Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.
My daughter, Sarah, and son-in-law, John, stop by with Virginia Rose to pick up a few items from Christmas. They can only stay a few minutes as they have errands to run.
But, Virginia doesn't understand.
She spots the cloth Advent calendar we let her play with just the day before. Pointing at it, lip curled into a pout, she begins to fuss and clamor. We know what she wants, but there isn't time to comply with her wishes.
"How do we teach her delayed gratification at this age?" John asks while Virginia rocks and whines in his arms.
"Distract her," I promptly advise. "Remove her from the temptation."
Immediately, Danny, aka "Papa", takes his cue.
He jumps in front of Virginia, makes funny noises and faces while gently poking her ticklish tummy.
In seconds, she transforms from cranky to cuteness. All smiles and laughter!
"You better scoot while the going is good," I say.
Hastily, Sarah and John, with a now contented Virginia in tow, head out the door.
We live in an age of instant gratification. Our technology encourages this mindset. At the click of a mouse or a remote or a cellphone button, we are instantaneously in touch with the world.
We expect to get our way right away.
But, it is an illusion.
Because, real life calls for all kinds of pauses and postponements.
And, patience . . .
We wait for Christmas. For New Year's Day. Our birthday. Our wedding day. Our anniversary. Vacation. Easter . . .
We may grow restive for that special time to arrive, yet we wait in hope. Hope for the joys these days will bring. Hope for the memories they will make.
In hope, our gratification is delayed.
With hope, we can wait for anything.
For good things come to those who wait. Especially, to those who wait upon the Lord. Who trust in His timing and in His judgment.
They will one day know eternal gratification in Him.
Are you waiting, in patience and in hope, upon the Lord?
Will you pray with me?
Let us be ever mindful, Father, that Your time is not ours. Help us to have the patience to wait with grace for the good things You have in store for us. Let us wait in hope. Amen.
Psalms 20, 21:1-7 (8-14) or 23, 27