That Feeling 😰
You know that feeling where your heart sinks to the floor and your chest tightens like someone is bearhugging you? Call it anxiety. I'm intimate with these symptoms and they are often associated with my struggle with impatience. By nature, I am impatient, worrying about things beyond my control and longing for instant gratification when gratification takes time to develop. Maybe you're like me and despise waiting. Maybe you're waiting for the job promotion that you've been working towards for 18 months. Maybe you're single and waiting for the right person to enter your life. Maybe you're a self-made entrepreneur waiting for your business to finally take off.
How we deal with "That Feeling"
Whatever your circumstance is, no matter how trivial or serious it may be, when we want something we can't have instantly, we cope; in healthy ways or unhealthy ways. We cope by binging social media or a tv series. We cope by overworking ourselves, usually rooted in angry ambition, and ignore the bids of connection our friends/family ask of us. We cope by saying "we're focusing on ourselves" and using that as a reason to be 100% self-reliant and selfish. Deep down, no matter how we cope, we are suffering, finding a way to push past the anxious fear of the unknown.
God Gives us Answers 🙏🏽
As I am Christian Tech Bro, it only makes sense to turn to biblical wisdom to provide some clarity on how to move forward when our impatience is killing us. James 5:7-8 tells us this "Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord's coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord's coming is near". I've never been a farmer, nor will I ever become one but I understand this analogy. A farmer can prune and plant all he wants, but they are still dependent on the seasonal blessings that only God provides.
Furthermore, verses 10 & 11 say this: " Brothers and sisters, as an example of patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord. As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy"
Notice how this is also not a "stand around and twiddle your thumbs" approach, but an active approach by standing firm and persevering. Let's look at how James uses perseverance and compares it to Job. Job was a man who was considered righteous and had a great family and wealth. When a man is financially wealthy, of high character, and has a loving family, what more could you ask for?
Ironically, God had other plans. God permitted Job to lose everything he had, allowing Job's faith to be tested. Initially, Job responds well and understands that God gives and takes as he pleases because he is GOD (perseverance); however, as the story develops, Job begins to question God calling him unjust and challenging him. At the end of the story, when God reveals himself to Job, answering the challenge, God says one of the wittiest things ever: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand." 🎤 drop.
Where were we? 🗺️
Where were we when God was creating the world? Definitely not telling God to name a tree "tree". Only God is all-knowing, no matter how much we think we know or think we can control. We were not there at the beginning, nor are we permitting all things in this world to exist, so we must rest in the fact that God is a good God. He is not a vicious God withholding answers or gifts to us, but he decides to give on his timing, not ours.
Trust me...waiting is hard, but it is inevitable. We must wait and wait and wait until God decides to execute his plan in whatever it is we're waiting for. We also have to remember, God's understanding of time is not the same as our, as 2 Peter 3:8-9 states "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness."
For anyone currently struggling with impatience (me every week), I challenge you to continue waiting and persevering. God is not slow in keeping his promise to you. He has plans to deliver you from things that are taking away from your joy in him!