Psalm 40:1 says, “I wait patently for the Lord.” Exodus 14:14 tells us, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” In these verses in Lamentations the author, Jeremiah, wants to stress not only the need to wait patiently for the Lord in confident hopefulness…but to wait quietly, marked by little activity to attempt to fix things on our part. (In other words, not trying to “help God.”) To do both simultaneously and to do them well is a real test of our trust in Him.
With each temptation, the devil offered Jesus a shortcut…a way to compromise and thus circumvent God’s plan. So anytime our own impatience tempts us to not wait but instead run ahead of God…we’re playing right into the same scheme. Now none of us like to wait…we all want immediate gratification, so when offered a shortcut, we usually take it. But within that shortcut can hide compromise, risk, and loss. I Corinthians 15:58 encourages us to, “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” In God’s perfect plan there are no shortcuts, and even though we may feel impatient when waiting on the Lord…we are to stand firm, fully committed and trusting in Him.
Jesus had just told the Disciples that where He was going, they could not follow at that time. But impulsive Peter didn’t want to wait. Waiting on the Lord can be maddening at times. We think we know what to do…and so impatiently we attempt to steer the ship in that direction…only to do more harm than good. When God says, “Not now,” we need to be able to rest in it, knowing that His timing is perfect. And while we wait…we should strive to find delight in the delay and praise in the postponement…for it’s a chance to learn firsthand what patience and perseverance are all about.