Have you ever experienced waiting too long for something good? Lord, when will I be fully healed? Lord, when will you restore our family to unity? Will I finally get my dream job now? O God, how long before you introduce Mr. Right into my life? When will peace reign in the war-torn regions of the earth?
We are not alone in waiting for the good things, the wonderful promises, the fulfillment of dreams. In the first reading from the 1st chapter of the Prophet Habakkuk, the prophet personifies our feelings too: “How long, O Lord? I cry for help but you do not listen!” Yes in waiting, there are moments we are tempted to think that our cry, our tears reach nowhere. Is there someone out there listening to me?
It is normal to grow impatient as we undergo the ordeal of waiting. Especially in our day, people are not accustomed to wait. Communications is fast through the latest technology. Any journey is rapid through the new inventions in travel. Our favorite food is delivered in less than an hour. There is an “express service” for almost everything.
However, we notice that when it comes to life’s trials and tribulations, there seems to be no easy and quick solutions. Most of the time, we are bound to wait. It is painful but we cannot do otherwise. We can only choose fruitful waiting.
St. Paul encourages Timothy by his own example of being a prisoner (2 Tim. 1) to “bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God.” St. Paul knew disasters like no other apostle did. He suffered more than the others. He had to wait all the time for deliverance. Yet he transformed his natural impatience into a holy impatience by going through it all with Christ.
In the gospel (Luke 17:5-10), the disciples implore the Lord Jesus: “Increase our faith.” And the Lord confirms that indeed even faith as tiny as a mustard seed can be enough for miracles to happen. Faith is a gift God wants to readily give to those who ask from him.
I have always been inspired by stories of people who learned how to wait guided by faith and sustained by hope in the love and power of the Lord. In sickness, in personal troubles, in financial catastrophes, they did not surrender to fate. Instead, they exercised their faith in God.
At times I find myself asking God: “How long?” I express to him my weariness and impatience. But faith assures me that God has a timetable of what is best for me and for all, and he alone can decide the most opportune moment to grant my prayer.
Are you tired and impatient in waiting for something? Trust in the Lord. Believe in his power and in his plan for your good. Live through a holy impatience by asking the Lord to increase your faith.