My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.
Psalm 62:5 (King James Version)
One of my favorite stories is “The Tortoise and The Hare”. Although the moral of the tale is “slow and steady wins the race”, I believe there another virtue that can be gathered from the fable: the importance of hope. The tortoise knew that he could not beat the hare with speed, but that didn’t stop him in his run to the finish line. He had hope that regardless of the results, he would finish the race; that is the reason he ran his track with patience.
Patience, in this day and age, seems to me like a virtue that no one has. We are always on the go. If there is a project that we are doing and don’t get immediate results, we give up on it and try something else. Or if we don’t get what we want from a relationship immediately, we end it and seek satisfaction elsewhere.
Why is it that patience is such a rarity? A lot of it has to do with where a person’s hope lies. For some people, hope lies in material possessions, social status, or in relationships. They hope and believe that if they get one of these things, they will experience instant happiness or satisfaction.
Often those people who hope in worldly things are terribly disappointed. Material things break down, maintaining social prestige is emotionally draining, and relationships are complicated; as a result, these people bounce to and fro from one worldly thing to the next, hoping that their needs would be met. In the end, all their effort in pursuit leaves them only hollow.
What people fail to see is that the world doesn’t work in an instant sort of way. To get great results in anything takes time and patience. A person that can understand that more than anything would be a farmer. He tills the soil, plants the seed, waters it frequently, and maintains it. The farmer knows that if he pulls the crop too soon, he would ruin all the hard work that he had put into it. Therefore, he will wait, hoping that when the time came for the crop to be harvested, it would be a boon.
What was the farmer’s hope based on? It was not for the crops themselves for they couldn’t grow on their own. Nor was it on his farming skills, although they would improve the chances of a bountiful harvest, they don’t guarantee results. What the farmer hoped for was on the One who made all life grow: the Lord God.
It is through God that we get all things, the food we eat, the water we drink, everything. Why does He give us anything; not because we earned it. It is out of His unconditional love and grace towards His creation that we receive all provisions.
So if we place our hope in God does that mean that He will give us whatever we want? Such thinking is arrogant and disrespectful of the Lord! Consider the verse from the Psalms. When we place our hope in the Lord and ask for His provision, we must wait. He knows when we need or not need something better than we do. He knows the proper time of when we are to receive the blessing; and He might even surprise us by blessing us with something we didn’t realize we needed.
God tells us to slow down and wait for His blessings. We may not get them right away, but we can be sure that we will receive them. We know this not because of who we are, but because of who He is. The Lord is trustworthy and faithful; He is the only we can really hope on. Therefore, let us practice patience, knowing that good things come to those who wait on the Lord.