Focus: Learning to wait
Hebrews 12:11 (NIV) No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Waiting is one of the hardest things in life. Waiting has to do with time. Hours spent—one way or another. In the process of allowing God to transform us from our past condition into who He meant for us to become—there will be a lot of waiting.
As humans, we tend to think of ‘waiting’ in a negative sense. Your earliest memories of ‘waiting’ might go back to a long ride in the car, where you might have asked more than once, “Are we there yet?” Or, on Christmas morning when you might have woke up too early—but wanted to know, “Is it time to get up yet?” The answer you were looking for was “Yes!”, but often it was “No”, or “Not yet”.
As a child, ‘time’ is hard to comprehend. ‘Waiting’, is like time that never ends. Learning to ‘wait’ is one of the foundations of childhood. Parents and teachers often use ‘waiting’ as a form of discipline. If you didn’t do something according to the directions or instructions you were given by a parent or teacher—you might have been told, “Now you’re going to have to wait.” No matter how hard it might have been to be told you had to ‘wait’—or how many times you were told you’d have to ‘wait’, you probably didn’t learn the full meaning of the importance of ‘waiting’ in your childhood.
Learning to ‘wait’ is supposed to produce discipline. We might understand waiting to some degree by the time we get through childhood–but, as young adults—we have to learn it all over again in other ways. When we first get ‘our freedom’ and are able to live life away from home—we get a feeling of exhilaration as we make our own decisions. We have this newfound sense of power when there is no one there to say—“You’d better wait”—and financial woes are one of the things we may have to face, as a result.
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‘Waiting’–when it comes to relationships is another potential struggle. What we find attractive when we are young has very little to do with the enduring qualities that will stand the test of time…but, few people are capable of contemplating what goes into the success of a lasting relationship, and even fewer are willing to ‘wait’.
‘Waiting’ in terms of moral purity is even harder to support today. With divorce at an all time high and with so many broken homes—parents often aren’t the example they should be to their children, and so the pattern repeats itself. The children become involved in relationships at an early age—searching for approval. They are more than eager to act like ‘adults’…and do things adults do. By the world’s standards, for this generation, ‘waiting’ has turned into ‘being careful’.
In marriage—it can take a long time for anyone to become a person who truly puts another’s needs before their own. People are disillusioned over the selfishness of their mate and don’t have the willingness to ‘wait’ for their love to mature. If their own needs are not being met—they easily feel justified in tossing out their vows, claiming irreconcilable differences…which many times boils down to the fact that a hasty decision to marry produced a volatile situation.
In the past, people often didn’t have any ‘say’ at all in who they would be married to. The decision was made by parents or a ‘matchmaker’. People might have become married to someone they didn’t even know—but in time, many found ways to work through their differences and learn to love each other.
The reason you became depressed or addicted could probably be traced in some way to not being willing to ‘wait’, if you think about it. With so much pain and heartache resulting from an inability to ‘wait’, it’s hard to imagine associating the idea of ‘waiting’ with anything positive. Most of us may have equated ‘waiting’ on the same scale as ‘God’, before we knew Him. We figured being right with God would be like having to ‘wait’ for things—so, we rejected both concepts.
Not being willing to ‘wait’ and not trusting God to have a good plan for you got you into a lot of trouble in the past. The good news is—you can change. God is able to assist you in learning new skills that will help you do better in the future. The words, ‘righteous’ and ‘peaceful’ may not characterize your life right now, but that doesn’t mean they never will.
Declaration: I will find new strength by daily surrendering my will to God. I will stop living by impulse and give God the respect He deserves by asking Him to show me His way. I will reap a harvest of righteousness and peace as I learn to ‘wait’.
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All NEW STRENGTH posts are Copyright by Christina Cook Lee 2012. Please request permission to re-post or re-blog.