Do good things come to those who wait? That might be true, but bare minimum, I believe that good things are formed in those who wait. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says, “The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.” Patience is the companion of humility and the antithesis of pride. When we choose patience, we choose Christ-likeness.
Sometimes, all we need is a little staying power in our journey. Staying power is the heel-digging determination to let God finish the good work He started in us. Philippians 1:6 speaks of God finishing the work He started in us, but it also goes on to say that He will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. So, basically, God is going to keep working on our character until Jesus comes back. That’s hardly a recipe for a speedy arrival point, but it is an invitation to continue to let Jesus make us more like Him.
Many times in our season of waiting, well-intended people want to rescue us out of it. They feel confident in an alternative solution. They have it all mapped out in their minds. It may come at a time when you’re already experiencing a pang of regret or doubt or discomfort. What the well-meaning people in our life need to know is that we are committed to God’s path even when it’s uncomfortable.
Staying power means we fully believe God planted a seed in our heart, and we aren’t going to give up until we see what it grows into. In his book Draw the Circle, Mark Batterson says, “Too often we pray ASAP prayers — as soon as possible. We need to start praying ALAT prayers — as long as it takes.”
Stories about instantly answered prayer can discourage those who unceasingly pray for years and still come up empty-handed. Mark’s encouragement to pray ALAT prayers flips the script in our culture obsessed with instant gratification. It provides an empowering stance as we take an active and prayerful posture in our waiting journey.
Isaiah 40:31 describes it like this:
“Those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength.
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.”
The Hebrew word that Isaiah uses for “wait” is Qavah. It means “to wait, look for, hope, or expect.” This doesn’t sound like an idle position. It is waiting on the Lord that brings renewed strength. This Qavah means we wait for Him, look for Him, hope in Him, and expect His goodness.
Establishing our focus and fulfillment in Him, rather than an outcome or a timeline, is what mounts us up with wings like eagles. When we fix the eyes of our soul on our Creator, we run without growing weary, walk without growing faint. This is training ground for our soul. When we make this shift, waiting no longer becomes necessary drudgery; it becomes a lifestyle of confident expectation in Him.
Lord, give me staying power. When I feel like I want to run back to what’s comfortable and familiar, give me the strength I need so that I can remain in your plan. Help me to look for and expect your goodness and my transformation as I seek you. Amen