Patience isn't my strong point.
When there's a problem, I want it fixed yesterday. When I decide I need to get something, I want to drop everything and go get it right away. When I dream about something, I want to start taking concrete steps towards it immediately. I want a step-by-step plan and a bulleted checklist, and I'm ready to start on it right away, thank you very much.
Not all dreams come true right away, though. Dreams often make us wait, and sometimes dreams turn into hard seasons of waiting. Waiting for direction, for answers, for things out of our control to fall into place. Waiting, knowing that a hard road lies ahead. Waiting, knowing that your hopes and dreams may not be realized.
Waiting can mean days, weeks, months of praying feeling as if your prayers never reach past the ceiling. It means you sometimes wonder why God is silent, if He's still listening, if He still cares.
Life is full of hard seasons of waiting.
The great heroes of the Bible weren't immune to long seasons of waiting, either.
Abraham and Sarah waited years for their promised son. They aged well past their child-bearing years. Sarah's heart must have ached at the emptiness of her womb and her arms. She must have mourned as she watched women all around her become mothers, but her own dreams waited. At some point, she gave up, realizing her dream must have passed her by. But God wasn't done. Long after all hope seemed lost, Sarah gave birth to her miracle baby.
David, the least of his brothers, was anointed king over Israel. But as soon as it happened, he was back to tending his father's sheep. Nothing changed. As the years crept by, David must have wondered if his time would ever come. Life got harder and harder. David lost friends. He ran for his life on multiple occasions. God seemed silent. Until finally, almost fifteen years after he was anointed as the next king of Israel, David took his throne.
God's people waited a very long time for the promised Messiah. From Adam and Eve's first sin, God promised a coming Messiah, One who would defeat the enemy once and for all. Generation after generation passed as humanity cried out for their Deliverer. How many people must have wondered when He would come? How many must have wondered if the promises were still coming or of God had given up on His people? Until one night, in a stable in Bethlehem, the promised Messiah was born, and the world changed forever.
And even today, God's people wait for His promised return. We wait for Him to take us to our forever home with Him, for Him to make all things right and perfect once and for all. We watch, helpless, as sin abounds, growing deeper and darker with every passing day. We watch pain and headache multiply. We see innocent people suffering. Sometimes we wonder if God still sees, if His promise to return is still true. We wait.
But we can wait with hope, because His promises are true. His time may not be our time, but He will never turn back on His Word. We can hold onto 2 Peter 3:9: "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance." When our dreams become seasons of waiting, we can wait with hope in Him.