If you are anything like me, waiting is a problem. I can cope with short waits (traffic lights, adverts on YouTube etc.), but longer waits become more of an issue.
A friend of mine was trying to book a Doctor's appointment this morning, and she was sharing how worrying the wait was. An ailment that was worrying enough felt far worse because of the long wait.
The Bible is full of stories of people having to wait. One of the clearest of these is the story of Abram, Hagar and Ishmael (Genesis xvi.). In the story, Abram (by now an old man) had been promised a son and heir by God, but twenty-five years on the son had not materialised. In desperation, and having a certain amount of mistrust in God's promise, Abram decides to take matters into his own hands and, with the encouragement of Sarai his wife, lies with Hagar the servant. The child Ishmael is born.
You would think that to be the end of the story. But in many ways this was only the beginning. Having taken matters into his own hands, Abram's plan backfires. Hagar causes a problem, and she and the child are banished into the wilderness.
For me, this Bible account encourages us to wait, to trust in God's promises and not think we can speed the process up by taking matters into our own hands or 'going over His head'. The Scriptures are a constant source of encouragement and promises, but the promises require us to have faith and trust in God.
Perhaps you are waiting for something, perhaps you've been waiting for a long time, perhaps parts of the Bible seem unbelievable - but the Bible encourages us to continue trusting nonetheless. As the old Gospel song goes:
'Trust and obey,
for there's no other way
to be happy in Jesus,
but to trust and obey.'
Prayer (from an old hymn about the promises of God)
"Fear not, I am with you, O be not dismayed;
for I am your God, and will still give you aid;
I'll strengthen you, help you, and cause you to stand,
upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.
When through the deep waters I call you to go,
the rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
for I will be with you, your troubles to bless,
and sanctify to you your deepest distress.
The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
He will not, He will not desert to his foes;
that soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake."