It's My Blessing and I Want it Now

It is an unbelievably beautiful day here in RVA. I hope you are enjoying your day and getting a productive start to your week. I'm just home from a weekend of events in Detroit. While I was in the D, I played in a charity basketball tournament raising over $1,100 for kids in the city. I also played a concert while I was in town. 

While I was riding around Detroit I saw a bunch of those ambulance chasing attorney ads on billoards all around town. Apparently, Detroit has a lot of car accidents! I'm positive that I didn't go 5 miles on the freeway without seeing one of those things.  They were everywhere. 

Seeing those ads on the freeway got me to thinking about funny lawyer and financing commercials that we see here in VA. The first one that came to mind was J.G. Wentworth. I've always found those commercials to be hilarious "Its my money and I want it NOW!" I'm pretty sure everybody has seen one of those commercials.  

As funny as it is, that J.G. Wentworth ad is a brilliant appeal to our natural bent toward impatience. In the Bible, Jesus' parable of the Prodigal Son reminds me of this ad. The youngest son of a very wealthy man decided he didn't want to wait for his inheritance. He wanted it all and he wanted it immediately. It was his inheritance and he wanted it now! He had no regard for his father's timing. He wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. 

I know I can relate to Mr. Prodigal's sense of immediacy. In truth, I  think most of us are terribly impatient - especially when it comes to the things of God. We want blessings to show us immediately.  We have no regard for God's processes or his timing. So many times we only care about our requests or God's promises. We care nothing of his ways! 

As it turns out, the prodigal kid that Jesus spoke of wasn't at all ready for inheritance he'd been given. He blew it all, recklessly spending his money turning up (that's a slang  colloquialism for partying, lol). Sure, his father would later show mercy and welcome him home but the prodigal son's inheritance was spent! There was no getting that part back. 

I'm sure the prodigal kid's father knew what his son would do with the inheritance he had for him. I'm also sure there was an appointed time for him to bequeath that inheritance to his son. The prodigal son didn't have any regard for his father's wisdom and in the all his disregard for his father's wise timing cost him the inheritance he wanted so badly.  

There is a sobering lesson of trust in this story. We can learn from Mr. Prodigal. We do know that every promise of God is "yes and amen." We also know that God has promised to affirmatively answer every prayer we pray according to his will. However, patience and trust in his timing are critical. We must learn that he has his reasons for delaying. We must trust that his delays always result in dual purpose: his glory and our good! 

So, as we set out into the week with our lists of things we are praying about, let us us seek the Lord for increased grace that manifests as trust and patience in his processes and timing. Let's pray for greater revelations of who God is as we count on him to work with, through and for us in those spaces where we are praying. Let's pray that he will quiet that self centered voice that all too often shouts out "it's my blessing and I want it now!" 

Questions for the week


  • What is patience?
  • Can I think of times when I've been impatient with God and wound up wrecking a blessing?
  • Do I take pleasure in seeing God work or just getting my way?
  • Do I trust God's processes as much as I trust his results?


Who likes hearing this word? I know I certainly don't. What is it about waiting that makes us cringe? Most of us, (if we are honest with ourselves,) suck at being patient. Whether it's in a line at the grocer or for God to move on something we've requested, waiting (or being patient) is among our least favorite things to do.

Apparently God is a comedian, because He's put particular importance on patience. Great! One of the things we like to do the least is one of the things He pleasures in most. The Bible isn't ambiguous on this. If it is impossible to please God without faith it is just as impossible to really love Him (or anyone else) without patience. It is, afterall, the first law of love (See 1 Corinthians 13:4).

If you're like me, whenever I try to impose the discipline of patience on myself the outcome isn't pretty. It starts with frustration. This usually starts with me getting ticked off with just the idea of having to wait. After this first stage of my impatient tantrum, I usually start to get frustrated with everyone and everything included in the waiting proces - including myself. But that isn't the ugly part, really. Things take a turn toward the ugly when frustration gives way to me trying to force things and make them happen. You do the same thing, right? C'mon! It isn't just me!

When I try to force things I always make a mess. I almost always wish I had let patience win over my frustration. But, how do we get there? How do we get to a place where we let patience win?

Patience is a fruit - a proof of the Spirit's presence in us. This is the good news in all of this! Patience is not a fruit of our own spiritual awesomeness. Instead, it is a byproduct of God working in us. He must produce it in us. We can't do it on our own.

Letting patience win starts with openness to the Holy Spirit. Letting patience win is actually letting the Spirit win, and that victory starts long before the test of patience even surfaces. We have to come to terms with the truth that it is His power in us that makes things happen and not our own.

When we lean hard on the Holy Spirit, we find something special in waiting. We learn to observe the process that plays out during our periods of patience. Abraham's faith grew during his long wait for his promised son, Isaac. David developed deep relationship with God while he was on the run from Saul, waiting to become king of Israel. Jesus grew in favor with God and men while working in the carpentry shops of Nazareth, waiting for His ministry on earth to begin.

There is always something special in the waiting period. In fact, the word of God says that we are perfected by the work patience does in us (See James 1:4 ). When we learn to listen intently to the Spirit of God within us, He reveals precious epiphanies, truths, relationships and experiences through our periods of patience! When we lean on His presence, patience becomes more joyous. When we are open to Him, we become enthralled with the experience of the process and less aggravated with the drudgery of waiting.

I really believe this is what Isaiah meant:

But those who wait upon God get fresh strength. They spread their wings and soar like eagles, they run and don't get tired, the walk and don't lag behind.

- Isaiah 40:31

So, this week let's meditate intently on patience. Let's make a point of looking around while we're waiting - whether we're waiting for a slow download or waiting for something in our prayer lives. Let's commit together to take a look at what's going on while we're waiting. If we take our time and count on the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, I'll bet we'll find some pretty incredible discoveries!

Here are some questions to consider this week. Hopefully these will help fine tune your focus on patience:


  • What have I asked God for, or what has God personally promised me?
  • Has He called me to be patient for the thing I've asked Him to deliver?
  • Have I been trying to force God's hand or rush the outcome that I want?
  • What kind of results do I get from rushing outcomes? Do I get what I ultimately have prayed for by forcing things?
  • What opportunities to grow and learn might I have missed as a result of my impatience?