Skip the wait?

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I’m a recovering VIP (Very Impatient Person).  I like to jokingly tell people how the Holy Spirit accidentally gave my patience to someone else when he was passing out all His fruits.  ;-)

So, as you can imagine, I was not particularly overjoyed to find myself recently facing a rather long wait at our local drivers’ services center.  

I’d already signed in at the “welcome” kiosk and been there a while when I noticed an advertisement over a different set kiosks that said, Skip the Wait, Renew Here.  My own heart skipped a beat with excitement, but then I remembered.  The letter I’d received from the Department of Safety said that I had to get a new picture taken, and that wasn’t something that could be done at those special kiosks. Ugh.

After reading emails and scrolling through the social media apps on my phone, I then checked the screen (for like the umpteenth time) for my ticket number, again noting its order in the queue. Absolutely determined to do something productive, I hopped up from my seat to retrieve a book from my car.

After I returned with my book, the time began to pass quickly as I read about one of my favorite heroes of the Old Testament, King David.  His life is so fascinating – filled with highs and lows, victories and defeats, friendship and betrayal, all intermingled with David’s beautiful love of God and his epic gift for writing the most exquisitely expressive poetry.

A significant detail we tend to overlook in King David’s life is the amount of waiting he experienced.  It’s easy to focus on the young and courageous shepherd boy who killed Goliath and fast forward to the well-established King David of Israel.  

But did you know that it was around 15 years after being anointed as king by the Prophet Samuel before David was actually crowned king of Judah?  For much of that time David was a fugitive on the move, running for his life from King Saul, hiding in caves, and hanging out with vagabonds and social rejects. 

Even after David had been crowned king of the tribe of Judah, it would be another 7 years before he was declared king over ALL of Israel.  That’s a sum total of 22 years of waiting – waiting on something God had ALREADY promised him. 

This life on the run looked nothing like the life God had promised David, however, if we look more closely at the events from 1 Samuel 17 – 2 Samuel 5, we will see that God used that time to accomplish some incredibly important work in David’s life.  

David was learning to more deeply rely on God in both success and failure.  He was learning compassion and hope in the midst of hopeless circumstances.  He was learning extreme leadership skills and military prowess.  He was developing a following and an inner circle, some of whom would be part of his royal court and future army command.  We can see that what happened in the waiting time would actually ensure David’s future success.

Those 22 years of delays and detours must often have seemed to David like the death of his dreams, but his response to the waiting determined his destiny.

Like David, we have a choice about how we handle the wait times in our lives.  We can distract ourselves.  We can grumble and complain.  We can look at others who seem to be advancing and get jealous or angry.  We can strive and stress and storm right out of the center of God’s will for our lives.

OR we can use the waiting period to connect more deeply with the Lord and those He brings to our “waiting room.” We can learn wisely, squeezing every last ounce of purpose from it.  We can radiate peace and joy because we are trusting God.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. 

Psalms 13:5-6

Think About:  Are you in a season of waiting?  How might God want you to trust him during this time?   

Pray:  Father, I confess my impatience, please forgive me and cleanse me of it.  Open my eyes to see how you are working in my waiting.  You don’t waste anything in my life, and I trust what you are doing in me and through me right now.  Help me to respond to all that you desire to accomplish.

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Jennifer Greene is passionate about inspiring and empowering believers through the study and application of God's Word.  She and her husband Jordan have two daughters and have been members of The River since 2012.  One of the many hats she currently wears is that of Discipleship & Assimilation Intern here at the River.  You can find out more about her at www.jennifergreene.org.

River Community Church