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The Waiting is the Hardest Part…

September 8, 2014

“The waiting is the hardest part / every day you get one more yard / you take it on faith, you take it to the heart / the waiting is the hardest part” – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Hurry up and wait… doesn’t it feel like life hands you that line on a regular basis? One of my favorite examples is the drive-up window at the local burger joint. You’re there to get “fast food,” so you order, pay, and then get told, “Its gonna be a few minutes on fries. Can you move up to the yellow line please?” I remember that same feeling when I was a kid before birthdays and Christmas morning. After being asked for a list of what I wanted, I made it out quickly, gave it to my folks, and then… had to wait for weeks and weeks until the day finally came. Oh, but what a glorious day it was!!!

We all have moments like that in our walk with Christ. His timing is most assuredly not our own. If it were, we’d be in heaven right now thanks to instant gratification! However, God doesn’t work like a microwave. He generally works like a crock-pot slow cooker, which is hard to wrap our minds around in today’s gotta-have-it-now pace of life. The thing is, waiting may be the hardest part, but it also produces much more in our lives than instantaneous satisfaction ever could. Scripture speaks to this in several places.

Isaiah 40:31 – But they who wait for 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.

Psalm 27:14 – Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!

Lamentations 3:25 – The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.

Psalm 130:5-6 – I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.

Psalm 62:5 – For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.

And, one of my favorites on this subject…

James 5:7-8 – Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

My wife is a master of the slow cooker. Of the meals we have in a month, many are recipes that must cook all day in that big black pot with the clear lid. When I get home from work, there’s usually an hour or so left before we can serve it up, and the smell is so good I can hardly stand to leave it alone! However, if I were to dig in without letting it finish cooking, the final dish would potentially go lacking (not to mention the chance for food poisoning because the meat isn’t done yet!). By waiting for it to completely finish cooking, the final product is so worth the wait.

The same can be said of our very lives. God’s timing is not ours. We live in the slow cooker of life, hopefully allowing God to finish His work in every situation, all the while hoping and wishing for a microwave style solution. Thanks be to God that He doesn’t do it our way!

Is there something you’re waiting on today? Be patient like the farmer. Be patient like the family waiting on the slow cooker to beep. Be patient, take heart, and wait on the Lord to bring it to fruition. The final product will be so worth the wait!


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