1 How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever?
How long will you hide your face from me?
2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?
3 Look on me and answer, Lord my God.
Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
4 and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.
5 But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.
6I will sing the Lord’s praise,
for he has been good to me.
Psalm 13:1-6 NIV (New International Version)
Before I had a car, I had to depend on others to get where I needed to be. These were the most humbling and frustrating times for me. Humbling because I had to rely on somebody to get what I wanted. Frustrating because I had to rely on somebody and sometimes they did not always come on the time that I wanted them to come. Have you had similar experiences, when you had to wait on somebody or something? How did it make you feel? If you are like me, you would agree that patience can be very frustrating. The same feelings can be said when you have wait on the Lord to answer your prayers.
Waiting on the Lord is not an activity that is fun to take part in. That is because we want answers to our prayers now! We live in a culture where we want instant gratification; I call it the “Microwave Civilization”. However the Lord doesn’t work like a microwave, instead He takes His time in answering us. Also as the Lord delays in answering us, people around us who oppose what we believe criticize us for our belief. They would say things like “Where is your God that you love so much?” or “If God is with you, why doesn’t He answer you?” Nevertheless, there is a method to how the Lord operates.
God doesn’t delay because He is cruel. This is far from the truth! Consider the track record of the Lord which is seen in the Bible. When has there been a time when God has not met the needs of His people? The example of the patriarch Abraham in the book of Genesis is a great example. He had to wait until he was in his nineties before his son Isaac(who was promised by God) was born. Think about the frustration that Abraham had during this time, I can imagine he met ridicule for his trust in the Lord. So why does the Lord take so long to answer us or meet our needs?
The answer is faith. In order for our faith in God to grow stronger, He delays to meet our provision. It is like when one trains for a sporting event. An athlete does not become a superstar after one practice, it requires a great deal of time and endurance, but if they keep at it, the results are tremendous. Waiting on God strengthens our dependence on Him and when we do we become a better person for it.
There is an old saying, “Good things come to those who wait,” and when it regards to waiting on the Lord, I believe this is true. Make no mistake, the Lord wants nothing but the best for His people. His answer to our prayers will come according to His will and not our own and I will trust in His will because He knows what I need more than I know myself. This is so because He is the One who knew me before I was born. Therefore, let us ignore those who ridicule us for our patience and when those times arrive when we become frustrated in waiting, let us consider how many times God has provided before and turn our agitation to joy.