Patiently Waiting

March 18, 2024

In my devotions recently I was reading in the book of Hebrews. Hebrews 6:14 says: “And thus Abraham, having patiently waited, obtained the promise.” Because I know the “end of the story,” that Isaac was indeed born to Abraham as promised, it is sometimes easy for me to gloss over passages like this and easily forget how hard it must have been to wait for God.

Abraham (Abram at the time) was 75 years old when God promised that, through him, the entire earth would be blessed (Gen. 12), but he was 100 when Isaac was finally born (Gen 20). That means Abraham waited 25 years before the promise was fulfilled! Now that is patiently waiting! 

What must it have been like for him to wait that long, wondering if God was really going to bless the entire earth through him? I’m aware of how very quickly I grow impatient with unanswered prayer requests. Much past a week or so, let alone a month or two, and I’m already tempted to wonder if God heard me and when, if ever, he will answer me. “Patiently waiting” doesn’t easily characterize my prayers or my life, especially when I think I’m asking for good things like salvation for an unbelieving friend, financial provision, or victory over a besetting sin in my life.

Passages like this challenge my thinking and remind me of the value of waiting on God. Not “waiting” while asking God constantly when he is going to hurry up and answer me, but patiently waiting. What must Abraham have learned in those 25 years? How much closer to God did he grow, trusting God to fulfill what he promised? Could it possibly be that while I am “waiting” on God to fulfill his promise or to answer a long-requested prayer, that he might be about a deeper work? Could it be that God is maturing me into a woman who trusts him at all times in big and small ways and remembers his previous faithfulness in my life? Could he be teaching me to remember that he has not changed and will always be faithful?

I bet Abraham was glad he waited; the reward was so very much worth the wait! I’m so thankful for passages like this which set the example of the saints who have gone before me, so that I might learn from their lives. Hebrews 6:14 challenges my soul and calls it to a patient, trusting, waiting on God to fulfill his promises to me, even unto the ultimate promise of eternal life with him. Oh, that I could learn from the example of men like Abraham, and patiently wait on God!

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