Practicing patience in the presence of delay
Have you ever made a doctor’s appointment for 9 a.m., walked into the office at 8:30 a.m., filled out paper work by 8:55 a.m. and still find yourself sitting in that same cold, waiting room until 9:15 a.m.? You may glance up at the clock, check your phone and groan with frustration as you try to make eye contact with the receptionist as if to say “is it my time yet?” You may even be like me and walk over to the receptionist and politely inform her that you have to go, while asking for verbal confirmation on what’s taking the doctor so long. She may then respond with a smile…. “the doctor is just wrapping up with another patient. You’re next.” I will then huff and puff right back to that seat because guess what? It took me 3 months to get this appointment and I need to see the doctor. Eventually within a few moments the nurse would fling open that door and say “you’re next.” And there I would be getting my vitals checked and all my anxiety would now be quelled, because it was finally my turn.
Moral of the story, we all have an appointment for everything in life, even if we don’t realize it and pregnancy is one of them. In God’s word he tells us clearly, there is a season under the sun for everything (Ecclesiastes 3:1). With this in mind, why do we worry when things seem to be delayed? He also instructs us to not worry or be anxious in Philippians 4:6 – 7 - “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to god. And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” This scripture provides a guide or template for our attitude when things do not happen in the “timeline” we have set for ourselves. Our dependency should be solely placed in God, while resting in the fact that God is the author of time – He owns time. In Psalms 104:19 the bible states that God himself “appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down.” This should be the ultimate comfort because we do not have to depend on our own strength nor effort as it relates to the outcome of our lives as Christians. Our full faith should be placed on God and his word. This should never take for granted the role we play in the outcome of our situations since the Bible tells us “faith without works is dead (James 2:26).” For example while waiting on our appointed pregnancy we should treat our body with great respect, as that temple that is expected of us from God. We should not engage in abusive substances or activities. Our waiting period should activate our faith and “do what is right and good in the Lord’s sight…(Deuteronomy 6:18).”
Additionally, time should not create pressure. Again God can restore time or that which was taken or seemingly taken as stated in Joel 2:25 “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” Please be assured that God is on your side and even in the season of delay God is still God. He is still answering your prayers even if that answer is “wait” or “not yet.” We just have to trust that answer because he sees the big picture and he knows what is best for us. In no great effort to speculate, let’s suppose God’s vision allows him to see how a pregnancy in one season may be detrimental to your body, or your purpose or even that child’s life. We just have to trust God’s wisdom and know that his “wait” is not a “no” and he will do nothing to harm us. His plans for us are good and for us to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11).
So how do we tolerate this delay? It’s simple. We practice patience. Patience is the ultimate capacity to tolerate delay. Patience is directly linked to self-control. This is a fruit of the spirit as detailed in Galations 5:22. We therefore within our own flesh will not be able to control our limited capacity to tolerate delay, but when we are equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit our capacity expands and we would be able to wholeheartedly depend on God and walk in the freedom Jesus Christ purchased for us, while listening to the guidance and comfort of the Holy Spirit.
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” – Isaiah 41:10