Do you ever find yourself saying phrases your parents used to say? It drives me nuts because as a kid I swore I would never say those to my kids. One that I find myself saying to my son often is, “Have patience.” I’m trying to teach him at an early age one of the things I so often lack. There are certain things in life that I’m pretty good at being patient for, but there are a lot more things where I lack it. One of the hardest things to have patience for is an answer to prayer. If I needed it later, I wouldn’t be praying for it right now. I can stomp my feet, yell and do whatever to get God’s attention, but many times, it feels like instead of answering, He’s whispering back, “Have patience.” In those times, it’s best to just simply wait on the Lord and to trust His timing.
If you’ve ever read Hebrews 11, you’ve read about a lot of people who had patience and faith. When I was growing up, it was referred to as the “Hall of Faith”. Verse 13 always stood out to me. It said, “These heroes all died still clinging to their faith, not even receiving all that had been promised them” (TPT). I remember thinking, “What?!? They died being patient?” As an adult, I cling to the second part of that verse. It says, “But they saw beyond the horizon the fulfillment of their promises and gladly embraced it from afar. They all lived their lives on earth as those who belonged to another realm.” Now I ask myself, “Can I see beyond the horizon? Can I embrace God’s answers that are far away? Can I trust God and be patient long enough for Him to do things in His timing?” It’s challenging, but a lot of what faith is, is waiting and believing.
David understood this. In Psalm 40:1, he wrote, “I waited and waited and waited some more, patiently, knowing God would come through for me. Then, at last, he bent down and listened to my cry.” This verse tells me he spent a lot of nights crying as he waited on God. We like God to answer quickly and think He should every time, but having faith may mean a lot of sleepless nights waiting on Him to answer. When Jesus talked of prayer, like in the parable of the person who received a visitor at midnight (Luke 11), He told us to be relentless in our pursuit of answers. We have to keep asking, keep seeking and keep knocking. I don’t know why, but I believe God grows things in us in the process of waiting. If God has answered your cries yet, keep knocking on the door to His throne room, and have patience.