Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” (Isaiah 30:18)
Patience. There’s a word which conjures up the frustration of childhood! Christmas presents under a tree, mocking you with their shape and weight. You are sure you know what is in them, but … patience. The boredom of childhood illness, all Vicks Vapour Rub and creased bedsheets. Days merge together in a dreary haze as you wait to recover. The long drawn out wait to be picked up, when your parents are all of five minutes late. Patience.
Not that things get much easier as you grow older, as the ever lengthening and indeterminate lockdown rolls has shown us. When it comes to our lives, it would appear that our timing is always different from those around us. We may hide it better as adults, but the childhood impatience still lurks within.
In the Christian life, how often it is that God’s timing is not ours. In the book of Esther, the seventy-five foot high gallows were built for poor old Mordecai before he was vindicated by the king. Peter languished in prison, and it was only when Herod was about to summon him - no doubt to execute him as he had just executed James - that he had his miraculous escape. Daniel had to endure the lions’ den, and Joseph long years of imprisonment.
Whilst you might find yourself bewildered that, as today’s verse puts it, God “waits to be gracious to you” never be downcast. Patience may be a hard lesson, but a trust in God’s timing is a fine remedy and in God’s good time you will be able to testify with David: “I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry” (Psalm 40:1).