We couldn't find what you are looking for. Try searching for something else.
God isn’t late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change. - 2 Peter 3:9 (MSG)
Our culture seems to be training us for instant gratification.
Have you noticed when you talk about something, related advertisements show up on your social media feeds?
I tried an experiment. I closed all the apps on my phone and decided to talk about something I would normally never say: Home Depot. (Now, don’t get me wrong—I love that Home Depot is out there, and I reap huge rewards from my husband’s handiness around the house. The fact remains, though, that I enjoy going there about as much as he enjoys taking one of our kids shopping for clothes.)
Then, I reopened my social media and instantly saw ads for Home Depot!
I can shop online, and with one click, items are delivered on my doorstep just two days later. While I am grateful that back-to-school shopping can now be done in my pajamas, it certainly has not done anything to cultivate a mindset of patience in my life.
I catch myself purchasing items that I don't really need or purchasing out of pure convenience instead of waiting and probably making a better decision later. I guess those online marketing gurus have got me figured out.
If I am honest with myself, the problem is not really my online shopping habits—it’s when I transfer that mindset to the rest of my life and think others should meet my expectations instantly. Wisdom takes time to process decisions and gives others the grace to do the same. Good decisions or changes are rarely made instantly. God has been so patient with me in my stubbornness and even disobedience, and He asks me to do the same for others.
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. - Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
One of my children is pretty much a minimalist, which is a pleasantly surprising character trait for a teenager. None of us are perfect, though, and we all have our struggles. Her struggle happens to involve shoes—lots of shoes—lots of nice shoes.
I never saw the wisdom in buying expensive shoes or clothing items for someone who was going to outgrow them by the next month, so we told her that she should wait to have nicer shoes until she could keep them into adulthood. It seems like sound logic to me, but trying to explain that to a middle schooler who really wants a pair of Chacos can test your patience a bit. She’s mostly reasonable, though, and eventually she understood.
This worked out well for me until her feet actually stopped growing, and I felt my plan start to backfire. To her credit, she has acquired her current shoe collection in a variety of creative ways: receiving them as birthday presents from grandparents and Christmas presents from us, informing us of hard-to-resist sales (with her knack for persuasive speech), and even purchasing them herself.
The reward for her patience is that, now, she can continue to enjoy all her shoes instead of just being left with a picture of her adolescent self wearing her once-favorite shoes that would have fit for all of a week and a half.
Isn’t that how God is with us? We rarely understand what God is doing at the time, but we can often look back and see that waiting, although difficult, brought us to a much better place than we could have imagined. If you are growing weary in your waiting, remember that God promises us He has the outcome in His hands. Don’t give up.
...we went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. - Psalms 66:12 (NIV)
Have you ever seen someone firewalk on hot coals? This does not sound like my idea of fun, but apparently, people do this willingly. I could bore you with a bunch of big words and facts about thermodynamics, but basically, the key is to walk quickly so that your feet do not have time to burn.
We often treat the struggles in our life like a firewalk. We just want to get past it so we don’t get burned. But, if that’s the case, what will we learn in the process? When we are in hard seasons, whether as a bystander or of our own doing, we want God to change what is going on around us. We want to grow quickly and become more disciplined in the area that caused the trouble. Even in our own growth, we are in a hurry!
God has been showing me that sometimes, delayed gratification looks like standing in the fire for a while so HE can purify me. If I try to run through in my own strength and at my own pace, what have I learned? How have I allowed Him to change me? What have I done that required His strength, not just my own?
He promises us over and over again in His Word that when we look to Him, we will come out on the other side looking more like Him—rich in the things of the Spirit.
If you feel like you’re stuck in the fire right now, is there an area in your life where God is trying to get your attention? Not as a punishment, but as a means of sanctification and growing to be more like Jesus.
Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. - Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)
When we think of delayed gratification, we typically think of resisting something we want now in exchange for something better that we want later.
What if the discipline of delayed gratification isn’t always about waiting for what we want? What if it’s about resisting something we want now so we can receive what the Lord has for us instead? The problem with us deciding what’s best is that we don’t have the same view as God. He sees things we can’t—things around us now and things yet to come.
What if the turmoil in your current waiting is the way to prepare you for something better than you can imagine? It’s so easy to lose sight of what the Lord is doing when we are struggling. Have you ever felt like David in Psalm 13:1? How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
One of the most difficult times in my life was during our struggle with infertility. I didn’t understand what God was doing, and I had some brutally honest questions for Him. Why would He put this desire in me and then not fulfill it? Why wasn’t He answering me?
God can handle our tough questions, and sometimes us asking them is what we need for us to realize He has not abandoned us. Just a few verses later in Psalm 13:5, David says, “But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.” This was David’s prayer—not after He saw the fullness of God’s plan, but in the midst of his pain.
God has blessed us with three amazing children through birth and adoption, and now I see what He was doing. He gave me so much more than what I was asking for.
The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. - Lamentations 3:25-26 (NLT)
I am curious: By a show of hands, who out there is good at waiting? If by some chance any of you raised your hand, keep it up if you are good at waiting quietly. Now I realize I can’t see anyone’s hands through the computer, but I’m guessing none of you have your hand up anyway.
There is a reason God has to remind us to wait quietly: It is not something humans are naturally good at. Why did God even include the word “quietly” in Lamentations 3:26? My top answer is that He knew He was creating me, and I would need that adverb to rein myself in.
Sometimes, God puts situations in our lives that aren’t exactly what we had planned. Really, it’s most of the time, and thank the Lord for that because His plans are better than mine! That being said, in the midst of it, waiting quietly isn’t my first, second, or even third choice.
Lately, God has been teaching me that waiting quietly looks like surrender, and the interesting thing about surrendering to God is that He doesn’t hold us prisoner like someone who has surrendered to an opposing army. We have to willingly choose to sit at His feet and surrender day after day—once isn’t enough. That’s the waiting part… waiting for Him to do the work in us that we are unable to do ourselves, as we choose to surrender to His will over and over again.