We’re a third of the way through 2022. A third of the way through my year of waiting.
Each year I choose one word to influence my focus. Or, more accurately, a word is made clear to me. And this year my word is wait.
I’ve said it before, more than once: I don’t naturally wait well. Which is probably why this is my word for the year. And even while I’ve been focusing on waiting well, I’ve also been thinking a lot about the fruit of the Spirit. At first, I didn’t understand the connection, but the connection is there, loud and clear.
Christians have God’s Spirit dwelling in us. Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that as we surrender to His leading in our life, we will experience the fruit of His presence. And this fruit touches every area of life, including our ability to wait. For example:
If I really believe God loves me and I truly love Him, then I will be willing to wait for Him to manifest His love for me in my future.
I often view waiting as a necessary evil. It’s a delay or an obstacle to receiving something I want. But what if I view the delay with joy because I know that whatever God does will be for the best?
Does God know what He is doing? Of course He does. But if I lack peace, that’s a sign that I don’t think God is handling my situation in the best possible way.
As a Christian, I can say I trust God, but if I don’t trust His timing, then I really don’t trust Him!
Waiting can be a self-centered activity. My focus is on me and my wants. But the fruit of kindness reminds me that I can use the time of waiting to be outward-focused and bless others.
Waiting is not an excuse to cut corners, compromise my values, or cheat in any way to accomplish my desires. God is always good, so if He is withholding something from me, it will always be for my ultimate good and His eternal glory.
The process of waiting can be wearying physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s tempting to give up and move on without being willing to invest the time to see what God is doing. But not only is God faithful, His Spirit equips me to be faithful, too.
Waiting can make us short-tempered and cause us to be abrupt with the people around us. I’m reminded of the times I’ve been on hold for fifteen minutes, a half-hour, sometimes even an hour, trying to call the customer service department of a large corporation. I’m ashamed to say, by the time I’m connected with a live person, my conversation can be anything but gentle.
This fruit of the Spirit is difficult enough during the best of times, but in times of waiting? Nope. I say things I’ll later regret. I become self-righteous and indignant that the other party has kept me waiting and I let them know it.
Surely the blessing of the fruit of the Spirit in a Christian’s life applies to all areas. The question is, do we live in a way that shows this fruit applies to our times of waiting?
Which fruit is the Lord challenging you to cultivate in your times of waiting?