If you know me, then you know how much I like to get stuff done. Some say this is a positive thing, and others, well… just pray for my family! I’ve been reading a bit about patience and impatience recently and the Merriam-Webster definition of the term ‘impatient’ is:
not willing to wait for something or someone: not patient
wanting or eager to do something without waiting
showing that you do not want to wait: showing a lack of patience
Contrast this with two passages of scripture – Joshua 6:10 and Luke 1:80. The first is when Joshua is giving the army the instructions for defeating Jericho – you know the story, march around the city for six days, then, on the seventh day go round seven times and then don’t hold back on the noise – and the other is about John the Baptist growing up in the wilderness before entering his ministry.
But Joshua commanded the people, “You shall not shout or make your voice heard, neither shall any word go out of your mouth, until the day I tell you to shout. Then you shall shout.”
Joshua 6:10 (ESV)
And the child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the wilderness until the day of his public appearance to Israel. Luke 1:80 (ESV)
Notice the similarities? Until the day… there were instructions, there was waiting, there was a seeming delay, until the day. Until the day when the walls fell down. Until the day when John was allowed to be with other people. Until the day the finances come through… Until the day when you meet ‘the one’... Until the day that the prayer is answered… It’s no surprise that our culture of instant gratification and the immediacy of technology makes our society so impatient, but there’s something about waiting ‘until the day’ that God can use for our growth and His glory.
There is a time for each and every purpose and plan that God has. It can be easy at times to think that God is not active or doesn’t see / care about a particular desire or hope. But He is working all things for good even as we’re on this side of ‘until the day’.
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:8-9 (NIV)