Instant. As much as I hate to admit it, that's often how I want most things in my life. Ramen noodles soft within minutes. Information that would fill thousands of encyclopedias just a few clicks away. Access to a camera, video camera, calendar and people all over the world in just one swipe. Cancer to be gone with one treatment. My entire life is conditioned to want everything fast.
It's easy to blame McDonalds, the Internet and smart phones for why I expect instant gratification, but the root of this need is the longing of my human heart. Something inside of me yearns to skip the process. I want to be an overnight success. I know in my head most things take time, but my heart doesn't like it. Unfortunately, I'm surrounded by messages in the world telling me I don't have to, I shouldn't have to, wait.
God doesn't work like the world. Yes, He is a God that brings peace and freedom in an instant; one second with the Holy Spirit can change our lives forever. But He's also a God of planning and patience. For centuries, He planned, predicted and prepared for His son to enter the world. He wrote the Old Testament law throughout hundreds of generations to prepare us for change. In 33 years, His son both came and fulfilled it. What may seem like a short life with fast results was actually the culmination of something God prepared since the beginning of time.
As we become more like Christ, we learn how to sit in the balance between expecting instant change by the Holy Spirit and persevering through the seasons of growth and preparation He leads us into. When we're not seeing instant change, answered prayers and open doors, it doesn't mean God's forgotten about us. It means we must trust He's getting us ready for something and wait.
Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord! Psalm 27:14
How does my heart handle a season of waiting? Do I trust God in the midst of preparation?