By Tommy Rush
I don’t know about you, but I hate to wait. I’m usually pretty patient and easy going, but something happens when I have to wait on somebody or something for an extended length of time. I don’t care much for waiting in long lines or being put on hold when you are trying to take care of something by phone. I don’t know of anyone who enjoys having to wait in a doctor’s office or the waiting room of a hospital. Usually I’m better when waiting in a busy restaurant because I feel empathy for the waiters who are having to serve a crowd of hunger and impatient people. I’ve often wondered why the those serving people in restaurants are the ones called “waiters.” I do understand why the people waiting to see a doctor is called “the patient.”
But I will admit that I’m just not very good with waiting. I recently shared one Sunday my hangup with waiting in a Bible Study group and a young dad began laughing. He told me that just that morning his wife had walked into their den, handed him the children’s clothes and said, “Here. You get the kids ready for church! I’ll be the one who goes to the car and honks the horn today.” He then asked, “Preacher do you think the Lord is telling me to be more patient with my family on Sunday mornings?” I said, “No, I think He’s pounding it in your head with a hammer!”
The first word Paul used in I Corinthians 13:4 when defining love was the word patient. He said, “Love is patient, love is kind…” If he were here today, he would not see a lot of love based on his definition of it. We live in a world today filled with impatient people. Most people want instant success, instant satisfaction, and instant happiness. In our culture, having to wait on anything is seen as a major crisis. But the Bible teaches that the waiting periods of life are really gifts from God. I’ve always loved Isaiah 40:31 because it says, “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” Waiting can be a very good thing. Learning to wait gives us time to prepare for what’s coming next. Waiting keeps us from rushing into situations and making decisions before we are ready. Waiting is the in between time of life where we are given a chance to regain our strength and catch our breath before moving on to what’s next. Waiting can be a very productive time if we desire to use our time of waiting wisely.
During the next few weeks we are waiting for Christmas! We call these days the Days of Advent, a good time to prepare our hearts and focus on the coming of Christmas. These are great weeks to enjoy your family and friends. These are great days to be a blessing to a neighbor or someone who is going through a tough time. Remember the scripture, “Love is patient, love is kind.” These Days of Advent should remind us to slow down. It’s never good to get in a hurry during Christmas. Maybe I should say, it does no good to get in a hurry at Christmas. So take a deep breath, be a blessing, enjoy the opportunities for worship and make a commitment to wait well!