“I want you to play a game with me,” my daughter announced yesterday.
“Well, it’s almost dinner time,” I answered. “Maybe we can play a game after dinner.”
“I want you to play a game with me now,” she whined in that terrible, grating voice that all parents come to know oh-so-well.
“You’re gonna have to wait,” I said. “Sometimes it’s okay to wait for things.”
No sooner had the words escaped my lips than I was hit by a sudden wave of déjà vu. These conversations occur daily at our house, and I’ve repeated those fateful words countless times: “Sometimes it’s okay to wait for things.” I’ll be the first to admit that having to go over these same lessons again and again grows a little wearisome at times!
But yesterday, I caught myself wondering if God has ever grown tired of telling me the exact same thing. I wrestle with God during my personal prayer time, seeking answers to the questions that seem all-important to me at the time. I wait expectantly, and if I don’t get an answer right away, I jump back into praying hard for an answer. Persistence in prayer isn’t a bad thing. In fact, I Thessalonians 5:17 says to “pray without ceasing,” and Jesus told the parable of the persistent widow so that “men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
Still, I wonder if I sometimes confuse humble persistence in my prayer life with the same type of impatient tantrums that my children force me to endure. “I want my answer, God, and I want it now!”
If so, may God forgive me. He wants me to bring my requests to Him constantly, but He also wants me to trust Him enough to lean securely on Him, and to have the faith to stop worrying over these issues and simply wait for Him to send a clear answer.
Here are a few verses about waiting on God that I found inspirational this morning:
Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.
Wait for the Lord;
Be strong and let your heart take courage;
Yes, wait for the Lord.
May we all learn to stop throwing tantrums in our prayer life and learn to trust God enough to wait on His timing.
After all, sometimes it really is okay to wait for things.