Through faith and patience they inherited the promises.
Which of those two virtues do you struggle with more, faith or patience?
For me it's definitely patience. It's easier for me to trust God's promises than it is to trust God's process. I hate to wait. But I'm challenged by the words of Pastor John Piper, "patience is faith in God's timing."
While God's clock and calendar does not parallel mine, I have to trust that fast is not always best. God has an appointed time. A kairos time. Kairos is a Greek word for "opportune or perfect time." To get what I'm waiting for any sooner would be a mistake.
I'm learning a lot about patience these days. To be a writer is to be a waiter. Nothing moves quickly in the world of publishing, (not even rejection letters). It reminds me of the scene in Zootopia where the DMV is run by sloths. The rabbit is in a hurry but the sloth behind the desk is slowwwwww. Now I'm not saying publishers are sloths but the industry as a whole moves slower than I'm used to. Now admittedly it could be worse, it could be like the medieval period where every manuscript had to be hand written (talk about writers cramp). I just find it so hard to wait. I know my book will be out in April, 2018 but it seems so far away. I want to walk into a store and see it on the shelf now.
It reminds me of when we found out my wife was pregnant with our first son. I had no problem believing he was in there (all of the morning sickness made that obvious) but I couldn't wait to see him. Nine months seemed too long. I couldn't wait to see him, hold him, hear his little voice. Once he was born and I realized how much work babies are I realized nine months really wasn't that long. Perhaps we could just leave him in there until after the diapers and temper tantrums phase. My wife strongly vetoes that idea.
As Christians, we all have promises we are waiting for. It's often hard to wait for someday to become today. We need to keep in mind that waiting time is not waisted time. God is preparing us for the promise. Just like a mom's body undergoes changes to prepare for the baby, so God transforms us so that we are ready for our heavenly inheritance.
During this waiting time He is developing within us humility, integrity, perseverance and patience.
Perhaps what God gives us while we wait is even more important than what we are waiting for. Perhaps God is more concerned with the person we become than the promises we receive.
In Bethel's worship song "Take Courage" they sing,
"So take courage my heart
Stay steadfast my soul
He's in the waiting
He's in the waiting."
I find it comforting that God waits with us. He's not standing next to our promise waiting for us to catch up. He's present as we wait for our presents.
Now all I need to do is hurry up and get this patience thing nailed down.