spanky waitingIt is extremely difficult for most people born in the age of information and technology (the baby boomers and those who came after), to understand or appreciate waiting.  I say this as a member of the tail end of the baby boomers. Waiting, is an annoyance and time is fleeting so we must have what we want, when we want it.  This particular motto is not new mind you, but with each successive generation that comes behind generations who toiled more, sacrificed more and received less; patience is practically non-observable.  Marketing and advertising experts know this and seize on the opportunities.  They have coined slogans such as “Why wait, when you can have it now?”, “Zero down, no payments for 18 months, get it now!”, “You only go around once, go for the gusto”, “Just do it”, “You deserve this and more”, “Fulfil the American dream, today!”  If we have to wait 15 minutes or more for a meal, doctor appointment, haircut, tag/license, phone call or an oil change we have heart failures and hissy fits.  We demand attention, service, promotions, bonuses, refunds, rewards, retribution, vengeance, restitution, NOW!  We are blessed with the capability to fly anywhere in the world in less than a day! However, if we have to wait in an airport because of a 1-hour delay, mass hysteria ensues. Thanks to companies such as Amazon, merchandise can be at our door in one day! I pity the UPS man who brings it in three. “We just don’t have the time to wait!”

                Imagine yourself in the sandals of Joseph who at a young age was sold into slavery.  Then, after God gave him success as a slave, false accusations are brought against him and he once again is in another form of slavery, prison. After some time Joseph receives an opportunity to get out of prison. He interprets the dreams of both Pharaoh’s cup bearer and baker. He says to the cup-bearer in Gen 40:14  “Only keep me in mind when it goes well with you, and please do me a kindness by mentioning me to Pharaoh and get me out of this house. Perhaps after many years of being treated so poorly, Joseph will receive freedom and some reward for his Godly behavior.  However, it would be another two years before he is released. Gen 40:23-41:1  Yet the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph, but forgot him.  (41:1)  Now it happened at the end of two full years that Pharaoh had a dream, and behold, he was standing by the Nile. From the time Joseph is thrown into the pit by his brothers to his ascension as Pharaoh’s right-hand man, roughly thirteen years had passed.  Joseph’s reward for trusting in God took years, but waiting on God, as we can see from the text, benefited Joseph greatly.

                Adam had to wait 930 years before he could be reunited with God again. Abraham had to wait 75 years before he could actually call a place his home. He had to wait until he was nearly 100 to have his own son. Jacob had to work for over twenty years before he could return to his home.  Moses was roughly 80 years old before he led the children of Israel out of Egypt.  Jacob and Caleb, who were faithful and obedient, had to wait 40 years with the lot who were not, before they received their portion of the promised land. Even the angels had to wait to see God’s plan come to fruition. 1Pe 1:12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven; things into which angels long to look.

                Some waited patiently having never received the promise Heb. 11:39-40  And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised,  (40)  because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.  Moses never got to enter the promised land.  Daniel never got to return to Jerusalem.

                It is a difficult task to teach young people the virtues of waiting on the Lord.  So often they are rewarded with “at the moment stimuli” and instant gratification from meaningless things such as clothing, food, music, etc.  If only a young married couple could understand the great rewards that lie ahead when they stick together for 30 plus years.   Sometimes it takes years to establish productive fruit from vines and trees.  It often takes the same from marriages, businesses and even children.  We sometimes become discouraged when we don’t see growth in church or in others.  How discouraged would you be if you sat and watched a tree grow each day?  I’d dare say we would be tempted to cut it down before it ever reached its glorious potential.  God knows our short-sightedness and reminds us in Gal. 6:9  Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.