We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised.
A couple of weekends ago my sister came to visit me and we were making a Father’s Day dinner for my dad. We decided on the menu and were in the process of making a pineapple bunt cake for him. But, for some reason, the cake was just not baking the way it should have been. The oven was not heating properly. Every few moments my sister would get impatient and check the oven to see if anything had happened. Finally, I said (not in the sweetest voice I have ever used), “If you don’t stop opening the oven every second it is never going to finish!”
I told her I was surprised, because it was usually me who was the impatient one. She replied with, “But I need to see right away that the cake is going to turn out right.”
Just as my sister wanted the instant satisfaction of knowing that our cake was going to be perfect, I often find myself looking for that instant gratification. Waiting is hard. Having patience is sometimes tough.
We hear all the time that we live in a “microwave society” where we expect everything to happen with the snap of a finger. We don’t have to plant the garden, wait for the veggies to grow, and then harvest them. We can just run to the store and get what we need. Delayed gratification is a concept hard for many to grasp.
I have heard stories all my life of how my great-grandpa cut down every single tree, transported it to the saw mill, cut it, and transported it back to his land to build a house for his family. It took persistence and patience for my grandfather to build his home. He had a dream to build his wife and 7 children a home, but in order for his dream to translate into reality his dream had to translate into work.
We want to bask in the pleasure of the final result without the painstaking efforts it takes to get there.
If I am going REALLY reach my goals I am going to sometimes have to delay gratification. I am going to have to do the tough thing instead of the fun thing. There will be obstacles that arise, but any goal worth achieving will have obstacles to overcome. If we are going to fulfill the purpose that God has ordained for us we have to have a long-term view so that when difficulties arise, we can preserve though it knowing that what is on the other side is worth all of the effort and hard work.
Sometimes we will find ourselves in God’s waiting room. Waiting for Him to show us our next step or the path we should take.
God’s timing is perfect and mine ours is not.
I am learning every day that I have to be patient and persistent. And when I find myself slacking in either area, I have to remind myself of this: A GOD GIVEN VISION WILL ALWAYS BE FULFILLED and I know that God is the author of my vision.
“Cast not away your confidence because God defers his performances. That which does not come in your time, will be hastened in his time, which is always the more convenient season. God will work when he pleases, how he pleases, and by what means he pleases. He is not bound to keep our time, but he will perform his word, honour our faith, and reward them that diligently seek him.” ~ Matthew Henry