So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.”
-Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)
Patience. Did you just cringe at the word as I did? No one likes the idea of waiting for something that they desire. I think as single women, we have to endure patience on a more consistent basis than others. I’m not saying that once I’m married I will never have to be patient again. I know I will have to endure this annoying waiting period over and over again in my life. Waiting to get pregnant, waiting for my husband to take out the trash (without me asking), waiting for my kids to graduate so I can have more time with my husband, waiting for my kids to get married so I can finally have grandchildren, and waiting for the Lord to come back, or to call me home. We will always have to wait for something. So why not use this single time to learn how to wait patiently? What I have begun to wonder as I walk more closely with Him is this: how can we change our attitude about waiting?
Picture yourself in a doctor’s office. Your appointment was at 9:15 and it is now 9:30 and no one has called you back yet. You think to yourself that doctors always run late, although you are slightly annoyed that 15 minutes have passed. You see the waiting room is full and as you’ve sat in your seat patiently, new patients have arrived. You sit around twiddling your thumbs and see 3 patients get called back that arrived after you. It’s now 9:45 and still nothing. Not only have you not been called back, but no one at the front desk has let you know of the delay. You start to grow very aggravated as patient after patient is called back, none of them looking as sick as you feel. You feel your blood pressure get higher and every person starts to aggravate you for no reason. At 9:50 you finally get called back. Your nurse is very nice, greets you with a smile and takes you back to your room. As the doctor comes in, he is very thorough and answers any and all questions you have—even the insanely ridiculous ones. He refills all of your prescriptions and is, quite frankly, the nicest doctor you have ever seen. So as the appointment is closing, you just ask him why you had to wait so long to see him. At that point he looks at you with a puzzled look on his face looks at his schedule to double check and says, “Ma’am, you’re appointment was at 9:50, we got you back here right on time. It’s our policy not to take patients back before their appointed time because it could mess up the workflow, and therefore the quality of your care.”
I think we get like that with God sometimes, especially in our single life. We sit in the waiting room and wait for Mr. Right. Each year we get more and more impatient. As we’re waiting, we see other women younger than us get called to the back to meet their Mr. Right. We begin to think to ourselves that it’s not fair and we got there first. You see girls get married that don’t seem to want it the way you do. We begin to feel our aggravation creep up. Each passing year we get more and more impatient and therefore, unpleasant. Just like being in the doctor’s office—the longer we wait, the less understanding we seem to become. The craziest thing is, we think we know better than God! Thankfully, His timing is ALWAYS right! So, let’s try focus on the good things that come from waiting. I know what you’re thinking… nothing! But trust me, friends, there is so much good in waiting. The following thoughts are not all my own. Some of them are things I have learned from others, and others are some I have learned through difficult times of waiting.
One benefit of waiting is anticipation. We have the gift of being able to look forward to something. Think about it, how much sweeter will the moment you walk down the aisle be while knowing how much you anticipated it beforehand? How gratifying will that be when you know how hopeful you were for the wonderful gift of marriage? If we never felt the wonderful feeling of hope and anticipation, the receiving would lose its luster. It has been said that anticipation is the greatest form of pleasure. I do believe that rings true. You will never feel that excitement of what’s to come AFTER you have received the blessing. Yes, you can remember it, but you cannot ever actually feel it again. Start seeing waiting as a gift of anticipation.
Another benefit is knowledge. I have learned the most about myself in times of waiting. God always uses a valley to teach you and to grow you in His Spirit. Those valleys in our lives are used as instruments to draw us closer to Him. Those painful waiting periods are for a purpose. Knowledge. If you’re waiting for something, it usually means you have something to learn. About yourself, about another, or about Him and the way He is working. Times of waiting allow for a certain clarity we don’t ordinarily have. It has been in those tough times where I see His revelations to me the most. Maybe it’s because my longing for something makes me seek Him more. Regardless, knowledge grows in times of struggle.
Believe it or not, waiting is security. That sounds like an oxymoron right? But it’s not! When we go through this time of singleness, we learn the most about ourselves. And, if we’re living for Him, we learn who we can be through Him and with Him. This is the time to strengthen our relationship with Jesus. As your relationship with Jesus gets stronger, you get stronger. As you get stronger through Jesus, your confidence grows. As your confidence in Christ grows, you gain security.
Let’s change our attitude of waiting today. As we are waiting for the Lord to give us our heart’s desires, let’s take delight in the anticipation. Let’s try our hardest to learn the things He wants us to learn through this time. Let’s rely on Him and trust Him so we can find our worth and security through His love. By doing this, we will learn to be content in whatever our circumstances are because in the end, we will always have Jesus. His love is the love we should desire more than any other. Let’s put our hope in Him.