Willing to Wait
“And Patience was willing to wait.” (Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan)
The Creation story is filled to the brim with wonder. All this something from literally nothing. Awesome is not nearly descriptive enough to capture the mystery of those 7 days. The Creation story is so awesome, in fact, that we have nearly marred its beauty by over-stating its sequence while neglecting to ponder the rippling effects of this powerful majesty expressed in explosively sovereign creativity. For instance, most of us can recall that on the 4th day, God created the sun, moon, and stars. However, few of us have paused to consider that God’s creative endeavor did not cease there. Genesis 1:14-19 says:
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to…serve as signs to mark
sacred times, and days and years”…and it
was so. God made two great lights – the
greater light to govern the day and the
lesser to govern the night. He also made
the stars. God set them in the vault of the
sky to…govern the day and the night, and
to separate light from darkness.
God bequeathed, not only the emission and reflection of light from these celestial bodies, but also the rule of time. They govern the day and the night. The sun and moon measure the hours, days, months, seasons, and years that comprise what we know as the passage of time.
You see, God created Time itself. And having created Time, God rules over it with wisdom and power, delegating its turning to the governing entities He also created. No day, month, season, or year has gone by that God has not established from the beginning and ordered with His unfathomable knowledge. He commands Time; Time follows His lead. No tick has tocked without His firm approval.
This is, what I like to call, a “both/and”. It is both comforting and uncomfortable. I am comforted that He is in control. I am uncomfortable when required to submit to this design – no matter how wise I know its Creator to be - because it requires that I relinquish my control of my own Life.
Time is given meaning by what we fill it with. 2:54 PM today is no more or no less important than 11:14 PM, or 5:32 AM, or any other tick of the clock’s hands. Time is given meaning by what we bring to it, what we do with it. This is both freeing and fearsome, carrying both grace and responsibility.
Teach us to number our days rightly, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
I have the opening line of this blog posted near my kitchen sink because it strikes a chord within me that resonates deep - deep enough to shake my desire to control my life to its very root: pride.
If Time is what we make of it, then my impatience within the Time that is given to me is simply me bringing my own desire to exert control over my life (of which I cannot add a single minute). I am bored of the waiting, tired of the working while I wait, and (dare I admit it) angry that what I think is best for me isn’t happening right now. Impatience is my sinful heart’s passive expression of aggressive disapproval of God’s order for my life.
“And Patience was willing to wait.”
Waiting is not an act of patience. (Oh! If only it were that simple!) No, waiting is merely the result of me being alive while time passes.
Patience is filling the time that I must be waiting with the willingness to let God remain in control of the minutes, days, months, and seasons of my Life. Patience says, “I am not wise enough or powerful enough to command Time. My heart is content to let God do what He deems best for me. I am trusting His Timing for my Life.”
Impatience only serves to frustrate me. Like struggling to squeeze my 40 year old body into my high school jeans, I end up flailing, fretting, and frenzied simply because I am fighting a battle that I should never have started. I cannot control Time, or how God decides to work in my Life through His ordered design for the seasons of my Life. No, I was not designed to “govern the day and the night” or to “mark sacred times, and days and years” like the sun, moon, and stars.
I was designed to trust Him, and I am most myself when I am doing what I was designed to do. I have been given the opportunity to live my Life as a testimony to a God who is good, and who does good things (Psalm 119:68); a God capable of making all things beautiful in His time (Eccl. 3:11). For these reasons and so many more, I can trust Him.
I can trust Him with my minutes, my days, my seasons, and even my eternity; while simultaneously knowing that He also remembers my frailty. He remembers that Time, which He commands, also brought hard suffering for His Son when He walked this dusty Earth straight to the cruel cross (at just the right moment in Time, I might add). Repeatedly, when my flesh and my strength fail, I echo the cry of David: “How long? How long, O Lord?” I have never received a definitive timeframe in reply to my cry. Yet, somehow, God reminds my heart that He is still commanding the sun, moon, and stars - the very governors of the vaulted sky above me. He calls them by name (Psalm 147:4), allowing them to rise and shine (Job 9:7), and one day, to darken and fall (Matthew 24:29).
This majestic, all-wise, all-powerful God: my heart can trust Him...
Beginning to the End...
Genesis to Revelation...
Creation to His Coming Again.
And because I can trust this God, I can bring the willingness to wait in all the Time between.
ARTWORK BY: Lauren Garner of Willow & Stone Designs.
To see more of her beautifully creative artwork, check her out on Instagram @willowandstonedesigns .