Just after Christmas, I was told a secret that I was NOT allowed to share. (that’s the point of a secret, right?) We were playing a game, and they each put this as their answer.
The beginning of January, my son and his girlfriend told us they were getting married, but not until my son’s birthday party on June 30th and they wanted it to be a surprise! WHAT? I had to wait 6 months to tell anyone that BIG NEWS?? Ugh. It was awful. I don’t like waiting. I’m not very patient. I’m not good at it. But I knew I needed to honor their wishes and respect their decision to keep the secret of a surprise wedding. But it was tough. Beyond tough!
As I encouraged the invited guests to come to the party, they questioned me. They didn’t understand why I said “You really really really will want to be there” without giving them any clues. I even convinced myself that maybe it was in their best interest to know why I was urging them to come. But that didn’t matter. It wasn’t my secret to tell or my decision about what was “best”.
We do that when we’re waiting on God too, don’t we? We think we know best. Andy Stanley has this to say about being patient and waiting…”Patience is indispensable to our ability to obey God and receive His best for us. It may feel excruciating to wait upon the Lord, but that’s exactly when He renews our strength.” (Isaiah 40:31) God has a much better plan for us.
So did my son and his bride. When I heard the gasps and laughter and JOY from the guests at the party, I knew that keeping my mouth shut was best for the outcome they desired. It was interesting because I feel like the closer it got, the easier it was. It was almost like a training exercise. I stretched my “patience” muscle and it was getting stronger! (yes, there was some deep breathing and heavy signing at times, but I got there) And it was amazing. And beautiful. AND…worth waiting for.
Patience is the capacity to tolerate challenges or delays (or surprise parties) without getting upset.