Response time (noun): the time a functional unit takes to react to a given input.
Do you ever find yourself treating God like a “functional unit?” I sure do. I give my “input” – my desires, my hopes, my requests – and then, I pace. And by doing so, I place expectations on God. I expect a timely response.
But God, who operates outside of time, is patient.
There are over 25 prophecies from the Old Testament that were fulfilled in Jesus in one twenty-four-hour period of time: He was betrayed by a friend, sold for thirty pieces of silver, forsaken by his disciples, accused by false witnesses, silent when accused, wounded and spat upon, mocked, and crucified with thieves, just to name a few. Hundreds of years of waiting… by God himself.
The patience of God seems like a central link in the chain of His attributes. Mercy could have no room to act if patience did not prepare the way, and hope would be void of meaning. His patience is the ruling of Himself. His grace withholds judgment, His goodness restrains justice, and His patience curbs power. “In the fullness of time, God sent His son.” (Galatians 4:4)
According to the Illustrated Oxford Dictionary, patience is “the capacity for calm, self-possessed waiting.”
As we wait for interviews, acceptances to PhD schools, record deals, financial support in ministry, “perfect” jobs, a diagnosis, a spouse, or any of life’s tempting trust-breakers, do we find ourselves calm?
Pacing is easy. Hoping can be exhausting. Trusting – really trusting – involves effort. Because trusting is never passive.
Jesus is my living hope (I Peter 1:3-9) and He is Emmanuel (Isaiah 7:14). Every second of every day. And because that’s true, we can learn to see God in everything. Especially in the pauses. We can learn to say “I trust You” in the waiting, in the seemingly slow response time of God.
Prophecy: Psalm 41:9; Zechariah 11:12; Mark 14:50; Isaiah 50:6; Psalm 22:16
Fulfillment: Matt. 10:4; Matt. 26:15; Zechariah 13:7; Matt. 26:67; Luke 23:33