“Patience is not [merely the] ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.” (Unknown)
This is a truth that cannot be overstated. I have many times seen people give up… not on waiting as much as on maintaining a trusting and faith-filled attitude during the timeframes that God has set or determined. If there is one thing I’ve learned in the nearly 40 years that I have served God, it is that He is not into fast food or shortcuts.
Many years ago, I heard God tell me (for the 1st of many times) to be still and wait. I was frustrated with leadership over me, and stuff that was not being done the way I thought it should be. I made a decision and started to execute a departure plan. But the Holy Spirit spoke to me before I even got my bags packed! Its a longer story, but He spoke directly to my spirit and led me to a scripture, all saying -basically- sit down, shut up, stay put, and watch your attitude. I did not know it then, but this was one of many lessens to come that were to deal with my soul, my spirit, my heart. For as the Bible says, “above all things” we must “guard our hearts” (Pro 4:23). And why? For out of it are the wellsprings of life!
I believe that when we speak of attitude, we are often speaking of the heart. For “as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” (Pro 23:7) My attitude, my disposition, my demeanor, these are all crucial concerns where it comes to achieving a life of faith in the pursuit and service of God.
The Lord spoke to me once through His Word when my attitude was going south and I thought I would strike out on a new pathway. I figured I could take charge of my own destiny, and all this waiting on God to move seemed so time consuming, and even time wasting. Abraham learned the hard way, as we all will, that our self will rarely understands or accomplishes the will of God. Our own actions to do Gods work often end in total disaster. Just ask Moses.
But, if even there is not a well defined “disaster”, thats not the real issue. The real issue is more about knowing, finding, respecting, and resting in Gods will -and not striking out for accomplishments, deeds, structures, or even miracles- on my own, or in my own strength or self-sufficiency. Remember the story Jesus told us, that “many on that day will say, did we not DO many GREAT THINGS in your name?” It clearly turned out that doing “great things” was not what God was looking for, and that “great things” is a subject open to other definitions.
What was the scripture God spoke to me through? On one of other occasions, it was this: “An inheritence may be gotten hastily, at the beginning, but the end thereof will not be blessed.” (Pro 20:21) The Lord did not say I could not have my freedom. He did not say I could not do as I choose. He did not threaten to harm me if I went running from the place He had brought me to. He said “you may, but, the end thereof will not be blessed.” Consider the prodigal son story, who took his inheritence to go have a good life, and ended up envying what the pigs he tended had to eat!
I have found God’s blessing, time and time again, at the very point that I surrender my heart, and my spirit -my attitude and disposition- to Him. At that point, of breaking, of giving in and giving up, and reminding myself that God alone is my great reward; when I again am able to say in truth and sincerity, “You and your will is ALL I really need or desire in life,” I find that He smiles, and amazing blessings come forth.
“They that wait upon the Lord,” the Bible tells us, “shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings of an eagle. They shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”
Teach me Lord, teach me Lord, to wait.