By: Lauren Zawatski
Lately, God has been reminding me to wait. It’s a simple concept, something most of us have learned as we’ve grown. From the toddler stages of waiting until after dinner to have that cookie...to the adolescent waiting to finally get to high school...to the young adult frustrated with college, ready to become a part of the “real world...” to the adult, waiting to find a job or to have kids...even to the older adult who is waiting to retire, or to all believers, who eagerly await eternity with Jesus. Waiting is built into every single stage of human life.
I recently read a story, meant to make you say “Awww!” but the Lord dropped some major truth into my heart through it as well. The gist of the story is this: a man does an experiment called the “marshmallow test” with his 3-year-old granddaughter. He offers her, in this case a piece of chocolate, and tells her that if she can wait 10 minutes without eating that chocolate, he’ll give her a second piece. Ten minutes go by and the girl successfully passes the test. Her grandfather gives her the second piece, and instead of eating both she asks him, “Would you like one Grandpa?”
The little girl’s response is adorable, of course, but the Lord highlighted something more to me: waiting produces something lasting inside of us! Sure, when the girl waited those 10 minutes she gained a second piece of chocolate, but she also gained something much more valuable: perseverance. Often, waiting is not an easy task. It takes the gift of perseverance to be able to patiently stand in our moments of waiting - not begrudgingly, but joyfully.
Ultimately, we have a desperate need for perseverance if we’re going to make it through the journey of life. Thus, waiting seasons can truly be a helpful gift from the Lord to us, enabling us to face life with patient endurance. Romans 5:3-4 says, “[...] we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope...” What a treasure! Waiting is not God saying “I’m here to make you squirm and ruin all of your fun...” In reality, we actually gain hope from our waiting. Not just hope for the Lord to break into our situations, or to bless us with something... but true, eternal hope that one day all of our waiting will be worth it, and we’ll get to see Jesus face to face. And this hope? It’ll never put us to shame!