Few of us have the means (or celebrity status) to live in a state of perpetual instant gratification. For we “normal folk,” wanting is inextricably linked to waiting. The length of the wait may vary, but there are very few things we want that we don’t also have to wait for. Wanting means waiting. We wait because we want. Whether it’s the time it takes for the cupcakes to cool so I can ice (and then eat) them, the time it takes for the elevator I missed to come back to my floor, the time I spend waiting for my delayed flight to take off so I can finally start this vacation, or the time it takes to see a deep-seeded dream realized, I must wait for what I want.
By nature, I am not a patient person. I can’t even walk slowly when I don’t want to go where I’m going. Far too often in my life I have allowed my impatience to compel me. Thankfully I am learning that whatever God wants me to have is worth the wait. And more than that, the wait is worth something. The process of blindly trusting — the act of having peace and reassurance without knowing or seeing when or from where my hopes or dreams will come — has value. In fact, sometimes the waiting is worth more than whatever I’m waiting for. So much can be learned in the silence and darkness that resides between a desire and its realization. For in my seasons of anticipation, I have seen increases in the worth and weight of my faith. When I have learned contentment in the face of sustained disappointment, I have seen the currency of my trust in God appreciate.
Few things of great value are fleeting opportunities; more often than not (at least in my life) they are the culmination of a season of waiting and working, strengthening and growing, observing and learning. God has never allowed His vision for me to race beyond my reach. He is patient and kind, and so He waits. He nurtures. He loves. And (ever calling me by my name) He waits.
For most things of great value, the longer they are allowed to develop and ripen on their metaphorical tree, the sweeter the pleasure they produce when tasted. When my desire to have this or that “right now” causes me to reach for it before it has attained its perfect peak, I often end up with a lesser version of what I could have had in time. I don’t want life’s sour strawberries or green bananas, and so I am finding it necessary to daily remind myself: Be patient. Just wait.
Patient anticipation — that is what I am aiming for. To be able to want something while remaining satisfied within the wait — that is my hope.