(Psalms 27:14 KJV) Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.
There are probably not many words that will cause one to think soberly as quickly as the word “wait.” Mankind was born impatient and therefore learning patience calls for a character change which in turn causes him to even be more impatient.
I suppose the real question is…what is patience? Is patience really a character change or is it discipline? I have looked at my own life in regards to this question and I am still not sure.
All I know is that when I sit in an airplane on the tarmac for an hour I am well aware of my thoughts. This is particularly true when the captain comes on the intercom thanking me for my patience when in fact I am not patient at all, I am only disciplined. Just because one does not react does not necessarily mean that he is patient. Sometimes I even wonder if discipline is not another word for patience, as patience seems to be the twin brother of “wait.”
The next question…is there a difference between waiting on the Lord and waiting on another person? I believe there is a big difference between the two.
Waiting on the Lord seems to be two-fold because it not only builds one’s character through patience…it also seems to precede the Lord’s blessing. This is confirmed in Isaiah 40:31 KJV “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” In other words waiting on the Lord is always rewarding.
Even though waiting on another person may show one’s good character it does not necessarily mean it is rewarding. A good example of that is if one has a appointment with a friend and the friend does not show up until . That shows one’s patience and good character in waiting, but it is not necessarily rewarding. The reason for that is the “late” person does not value the meeting in the same way as the “on time” person does…therefore it is not rewarding. This is called “forced” patience, which is no real indication of true patience at all…it is only discipline and an act of kindness.
Recently a fifty-nine year old man left his wife to go and (as he said) find himself. No one knows if he is coming back home to his wife again even though he says he still loves her. The wife said, “Waiting on him to make that decision is the hard part.”
In this case the wife’s “waiting” on her husband to make the right decision is wasted time. She must apply the Isaiah 40:31 scripture and “…wait upon the LORD… and mount up with wings as eagles…and not be weary… and not faint.” “Waiting” on the Lord is the only answer for the believer.
We seem to know so little about “waiting,” patience and discipline. Mature us so we will do better and fail less. Help us to be a better example to others who are struggling in the same areas, and above all teach us how to “wait upon the Lord.”