiting on Him. Do an internet search on Bible verses about waiting, and the results from openbible.info yields 92 verses. Obviously God, wants to get a message through to us, that we are to wait on Him for His plan to unfold. When we don’t stop and really absorb God’s Word, when we don’t consult Him, we don’t pray about our situations, when we don’t stop to listen to the Holy Spirit within us, when we barge ahead, we’ve set ourselves back. Yes, God loves us, yes God forgives us, yes He will never abandon us. But, I can’t help thinking how much richer my relationship with God would have been earlier in my life if I heeded those words that I just wrote, I missed out on so much of the abundance that the Father wanted to heap onto me.
I have entered a season in my life, in which my relationship with God is at that rich stage, I am learning more and more about God, and I am willing to wait on Him. More often than not, I turn things over to Him and I lay them at His feet. And, I usually don’t stress much over them anymore. Despite all of my interference, God is faithful. He’s taught me that what He has waiting for me is much better than anything that I could bring about on my own. His blessings are abundantly larger than I could imagine.
It’s good to wait, whether it is a “long now,” or a quick moment. God’s got everything under control. Wait and be blessed.
Lamentations 3:25, ESV: “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.”