By Ronald G. Davis
How would you characterize our culture? Is it one of instant, or delayed gratification? Technology votes for instant. Why wait for “snail mail” when there’s “e-mail”? Why wait for a trip to the library when there are Kindles and Nooks and iPods and a shelf full of tablet devices? Credit votes for instant. Piggy banks and savings accounts? “Things of the past!” Most of us “want it, and we want it now!” Plastic and e-credit are so much easier than greenback—and quicker, too. Why endure the agonies of waiting? And there is “agony” in waiting; just ask my nine-year-old grandson (or a child in your family)!
Blessings in Waiting
Some things are worth waiting for. The waiting may well become part of the blessing. The joys can make the oppositions, the hardships, the disciplines be quickly forgotten as they are recognized as that which strengthened us for the run. God wants us to “share in his holiness.” Losing heart or growing weary seems foolish when the reward is so great. As a senior adult, well into his second decade of AARP benefits, I am fully aware of the worldly weights that slow me down: frustration at having so little impact on the church and the world, physical limitations that say “can’t do that anymore,” a gradual loss of mental acuity—I hope, gradual—that says, “I once was able to solve those simple problems, but now . . .”—all tell me I am being victimized by a broken world. Ah, to have God’s “harvest of righteousness and peace” . . . right now!
The writer of Hebrews advises us to “fix our eyes” on Jesus, the perfect example of one who endured by faith. His faith in the Father’s love and righteousness was enough to sustain him. He humbled himself by being born in the flesh. He tolerated the verbal and physical abuses of those he came to save. He endured the cross and the shame of an ignoble death. But ultimately he got to sit down by the Father’s right hand. Ah, to have God’s harvest of righteousness and peace. Ah, to share in his holiness. I can wait. Can you? With the patience God provides. With his grace.
Ronald G. Davis is a retired classroom teacher living in North College Hill, Ohio with his wife of 50 years, Ruth, his younger daughter, and her son, an 8-year-old shadowed by autism.