Last Thursday, in “The Iron”, Part 1, we saw that mountain-moving faith is this: In the same way we would never doubt that the iron will remove the wrinkles from the cloth, we must trust without doubt that God will keep His promises. We also saw that God doesn’t expect “blind faith”; rather, He sends us proof of His love, He sends us stories of His miracles of the past, and He sends us encouragement and reassurance for our present circumstances.
I was sure God was finished teaching me lessons from my iron, but when I picked up a random daily Bible study that came through my email that same day, I realized God had yet another important faith-lesson for me to learn–about patience in waiting!
Did you know that the definition of patience is, basically, “delaying of judgment”?
We are told that, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:9 NIV, Emphasis added). In other words, by delaying His judgment on us, God is showing us patience!
Let’s take this just a bit farther. You set a just punishment for your erring child, but when you choose to patiently sit down with that child and attempt to reason with him or her and to negotiate a compromise, you truly are delaying that punishment.
What about patience in waiting? When we are impatient, aren’t we really saying we don’t truly believe the awaited thing will happen? As a child, I often caved to impatience at Christmas time. I was known to secretly unwrap and rewrap presents under the tree in order to verify that I had received what I wanted. What I was really saying in my heart was that I didn’t believe my parents knew what I wanted enough to get it for me. In my impatience, I was passing judgment on them. Had I been able to patiently wait until Christmas, I would have been “delaying” that judgment.
What about the times we are called to wait for God to fulfill a promise? Isn’t it common to become impatient and allow doubt to creep in? And in our impatience, aren’t we truly saying, “God, I don’t believe You will come through, I don’t believe Your timing is right”? Aren’t we truly just passing judgment on…God?
In essence, it is like me saying to my wrinkled clothes in the laundry basket, “I don’t believe that applying the iron will do its job because I don’t yet see the wrinkles disappearing from my clothing.” Of course that would be silly, for the wrinkles don’t begin to disappear until the iron is applied. In the same way, when we are impatient with God over the delay in the answer to our prayers, we are, in essence, accusing Him of not caring enough or not being powerful enough to take care of our problems. We are, in essence, passing judgment on…God!
That’s a pretty scary concept, and it’s one I encourage each of you to consider as you are tempted to doubt and be impatient while waiting for the answer to your prayers.
Whatever unanswered prayer you may have, please join me in taking that stand in mountain-moving faith, ever believing that as sure as the iron will de-wrinkle the clothing, God will come through in His perfect time. And while we wait, let’s open our hearts to God, for He will send us reassurance along the way. Finally, please join me in resolving to never again pass judgment on God by being impatient with the “delays” to our prayers. Instead, let’s “delay” our judgement on God by patiently waiting for His perfect time.
In His love,
Lynona Gordon Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author — “Aboard God’s Train — A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer”, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.
(To access the entire “The Iron” mini-series, please click here.)