It’s a decent question, really. In today’s world, especially. Why wait? There’s really no reason for it anymore, right? It seems that waiting is quickly becoming a thing of the past, and our culture is obsessed with eliminating it altogether.
Take a look at new developments at Amazon: Just when I thought my life couldn’t get any better than having Amazon Prime 2-Day-Shipping, it’s old news. Now, we’re on to SAME-DAY-DELIVERY–on SUNDAYS to boot! I’m left both mind-boggled by this–googling “drones” and wondering what kind of contraption makes this even possible–and mesmerized by the idea of never leaving my house again with littles in the middle of a harsh Nebraska winter. Somebody pinch me.
Amazon’s tagline for their new program seems to sum up this cultural obsession: “NO PATIENCE REQUIRED.” Isn’t that the dream, folks? Never having to wait for anything? What a world that would be–a world devoid of the stress, anxiety, inconvenience, tears, and general discomfort that waiting creates. Sounds a little bit like heaven, doesn’t it?
In fact, it does sound like Heaven–a lot like Heaven–the REAL Eternal Life that God has created us for. Heaven is more than golfing all the time and chocolate cake whenever we want. What’s waiting for us there is complete, immediate, constant fulfillment of all of our desires–desires that sometimes we don’t even know exist in our hearts while we’re here on earth. Take that Same-Day Shipping!
So what, then is the reason for–and the value in–waiting? If we were created for something so opposite of it, why does God allow us to ever want for anything here on earth? Why do we need to learn to be patient? Why do we have to grow in virtue? Why does He allow the suffering of waiting–of not knowing–in our lives?
These big questions have many answers, and no easy ones. One thing that I think is clear, however, is this: Waiting forces us to realize that we’re not in charge. And that’s a good thing for our prideful, self-reliant hearts. When we’re waiting on a job offer, or a baby to be born, or our order to come at a restaurant, or another person to change (or our selves to change!), the only way to get through it peacefully is to admit that we have no control over the situation. In those moments, we have to come to grips with the fact that it’s God who’s in charge and not us.
When we really accept His sovereignty, we are learn to truly surrender to Him. We become closer to being the creations He made us to be, so that we can eventually inhabit the place He has created for us. The prerequisite to enjoy Heaven’s constant fulfillment is trust in He Who Fulfills.
So, help us to wait well, Lord. Help us to humble ourselves and confess that You are in charge of all things and that You alone are worthy of our trust. May we learn to rely fully on you so that we can become who you made us to be–citizens of your Heavenly Kingdom for all eternity.
Katie is a former “over-achiever” and a recovering “go-getter” who now spends her SAHM days mostly going to get groceries and clean diapers. After dropping out of law school to become “just a wife,” she married her college crush, and together they have a little girl and another baby on the way.