“The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.” Proverbs 16:9
I cannot take credit for the fact that a friend sent this to me in the midst of a wait that is testing my patience. OK, so I know it, it’s basic growth and experience—in the end God chooses the best path for His purpose. Even so, the timeliness of this post had me sit up and say, “Yes God, I hear You. Thank you.”
Irritation, frustration, anger; all are tapping on my mind when the following text appears in my inbox:
No one likes to wait, but have you ever wondered why? It’s because delays show us that we are not in control. Someone or something else is calling the shots. Although we may be able to identify the immediate cause–like a traffic light or the long checkout line–ultimately the One who controls all our delays is the Lord. Since He is sovereign over everything in heaven and on earth, even our time and schedules are in His hands.
This means that in every delay, we are actually waiting for God in one way or another. You might have thought that the expression “waiting upon the Lord” applies only to seeking guidance from Him or an answer to prayer. But it can mean so much more when you remember that He controls all your day-to-day inconveniences and frustrations.
In the Christian life, learning to wait is vitally important because until you do, you’ll never be able to walk in obedience to God, have an effective prayer life, or experience the peace of resting in His loving sovereignty. We must learn to trust His judgment–about not just the big events in our lives, but also the trivial ones which cause us to become irritated, impatient, or even angry. If we’re sensitive to His instruction, each delay has a lesson.
The next time you face an unexpected or unwanted wait, remember that it comes as no surprise to God. He wants to teach you patience and increase your faith. He’s more interested in developing godly character than He is in making sure your schedule runs according to your plans.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit http://www.intouch.org.