Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Cost of Impatience

I have been working on memorizing Psalm 25 - and my favorite part is "For thou art the God of my salvation, on Thee do I wait all the day."  That God provides our salvation is the most basic message of the Bible, and it's what I hang on to most tightly.  However - that next part, about waiting all the day, well, I have a little more trouble with that.

God works in His own time.  Sometimes I don't like that.  No, I can safely say, most of the time God does not work as quickly as I'd like Him to.  I know God's timing is absolutely perfect, and I trust His judgment.  My head knows that, and my heart knows that.  But in a functional sense, I just can't seem to practice waiting with any amount of patience.

The Bible is full of people just like me - people who somehow think God needs their help in order to bring about His promises at the right time.  In Genesis (16) Abraham and Sarah could not wait on God for the child He promised; as a result of their impatience, they created conflicts that still persist today.  Esau couldn't wait for, of all things, a bowl of stew.  He lost his birthright as a result (Genesis 25) and his family was split apart.  King Saul, in 1 Samuel 13, decided he could no longer wait for Samuel to present the offering to God, so he did it himself - expressly prohibited by God.  Yikes.  That one hasty decision was the beginning of the end for Saul.   Each of these decisions brought about permanent and serious consequences, and none of them was an improvement on God's plan.

I could write a few blog posts about my own impatience, and what it has cost me and others over the years.  If I had a dollar for every time I wished I'd thought about a decision a little longer, I'd be out shopping now.  Thank God for the Holy Spirit, whose still small voice whispers to me, "Why don't you sleep on that and see how you feel about it tomorrow?"  Each time I listen to Him, it's been good counsel, and the voice is a little louder next time.  Perhaps, one step at a time, there is hope for me to develop the patience God has in mind.

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