September 22, 2003 • By Ed Wrather
But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. - 2 Peter 3:7-9.
Today is the 18th day that I have been home from the hospital. I have treasured each one of the days I have been blessed to be at home. In the sense of the passing of time in my mind just one day in the hospital was longer than all my 18 days at home. Have you noticed how when unpleasant things are happening in our lives that time begins to slow down to a crawl? Instead of thinking about what will happen next week, next month or next year we begin to think about the next few minutes or possibly the next day. When you are not having fun, time seems to crawl by. When you are not having fun but just enduring another minute, another hour, another day it is a painful way to live your life. It is hard to wait out those times of pain. It is hard to have patience that someday there will be a change.
Wait or waiting is a popular word in the Bible with 147 occurrences. Here are some encouraging verses with waiting as their theme:
Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the LORD! - Psalm 27:14.
I waited patiently for the LORD; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry. - Psalm 40:1.
Perhaps the most encouraging verse about waiting in the Bible is Isaiah 40:31: “But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.”
How can we have the patience to wait? Only through the power of God. Patience (or longsuffering) is in the list of the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. Therefore, supernatural patience to wait comes by the power of God. I’ve always hesitated to pray for patience because of fear of the learning process. However, when we are in the waiting mode and the minutes have become days, and the hours weeks it most likely is a good time to pray for God to give you this fruit of the Spirit called “patience.” If we wait, God will “renew” our “strength.”
God’s time is usually not the same as our time. Our days are micro microseconds to the eternal God. We pray for God to move, to do something to make this waiting come to an end. God knows where we are. He knows what we are going through. But His timing is the best. If we will wait for Him then not only will the crawling of time come to an end but we will find our strength renewed and “mount up with wings like eagles.” We “shall run and not be weary.” We “shall walk and not faint.”
Whatever the situation let us remember with the Psalmist, “This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24).”