I’m pretty sure you’re like me: you’re very ready for Spring to be sprung! It’s been a VERY long winter, and many of us are just plumb tired of the white stuff. This weekend, however, we were offered a little glimpse of hope. As temperatures soured into the 60s, so did my spirits! Maybe spring WILL come, after all! And then, this morning, as I walked out the door, I noticed several of my early perennials had suddenly popped through the ground. “Spring is sprung, the grass is ris, please don’t step where the flowers is.” We waited all the long winter for Spring to come, and suddenly, it’s here!
The life of a Christian is also about waiting: waiting patiently (well, maybe not always patiently) for something better down the road. In the Bible, we read in several places about these people who wait… and wait… and wait! And not always perfectly did they wait 😊.
We call it “delayed gratification.” We often need to wait for the things that make us truly happy, genuinely fulfilled.
A little boy wants a marshmallow. Mommy says, “I’m going to run an errand, so I’ll be away for a few minutes. You may have the marshmallow while I’m gone, but if you wait until I get back, you may have TWO marshmallows.”
Researchers in the 1960s ran the “marshmallow test” on children, and then, a dozen years later, came back to those same children, now grown, and found that those who had waited had fewer problems with juvenile delinquency and had performed significantly better (210 pts. higher, in fact) on their SAT college entrance exams.
We are often like children who face the marshmallow test: we are presented a choice… a very important choice. There are those who wait, and there are those who don’t. Which are you?
Maybe you’re like me: sometimes you’re good at waiting, and other times, not so much! But it’s clear in God’s Word—waiting has its rewards. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 40:30-31, “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
You see, waiting for good things may be hard, but it’s worth it! We do it with the hope of renewed strength. When we as believers wait, we have a sure anchor of hope: Jesus Christ. In the book of Hebrews, we read that God made a sure promise to Abraham: “I will bless you and give you many descendants.” Abraham waited, and God came through, didn’t he! As children, we sang, “Father Abraham had many sons, and many sons had Father Abraham. I am one of them, and so are you, so let’s all praise the Lord. Right arm, left arm…” and so on!
Just a bit later in the book, in Hebrews 11, we learn that it wasn’t just Abraham, but a whole catalog of “heroes” who waited with faith and were rewarded. Those who are faithful through the thick and the thin will receive a crown of righteousness in heaven for ever and ever!
What are you having trouble waiting for? Is it a relationship or the intimacy that is the richest when experienced after marriage? Is it some material object—a car, a house, a camper? Children, maybe you are waiting to turn 14 (driving!) or 18 (most other adult privileges). Are you waiting for college to be done so you can begin paying back those huge debts with your good-sized income? Are you waiting? If so, for what?
Why not delay that gratification? Why not, in faith, in trust of the One whose promise is sure and certain, wait for something better? You’ll be eternally glad you did!