“Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
The waiting process is a part of everyone’s life. From the day we are conceived until the day we pass, we all remain in a constant state of expectation and anticipation. We wait in line, in traffic and at the DR’s. We wait for that well deserved promotion and then we cant wait for retirement. Sometimes we are waiting for a spouse or for that positive pregnancy test to come back. Spiritually we can be waiting for a healing or the salvation of loved ones. We can be waiting to see the fruit of our labor while others are simply waiting for Jesus return. The list goes on and on and although waiting is not something we enjoy, it is something we endure.
I looked up the definition of waiting and was surprised to see that there are two very distinct explanations:
- to remain inactive or in a state of slumber, as until something expected happens (ex: waiting for the bus to arrive)
- to be available or in readiness: or to look forward to eagerly (ex: waiting for graduation).
As we wait we are either watching the days pass by until the thing we want happens OR we are ready and eagerly working towards a goal. You see “waiting time” does not equal “wasted time”. It is not meant to be a passive state of repose (something we have to do until we get what we want). Waiting is the process of becoming who and what God wants us to be.
What God does in us while we wait is just as important as what it is we are waiting for.
The Chinese bamboo tree is one of the most remarkable plants on earth. Once the gardener plants the seed, he will see nothing but a single shoot coming out of the bulb – for five full years! That tiny shoot, however, must have daily food and water. During the time the gardener is caring for the plant, the exterior shoot will grow less than an inch. At the end of the five years, however, the Chinese bamboo will perform an incredible feat. It will grow an amazing ninety feet tall in only ninety days. Now ask yourself this: When did the tree actually grow? During the first five years, or during the last ninety days?
The answer lies in the unseen part of the tree, the underground root system. During the first five years, the root structure spreads deep and wide in the earth, preparing to support the incredible heights the tree will eventually reach. It has been said that when God wants to grow mushrooms, He can do it overnight, but when he wants to grow a mighty oak, it takes years.
Now can you imagine if you were this gardener? Year after year of patiently waiting / working and only seeing small growth or no growth at all. Imagine the discouragement and frustration. How quickly would you have given up or thrown in the towel? Spiritually it happens all the time – If the promise doesn’t come when we feel it should; if the prayer isn’t answered in the timing we want. We get tired of waiting so we give up or worse we take matters into our own hands. We try to help out God and make things happen. What a disaster this turns out to be!
As the bamboo tree needs all the time it takes to fully grow, the waiting we experience in life has a purpose and is not in vain. While most of us are in a hurry to get to the next best or big thing, we see that God is in no hurry at all. He is just as interested in the journey as He is in the destination. The process of following Him in obedience, through all of life’s uncertainties and difficulties is a significant part of our development and preparation. God is working under the surface. He is building our character. He is working on our trust, while reminding us that HE is in control.
God’s timing is and will always be perfect. The hopes and dreams He gives us are good and we have to trust that they will happen at exactly the right time! When the days turn into months and the months into years, silence your anxious heart and remember what Habakkuk 2:3 tells us – “The vision is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming – it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.”
If we continue to patiently wait and not get discouraged we will see the rewards.
“Do not let this happy trust in the Lord die away, no matter what happens.
Remember your reward! You need to keep on patiently doing God’s will if you want Him to do for you all that He has promised.”