A favorite line from a favorite movie (The Princess Bride), when Inigo, at the top of Cliffs of Insanity, waits for the man in black to reach the summit so he can try to defeat him in a sword fight.
I can relate. I’m all for action – but I hate waiting.
God, on the other hand, is quite content to put a lag time between promise and fulfillment. He has an entirely different view of time and eternity. And He is determined that we learn faith and patience, especially in a posture of – waiting.
I hate waiting.
Reading in recent days about the story of Abraham and Sarah as they wait to have a son named Isaac (Genesis chapters 12-21), I am reminded about how long we, at times, must wait for the fulfillment. Abe and his wife were old; she was barren and long past the years of even being able to conceive. God promised that Abraham would have as many descendants as the countless stars in the skies, yet the years kept stretching on. Human impossibility awoke each morning to another day of unfulfilled promise. Where was this Isaac, to be (miraculously) born to aged Sarah??
Finally, in chapter 18, when Abraham was 99 years old, God appeared to him and got specific about the promise. “I will return to you at this time next year, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” The years of waiting would come to an end. And so it occurred, exactly on the timetable God had in mind.
I have, deep within, various huge life-mission desires that have brewed in my soul for decades. I can picture them, and can almost fast-forward to a time of joy and meaning in fulfilling some things that I have (seemingly forever) felt that I was meant to do. And while I’m taking steps to arrive at those destinations – I hate waiting. “We are men of action,” said Westley in the above-referenced movie. And life is a curious mix of action and initiative, curiously joined to waiting patiently for the right time and the right door to open.
I hate waiting. And in this always-on, instant fulfillment digital generation, I believe that patient waiting will become even more of a lost art. The last thing we are used to enduring is a time lag.
God, however, doesn’t change. The time between promise and fulfillment is of His design, and no application of Google and broadband and mobile devices will hasten it.
Maybe someday, I’ll love waiting. Or, at least, not hate it. Abraham had the long-promised son when he was 100. Maybe I still have a few years to wait.