I was wrapping up half-a-day’s work and trying to remember what ulam I ordered for lunch, while she was winding down at midnight, catching up on Pinoy tunes over at TambayMusic. Thanks to Yahoo! Messenger, the 12-hour time difference didn’t matter. And from half a world away, ‘Polaris’, a good friend from college who now lives in Maryland, managed to stop me in my tracks so I could ponder the powerful truth of waiting on the Lord.
She shared the article, Battling the Unbelief of Impatience by John Piper. Here’s an excerpt:
In God’s Place, at God’s Pace
Impatience is a form of unbelief. It’s what we begin to feel when we start to doubt the wisdom of God’s timing or the goodness of his guidance. It springs up in our hearts when the road to success gets muddy or strewn with boulders or blocked by some fallen tree. The battle with impatience can be a little skirmish over a long wait in a checkout lane. Or it can be a major combat over a handicap or disease or circumstance that knocks out half your dreams.
The opposite of impatience is not a glib, superficial denial of frustration. The opposite of impatience is a deepening, ripening, peaceful willingness either to wait for God where you are in the place of obedience, or to persevere at the pace he allows on the road of obedience—to wait in his place, or to go at his pace.
The Battle Against Unbelief
When the way you planned to run your day, or the way you planned to live your life is cut off or slowed down, the unbelief of impatience tempts you in two directions, depending partly on your personality partly on circumstances:
- On the one side, it tempts you to give up, bail out. If there’s going to be frustration and opposition and difficulty, then I’ll just forget it. I won’t keep this job, or take this challenge, rear this child, or stay in this marriage, or live this life. That’s one way the unbelief of impatience tempts you. Give up.
- On the other side, impatience tempts you to make rash counter moves against the obstacles in your way. It tempts you to be impetuous or hasty or impulsive or reckless. If you don’t turn your car around and go home, you rush into some ill-advised detour to try to beat the system.
I’ve never thought of impatience as unbelief. But now I am convinced that Piper is right! And I am guilty of it. In my life I have succumbed to both temptations that impatience brings as described by Piper. Sometimes I catch myself thinking and saying that I am waiting on the Lord, and yet my actions belie that claim. The ugly truth is, when God doesn’t seem to pull through for me, I fidget more than I keep still in his presence. I bite my fingernails more than I meditate on his Word. I plan escape routes instead of surrendering to him… anything but wait on the Lord!
Now this begs the question: How does one truly wait on the Lord? I’ll let Piper finish what he started. Read the full article here.
Thanks, Polaris! 🙂