Devotion: Chop Chop!

Romans 8:25- But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Modern English Version

Patience. Like most, I began learning it as a child. Having to wait for my mother to finish feeding my baby brother and get him to sleep before she could read to me. Later in school I waited my turn in the cafeteria, the book mobile, even for the teacher to recognize my raised hand and call on me.  

I developed greater patience when my family, from small town America, made our weekly trip to town. Inevitably, at lunch time, we’d head for Woolworth’s, a five and dime store that also had a lunch counter.

As expected, every stool would be occupied when we arrived. We’d take our place behind someone eating and wait to order the same selection every time, the tuna salad sandwich with a stack of potato chips between the quartered slices. Those eating never hurried through their meal, and those of us waiting did so with patience and civility.

Today, in our hurry up, got to have it now society, we’re put off by having to wait. Sometimes the little girl in me resurfaces and I feel like standing behind a table of diners, and under my breath whispering, “Chop, chop.”

Or nudging the department store shopper in front of me and saying, "Pay attention and comply with what the card scanner is asking," or slamming down the phone when I’ve been on hold too long.

Do you ever feel this way when you’ve waited a long time for an answer from God? I pray and pray. I read scripture and meditate. I seek counsel, and still nothing. I want to point to my watch and say, “Tick tock, Lord, I’m not getting any younger here.”

But the Bible admonishes us to wait on the Lord with patience and in faith. Abraham and Sarah anticipated the birth of Isaac until they were so old they were as good as dead. David waited many years, enduring attacks on his life, before he received the throne.  Mary seemed anxious to push Jesus into announcing His divine purpose before His time came. Many people in the Bible waited for God to make good on His promise to them.

Things haven’t changed. We sometimes still have to wait on God. He may say, “Yes,” or “No,” or “Later” to our requests. We may wring our hands and wait with little patience, but we can be assured He is working things out for our best, even if the answer is many years in coming.

Merciful God, have patience with us. We ask and expect answers right away when the solution may take time. Help us wait on You, believing You hear us and are working to answer our prayers. Amen