Anticipation, it’s making me wait.
I can still visualize the commercial; two boys ready to eat their juicy hamburgers and all that’s stopping them is the ketchup. The thickness of the bright red sauce makes it move slowly down the neck of the bottle as they anticipate their first bite. Hunger, evident in their eyes, makes the process of waiting hard. Questioning why this specific brand is worth the delay, one boy gives the answer,“Wait until you taste it”.
Squeeze bottles have ruined all that.
Along with microwaves, increased internet speeds and fast food chains, instant gratification has become the norm. Raised in this American, instant on instant off, culture I have developed a terrible attitude when it comes to any kind of delay. Whether it’s honking at the car that keeps me from making the light or simply allowing the deluge of negative thoughts I collect while waiting for the doctor in the exam room, I can easily find a reason to complain.
I want what I want when I want it!
I have found myself especially complaining about my poor health. It has been declining over the last few years and it was seriously hindering my ability to do what I felt called to do. I felt I had been given a vision and calling from God for my life and was excited about how He planned to use me for His kingdom. I thought I would need a certain level of health and energy to accomplish those plans.
I wanted to be healed and I wanted it now!
I specifically remember in the beginning of March of last year taking 3 days to fast and cry out to God for my health. Not only is fasting a good way to detoxify the body, it is a great way to increase hunger for God and His ways. Feeling like Habakkuk in the Old Testament, a prophet who was trying to trust God but was found complaining; my world was not going the way I thought it should and wanted it changed now.
O LORD, how long shall I cry for help, and you will not hear? Or cry to you “Violence!” and you will not save? Habakkuk 1:2
As I came away from that designated fast and watched as my health continue to decline, I realized God’s answer for me would also be similar to the one He gave to His prophet. The Lord was revealing to me that what I was asking for was so valuable I must be willing to wait for the process to be complete.Just as in Habakkuk’s case, the timing was of utmost importance.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; Habakkuk 2:3a
I don’t like to hear that I have to wait.
In fact, I’m afraid that I responded to the idea of waiting exactly how I read Habakkuk had. In chapter 3 of his book it says:
“I heard and my body trembled. My lips quivered at the voice. Rottenness enters into my bones, and I tremble in my place because I must wait quietly for the day…” vs. 16
I have allowed a rottenness to enter my bones during this delay. Impatience has set in and I find myself honking the horn of my heart when it feels like I am missing out. Just like the anxiety I allow while waiting for the doctor to show up in the exam room raises the blood pressure she is trying to fix, my anxiety over the delay in my healing is hurting the very healing God is trying to provide.
As my birthday approaches I have let myself believe that if I am not healed soon I will be too old and it will be too late.
Today as I took this concern to God the Father I felt led back to the book of Habakkuk for my answers. There is no indication of how old the prophet was but as I read his words I sense that he too felt the urgency of the days in which he lived. That he was feeling a desperate need for change. I begin to see that God has made me, even with my prophetic gifting, a lot like this man I meet in God’s Word.
I, like Habakkuk, am made to wait.
Like the meaning of Habakkuk’s name implies, I too have been given a desire to be a comforter to others and lift them up with the revelations of His great love and the rescue God has planned for them. I have a longing to do this in the same sensitive and courageous way that Habakkuk communicated in his writing. I must see that what God told Habakkuk, He is also telling me.
(The vision) hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. 2:3b
Habakkuk was told by God that His promises are always on time; in God’s perspective there is no delay. When God gives a vision and a promise they are always “yes and amen”; from His perspective the promise has already been accomplished.
So I, like Habakkuk, want to choose to rejoice and wait joyfully for the God of my salvation.
And when days like these come and life seems to be moving as slow as ketchup from a glass bottle, I will remember that it will be worth any delay as God whispers to me:
“Just wait until you taste it”
O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusts in him. Psalm 34:8