Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Waiting Is the Hardest Part

When God said, "Don't eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," do you think he intended to keep humans in ignorance for eternity? In light of 1 Corinthians 13:12, I believe the correct answer is no. Eventually, had Adam and Eve not eaten the forbidden fruit (at least if you believe it wasn't a foregone conclusion that they would), I think God would have invited them to partake of everything he had, but all things must wait until their time.

For many years, Abram and Sarai, who became Abraham and Sarah, were folk indistinguishable from any others alive in their day, but stirred by encounters with the living God, they became people of incredible faith. During the process of that growth, they kept the faith and held out for the promise of God for a long time against astounding odds. At some point in time, however, anticipation fatigue set in and they became impatient. The result was Ishmael and endless blood and warfare. God wasn't holding out on them, they just needed to hold on until it was time. Isaac became their laughter of joy soon enough, but their impatience left a mark time hasn't erased to this very day.

Saul, had nothing going on. His complete lack of extraordinariness literally stood head and shoulders above the rest of Israel. Out of the blue, God raised him to a perch he never could have ascended to himself. One would think God asking him to wait for a sacrifice until his prophet, Samuel, showed up wasn't asking all that much, but Saul couldn't restrain himself against the expectation (and fear). How sad for him and his entire family.

Seldom does our impatience portend the same disasters that these three examples did, but it can. The one who can't wait for the Lord, ends up the drug addict, the gambler, the fornicator, the willful, the false. What does waiting cost: hunger, boredom, anxiety, seeming a loser? The easiest thing to do is cash in your chips and follow the expedited, humanly conceived path to gettin' 'er done. The problem is that those chips were the promise of God, and you may well not get them back if you didn't have the foresight to hold on to them. There are many difficulties on the path of faith, the waiting may be the hardest part.