Often times we pray, and then we wait, and pray some more and wait some more. The Bible tells us to let patience have its perfect work, knowing that it is a fruit of the Spirit, and having the hope that God will use our waiting to build us up into the person He wants us to be. But is it true that good things come to those who wait?
“Good Things Come to Those Who Wait” – English Proverb
While patience is indeed a virtue, let us not confuse waiting on God with inaction. If good things truly do come to those who wait, then why do anything at all? Just wait, and it will come, whatever “it” is. I think the foolishness in this idea is obvious to us all, but how do we balance patience with action?
In the Book of Hebrews we read, “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” (Hebrews 6:11-12 NKJV). Here the writer clearly distinguishes between being sluggish and being patient. We also see that patience does not stand alone, but it is coupled with faith. And so, waiting on God for the good things He has promised us through faith, is much different than just waiting.
And so we see, that patience has her place right beside faith. Let’s be careful to not allow laziness or procrastination to impersonate patience. Good things come to those who wait, but not to those who wait too late. Let’s do as Paul wrote to Timothy, “pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness”. It is when we are pursuing the things of God that we find the proper balance between waiting and doing.