I’m not sure when it happened, maybe years ago, but it seems at epidemic proportions!?! It’s everywhere: at the mall, on the roads, in restaurants, even on line, and most certainly with our computers. We hate to wait! Waiting has turned into one of the worst things that can happen. We hate to wait for a download, to wait more than a minute for our hot beverage, to wait in line, to wait for a package to be delivered, or to wait to talk to someone over the phone. It seems in our instant – microwave – ready made meals – on demand society we have been conditioned not to wait. We see no value in the wait. We want what we want and we want it NOW! I have an app on my phone that allows me to order my hot beverage so when I get to the store, it’s there waiting for me, not me waiting for it!!
Yet, there may be something in the wait. Sure, being more efficient and receiving things in a timely manner is great and needed, but there is a hidden power in the wait. The Bible puts it this way…
Proverbs 14:29 A patient man has great understanding, but a quick-tempered man displays folly.
Patience is to wait calmly, knowing there is something to be gained in the wait. In an online article entitled “The Benefits of Being a Patient Person: Good things really do come to those who wait” by Kira M. Newman, the value of waiting calmly brings good health, both mental and physical, better interpersonal relationships, and greater achievements. Newman’s article sites a study on the value of waiting well, done a few years back by Fuller Theological Seminary professor Sarah A. Schnitker and UC Davis psychology professor Robert Emmons. The study revealed the hidden value of waiting was a more satisfied life with a more hopeful outlook. Having patience also led to less depression, less negative emotions, and better coping with distress. One of the other findings was that patience is actually a skill that can be learned!
The Bible challenges us to enjoy this hidden power of patience.
Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Psalm 27:14 Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
To wait for the Lord is to place our trust in Him, leaning on His sovereignty, love, and guidance. It is a trust that He is working His will and His way in the wait.
So how then do we tap into this hidden power of waiting? One way is occupy the time with other activities (always being safe of course). It is a great time to review the day and think over our “to do” lists, lessons we are learning, and the ever-present list of blessings we have. Waiting with someone tends to pass the time but also builds relationships. I know I have spent a lot time waiting with friends on the phone or with those who have the time to wait with me. However, one of the best choices that brings us deep into the power of waiting is to spend time with God, reading the Bible, talking to God (this is called prayer). I remember one time I was waiting to get to my location on a train in Japan, I was trying to wait with someone, my wife on the phone, but she could not talk and she encouraged me take that time and talk to the Lord. It was an amazing time of interacting with God. I truly enjoyed that wait.
Instead of being frustrated this season, why not tap into the hidden power of wait. You just might find a deeper satisfaction of life and peace that surpasses understanding.
Church can be a great place to learn to find this hidden power of waiting. If you are not already connected to a church, please feel invited to ours. Our website has information about our various campuses. We would love to connect with you, especially during this Christmas season. Just check out our website, www.cypresschurch.net .
Seeking to tap into that hidden power of wait with you,