Waiting Well (Proverbs 16)
Is waiting good?
Actually, not the waiting but how you wait?
Did this page take a second too long to load? Did your drive through have a queue? Are you tapping your hand because they haven’t texted back yet? Is your COVID result taking.. well it is isn’t it!
How we wait goes to whether we are patient.
And perhaps surprisingly patience is something that God really esteems in His people. I chose today’s verse from Proverbs 16 because it seems at odds with our culture.
The media around us loves the activist. The entrepreneur. The ‘go getter’ and the person who does the bold things. In contrast we read this..
“Better a patient person than a warrior, one with self-control than one who takes a city.”
(Proverbs 16:32 NIV11)
But surely there are cities to be taken, and warriors are needed, I hear you say? You can’t simply sit around all day can you?
Well, can you?
We’ve seen elsewhere in the Proverbs that God doesn’t like laziness, that he loves the hard worker so what is going on here? Since Hebrew poetry usually uses the second line of a doublet to expand the original idea then the link is between patience and self control – not two ideas but one expressed in different ways.
The idea of an apprentice to Jesus who has control of themselves so that they can wait well for God and His timing is a key theme in the New Testament:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
(1 Corinthians 13:4 NIV11)
Not only in love but quintessentially when it comes to the return of Jesus:
“Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains.”
(James 5:7 NIV11-GK)
And that waiting is connected to the Lord’s own approach to the final day – holding it off so that everyone has a chance:
“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 NIV11)
To be patient is to be like God Himself.
In this day and age we need God Himself to help us because, if you’re like me, patience isn’t our natural state. So it’s a pretty encouraging thing to read that two of the gifts that the Holy Spirit can and will work in us are forbearance (patience) and self control:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
(Galatians 5:22–23 NIV11)
So the first step is to ask God to help us wait well. Cities can be taken by energetic warriors but we have been reminded in the Proverbs that wise counsel and wisdom reside in thoughtfulness before action. Lord have mercy and help us in the everyday annoyances to be showing more of this character as You remake us a day at a time to be more like Jesus.
.. and help us to wait well as You do it.
Grace and peace,
#newlifeisfoundhere #readingfornewlife #wisdom #Proverbs