I’m feeling Abram-ish these days. God tells Abram, “…go to the land I will show you.” (Genesis 12:1 NIV) What an amazing command, to proceed with no instruction.
The Lord has told me, “Go.” But the where and the how and the what-it-looks-like are up ahead in the fog somewhere. Shadows with a vague outline but no distinction.
So I pray. And wait –listening and watching for where to put my foot down next.
Elisabeth Elliot writes a profound two words, in Keep a Quiet Heart. She says, “Impatience hardens.”
The other day I was in line at the grocery store, and the woman in front of me stalled the process by pulling out an old receipt and saying she had been mischarged for an item the last time she was in the store. This took several minutes to resolve, and when it was straightened out she looked at me and said, I’m sorry to have made you wait.
I said, It’s okay. I’m not in a hurry.
She said, Really? I seem to always be in a hurry.
She does not know that my initial response to being forced to stand there was to stiffen in impatience. I caught myself, took a deep breath, and gave her the gift of a soft spirit. I waited for her the way I hoped someone would wait for me if I were the one slowing the checkout.
Patience is soft. It shows in the body, with relaxed shoulders, quiet breathing, and a calm facial expression.
The hardness of impatience shows in the body too, does it not? With piercing eyes, audible breathing, and a ready-to-pounce stance.
And we can choose the one over the other.
So I keep opening my Bible every day and bowing my head in prayer. It is in this place that I catch my impatience and work to quiet and soften my demeanor before the Lord.
“I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore, I will wait for him.’” (Lamentations 3:24 NIV)
The Lord brought Abram to the land He had promised to him. I know the Lord will lead me, too.
And He will lead you.
Let us do the work of softening our response to the waiting.