I am probably the most impatient person I know. When I order something online, I want it to be delivered that day. If I have to wait for more than one minute in the drive through for them to ask me for my order, I begin to get irritated. And don’t even think about pausing when the light turns green, this isn’t driving ,this is racing,” punch it man, whatareyawaitin on!?”
Believe it or not I’ve come a long way. I hardly use my horn anymore, I’ve learned that it’s not worth $23.45 to have something shipped next day, and I have found that sometimes the person taking my order at the drive through is actually manning three stations at once because some loaf decided they didn’t “feel” like coming to work that day.
Do you have a hard time waiting? Or are you the model of patience. God bless you if you are, but I am not.
Paul Tripp is a pastor at Tenth Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, PA. He is also the director of Paul Tripp Ministries(go figure). I first heard about Paul at a Desiring God Pastor’s Conference back in 2008. I picked up a book that he wrote on parenting and walked around with it for close to an hour, debating on whether or not to buy it (I chickened out). Not long after, I saw an interview with him and then began reading his articles online. I never did buy that parenting book, but I have resolved that my next purchase was going to be this book of his.
OK. Enough rambling.
Here is an excerpt from an article he wrote yesterday at the Desiring God blog on Spiritual Muscles:
When God asks you to wait, what happens to your spiritual muscles? While you wait, do your spiritual muscles grow bigger and stronger or do they grow flaccid and atrophied? Waiting for the Lord isn’t about God forgetting you, forsaking you, or being unfaithful to his promises. It’s actually God giving you time to consider his glory and to grow stronger in faith. Remember, waiting isn’t just about what you are hoping for at the end of the wait, but also about what you will become as you wait.
Waiting always presents me with a spiritual choice-point. Will I allow myself to question God’s goodness and progressively grow weaker in faith, or will I embrace the opportunity of faith that God is giving me and build my spiritual muscles? (see Psalm 27:4)
It’s so easy to question your belief system when you are not sure what God is doing. It’s so easy to give way to doubt when you are being called to wait. It’s so easy to forsake good habits and to take up habits of unfaith that weaken the muscles of the heart. Let me suggest some habits of unfaith that cause waiting to be a time of increasing weakness rather than of building strength. These are bad habits that all of us are tempted to give way to.
What is God revealing to you through your periods of waiting. For me, He is revealing my immaturity and my insecurity. May you be encouraged to be actively wait upon the Lord and allow Him to strengthen your spiritual muscles!