Hi, my name is Hannah and I’ve been known to stand in front of the microwave, angrily urging the machine to just “hurry up already!”

Unfortunately, it’s not just food I’m impatient with. During a run last week, I was lamenting to a friend the fact that recent road construction has lengthened my work commute. ”At the very minimum, it adds 2 minutes a day,” I complained. “That’s 10 minutes a week! Which is 40 minutes a month! Heck, by the time the road is open again, this construction will have wasted almost 4 hours of my life!”

And that’s a conservative estimate.

By my point is not that waiting on the microwave puts time in slow motion or that construction takes too long. My point is that I…we… can be very impatient people.

Surely this is not a novel concept to you, but it is one that bears repeating. Here’s why: There is good & bad buried in our tendency to detest waiting on what we want.

The “bad” is fairly obvious: Impatience is sin and it reflects a prideful distrust that God loves us and is working all things for our good and His glory.

But the struggle itself is born from a right understanding of the tension in which we live. This world is broken! We’re waiting on provision and on jobs, on marriage and on healing. To sum it up in the poetically-lyricized words of John Mayer: “we’re waiting on the world to change.”

This brokenness has sat at the forefront of my mind as I’ve walked through trial after trial–in my own life and alongside others. So, I sit and stare at the microwave turntable that is my life, wondering, “Lord! When are you going to come rescue me, rescue us, from this pain?”

It’s a question I’m sure Caleb asked as well–probably multiple times. After all, wandering through the wilderness for 40 years does provide ample thinking time.

If you’re not familiar with this Old Testament story, let me summarize it:

The Israelites, also called the Hebrews, were a group of people God greatly loved. This chosen people group (which we, as believers, are now grafted into through Christ’s death and resurrection) was given a massive territory by God. The only catch? The Promised Land was full of other people who weren’t too excited about leaving. God guaranteed the Israelites that He would give them the land if they only trusted His timing and followed His lead.

God told the Israelite’s leader, Moses, to choose twelve men (one from each tribe of Israel) to go spy out the land. The representative from the tribe of Judah was a middle-aged warrior named Caleb. As it happened, he was the only spy who came back to tell the people that the Lord had given the Israelites the land and that they would be victorious. The other men were adamant: The enemy was too strong and too scary. The Israelites would be crushed!

So God struck down the eleven fearful spies. They died of a plague. And brave, forty-year-old Caleb was given a promise: He would not only see the promised land, but he would also be given a special inheritance in it, because he had “wholeheartedly followed the Lord.”

Great, right? Maybe, if it weren’t for the waywardness of the people that majorly delayed Caleb’s inheritance. Because of their distrust, they wandered the wilderness for 40 years. All the while, Caleb–who had seen the amazing land they were “supposed” to be enjoying, was waiting.

Caleb was eighty-five-years-old when Joshua (Moses’ successor) led the people into the Promised Land and began giving the tribes their respective territories. The original Israelites who had grumbled their way to a forty-year time out were dead. Only Caleb and Joshua remained.

Finally, Caleb got his own promised land. Now, he still had to fight for it, mind you. There were enemies in the land who needed to be killed. Still, Caleb, insisting he was just as strong as he had been forty odd years ago, wasn’t deterred (Josh 14:11). It was his land. He would be victorious.

How’s that for a long wait?

Maybe you feel like Caleb today. Maybe you’re in the wilderness due to your own sin; maybe you’ve honored the Lord and you’re still wandering in the desert. Either way, you’ve tasted the goodness of the Lord and now you’re stuck waiting for it to actually meet you where you’re at.

As I’ve wrestled with this myself, two things have come to mind:

1. The Wait Is Worth It

While you are waiting on an answer to prayer, God is not scrambling around trying to nail down all the details before (finally!), he figures it out and you are granted your heart’s desire. Nope. He already knows exactly what will most glorify Him and bless you–and the wait is part of it. Take comfort in that.

2. We Have an Inheritance Caleb Did Not

As I mentioned: Because of Christ, those who trust in the Lord are now considered God’s chosen people as well. We’re Hebrews! But our provision is not in a fertile plot of land and the frequent offering of sacrifice. Christ’s death and resurrection took care of that. We are made clean and the Holy Spirit lives within us. So, yes, we are waiting on quite a few things in this life–both big and small–but we are already dwelling with God as He dwells in us.

There is no agonizing wait that cannot and will not be redeemed, for we are “more than conquerors through Him (Rom. 8:37).

And as we wait upon the ultimate victory, we can know this for sure: The God who strengthened and sustained Caleb, who held him fast in body and in soul, will hold us fast as well.



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