“Good things come to those who wait.” I’ve heard that before…many times.
In Galatians, Paul writes that the fruit of the spirit is love. Then he continues to describe what love looks like, “joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control..” (Galatians 5:22-23)
While the most common view is that Paul describes the fruit of the spirit with nine different characteristics, I’m convinced Paul was saying that the fruit of the spirit is love and then proceeds to describe aspects of love. My view has been formed by 1 Corinthians 13 (take a look).
Paul emphasizes patience in both the Galatians passage and the 1st Corinthians passage. But patience only comes through waiting. Waiting is hard.
A few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with a tumor on my pancreas. Since that time, I’ve been waiting. The doctor who found the tumor referred me to a surgeon. I had to wait several days before hearing from the surgeon. When the surgeon’s office contacted me, they said I would have to wait a few weeks before consulting with him.
In about two weeks, I will go to that appointment, and he will schedule the surgery, which, I assume, means I will be waiting, once again, anywhere from one week to a month. I guess that’s why I am a patient (small joke).
The old saying goes that good things come to those who wait. Throughout my life, I have found that statement true. I incline to jump in as quickly as I can. I want resolutions and to move on to the next thing. Those times when I have taken time to pause, pray, and think ended up much better than when I rush things.
For example, I might decide to buy something I need, but instead of rushing out and buying it, I take time to pray and think about the purchase. When I’m patient, the desire to purchase the item often leaves me. In the space between desire and decision, I realize I may not need the item as much as I think.
Sometimes even allowing a situation to set, instead of rushing in and ‘fixing’ it, brings a much better resolution. Of course, we want things fixed as soon as possible, but as the saying goes, “good things come to those who wait” or perhaps even better, “love is patient…”
The key to waiting is trust. When I rush in, I trust myself to know how to address the situation. When I rush in, I believe I know what needs to happen and how to resolve it.
When I wait, I no longer trust myself but Another. Patience states, “I believe Someone is working behind the scenes that I can’t see. Even though I don’t see progress, it is happening, just not how I might want it to.” Patience is a statement of trust. Perhaps patience is hard because trust is hard.
Faith is knowing that God is working behind the scenes even when I can’t see what I want to see. Good things come to those who wait because God works while we wait. Even when we don’t see movement or progress, God orchestrates blessings behind the scenes. God never stops working.
So, I wait.
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