A Psalm of David. My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation. Psalm 62:1 NASB
Waiting, waiting, waiting… Are you waiting for something? I am… In life, we are often waiting – for someone, for something, for somehow, somewhere, sometime… Everyday, on the road, I have to wait for the stoplight to turn green. I wait (impatiently) for the jeepneys or buses to take on passenger or let passenger get off. I wait for elevators that take too long because it stopped at almost every floor. I wait for my turn at medical procedures, I wait for the doctor’s secretary to call my name. I wait for friends to arrive when we are gathering to meet. I wait at the cashier counters.
I have to admit I am not a patient person when it comes to waiting. What do I do? I look at waze or google maps to choose the shortest / fastest route. I keep asking when my turn would come. At the banks, movie theaters or airport check-in and immigration counters, I go straight to the PWD/Senior counter to avoid waiting. But even so, I still have to wait.
What do we get from waiting? What good is waiting? How do we make waiting more pleasant and bearable?
The most obvious virtue we get from waiting is patience. Patience is one aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. The Holy Spirit enables us to be patient. Patience is not a one-time lesson. It takes so much time to learn patience. I do not learn patience in fast-food services where everything and everyone is so efficient. I learn patience in circumstances when it seems time never arrives, when the long dark tunnel is unending. I learn patience when the stoplight does not tell me how many seconds more before the light turns green.
What good is it for me to wait? (aside from learning patience?) Many times, I learn that the longer the wait, the sweeter the results of waiting. Just like children, delayed gratification is a lesson we need to learn. When I eat my favorite piece of food for last, the more delicious it tastes to me!
There was an experiment done with young children to motivate them to wait. They were given one marshmallow to eat – but were told that if they could wait for the teacher to come back, they would be given a second piece. We can learn something from watching these kids learn waiting. Some were tempted to lick the marshmallow. Some kept glancing at the door to see if the teacher is returning yet. Those who waited got something more, which made the wait worthwhile.
On the other hand, how often do I miss out on God’s best because I do not want to wait! I tried doing things quickly only to find out that the results did not come faster or better. I cannot count the times when I changed check-out counters at the supermarket only to see that the previous counter checked out faster than the one I moved to. Same with the immigration counters… It just seemed easier to be doing something instead of idly waiting for something to happen.
How do I make the wait more bearable? I think about the result – the possible result, the hopeful result of my waiting. In the meantime, while waiting, I occupy my time to have a joyful mindset. It is a determined, defiant nevertheless attitude. I count my blessings and maintain a heart of thanks and contentment. I make the waiting time worthwhile – doing something productive and not waste the time being grouchy, unhappy, impatient, stressed over things, people and events that I have no control over.
It does not help to be impatient while waiting. When I am impatient at doctor’s clinic, will it make my wait shorter? If I keep pressing the elevator button, will the elevator arrive faster? When I am impatient with the jeepney drivers on the road or the passengers getting off/on their ride, will it make them move faster? Perhaps if I honked my horn louder and longer? How about if I put myself in their shoes? What if I were to earn a living from the fare of each passenger that rides on my jeep? What if I were the tired worker taking a ride home after a long day at work?
Waiting.. waiting.. waiting… Patience, patience, patience… 1 marshmallow.. 2 marshmallows.. yummy marshmallows… Joyful waiting, grateful waiting, hopeful waiting… My soul waits in silence for God only.
Are you waiting too, my friend? Be not discouraged. Fret not. Draw comfort from God’s Word.
Isaiah 40:28-31 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
28 Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.
29 He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.
30 Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
31 Yet those who [a]wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
a. Isaiah 40:31 Or hope in