We’re a fast-food, instant-information, entertainment-on-demand society. We’re not used to waiting. And we can get rather irritated when we have to do so.

Whole industries have formed based on helping us do things faster, as if that were the measure of success. We are so bent on knowing and doing NOW that we will pay extra – a lot extra – for instant news, instant meals, instant pain relief, “instant” transportation, even “instant” love. We may know that the best wine is aged a long time, but we accept that fact only reluctantly.

What does “a long time” mean to you?

  • A few days of waiting to get your biopsy results from the doctor?
  • Two or three months for tomatoes to grow?
  • Nine months of pregnancy?
  • The time from when you first fall in love until you say “I do!”?
  • 2 years, 5 years, or more working toward a specific dream?
  • A lifetime struggling with a chronic illness or a troubled marriage?

Parents understand this very well with their children. How many of you have given in to demands for a Happy Meal when something much more tasty and nutritious was 20 minutes away at home?!

God’s long term view is a whole order of magnitude larger than ours. Think of these Biblical examples of how long God’s friends sometimes had to wait for Him to fulfill what He had promised:

  • Abraham waited 25 years for his son Isaac
  • Israel waited 400 years for deliverance from Egypt
  • Moses waited with Israel 40 years in the wilderness
  • David waited 17 years to be made king

Consider God’s perspective: when you have all eternity, what is 40 – or 400 – years?

God understands our frustration, our anxiety, our desire to get there NOW. But our frustration doesn’t make things happen any faster. It’s like children asking their parents while on a road trip, “Are we there yet?”

God’s view of YOU also includes eternity. He knows that the very circumstances you hate because they slow you down are the very ones that He can use to create your character.

And character is something that will last far beyond right now. It will last beyond your life here. It will last into eternity.

That’s what God sees when He looks at you.

Your turn: What has frustrated you by slowing you down? Have you learned any character lessons in the process? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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