how you wait is more important than how long you wait

2:08am and inspiration for this piece hits. On my heart is something that God’s teaching me about His timing. Here we go.

When I was 23, I started taking up driving lessons. Boy oh boy was I pumped. Back then I didn’t see it coming, but when I got my first taste of being behind the wheel and seeing how the littlest of my body actions (hands on the wheel, feet on the gas pedal) could cause a whole car to move, I was hooked. I became an instant drive-a-holic. Naturally, I was eager to clear all the stages of driving lessons as fast as I could so that I could get my license and start driving foreals.

So the day comes for the big test. I was nervous and excited and confident all at once. I had high hopes of passing, I mean… pfft, come on, have you seen me at the wheel? I was born for this! But guess what. I didn’t pass that day. On my way out of the test circuit’s parking lot, my left rear wheel mounted the curb. Every Singaporean driving license holder who’s ever been through the whole process knows: that’s an instant fail. (Honestly though, looking back I don’t know why this error constitutes an instant fail. Surely there are worse things to apply this penalty to!) At last the test came to an end, and I received the slip that had “fail” on it. It’s quite embarrassing to remember this, but I was in proper tears!

In between tears and being so upset, I didn’t absorb very much of the feedback the tester was giving me about my driving. Though, in between sobs there was one thing the tester said that I still remember today: “You’re not ready for the roads yet, ah girl, and you’re going to endanger your life and others if I pass you.” Oh, at that time, that was such a stab to the heart. All I knew was that I was looking forward to getting my driver’s license and I was so sure I had it in the bag. I mean, have I told you already? I was really upset. I don’t even remember crying when I scored a D for my A Level Economics paper (#truestory) and yet there I was, crying over a test that I could take again in a couple months’ time. Try again I did, and the second time was a charm. I passed, and soon enough I bought my own car and enjoyed plenty a wheel time back when  cars were still affordable in Singapore.

But it’s like that with God and His timing too, in my life. There are things that I would like to have, which in His good knowledge, He knows I’m not ready for. A good thing at a wrong time is still not a good thing. Some things that I want are just plain wrong for me, and often I don’t see it until I stop pining so hard and fixating on “I want it and I want it now”. God knows what I can handle and when I can handle it.

So with this quick vignette of a memory about my driving license experience, I’m reminded to be patient in the waiting. There are so many things I’m waiting for, but it’s not how long I wait that matters, it’s how I wait that matters.

I’m waiting for the day I meet my future husband.

I’m waiting for the completion of a two-year covenant I have with the Lord.

I’m waiting for more songs to be birthed from my own writing, and by extension the birth of a new worship album from my church.

I’m waiting for breakthrough to come in different areas of the worship ministry that I serve in.

I’m waiting for God to bring to reality the dreams about missions that He’s placed in my heart since I was very young. (And on that note, God’s been doing something to my understanding of His will and those dreams – but that’ll be for another post.)

As I wait, am I going to allow bitterness and distrust grow in my heart towards God? No, instead, I’ll choose to trust His goodness and sovereignty and just rest easy into a place of a yielded heart and a yielded will. To come to a place where my will doesn’t have to be at war with His. To come to a place where I understand time as He understands it: “now” and “not yet” are equally beautiful situations to be in.

I know that between now and not yet is a path to be walked, where I’ll grow in maturity, deepen in my relationship with Him, open up to perspectives that He’s more than able to fill in the spaces of the wait. If I bashed my way through, I’m cutting short the whole learning process altogether and potentially hurt myself and others too.

Like the Psalmist wrote, I want to say this often to my own heart:

Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you. – Psalm 27:14 (TLB)

Over to you…What are you waiting for? More importantly, how are you waiting? Remember that how you wait is far more important than how long you wait.

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