wait: stay where one is or delay action until a particular time; to stay in place with expectation
I think one of the reasons why we get ourselves in a mess from time to time is because we don’t want to wait.
In Luke 15, a certain man had two sons and the younger son had a waiting problem, too. Father, give me the share (portion) of property (estate, inheritance) that is coming to me (vs 12, ESV). According to his statement, it wasn’t his time – yet. Normally, a person has to die before his/her property is transferred to another person, but this young man couldn’t wait for his father to die. He wanted to possess what was promised to him NOW. There is a right time for everything, but when you refuse to wait, impatience leads to stupid mistakes (Proverbs 14:29, CEB).
He was where he needed to be, but not many days after receiving what rightfully belonged to him, he left for a country that was far away – from his father, from his position and from the life already chosen for him. Had he understood all that his father had, he would have never asked for a portion. His father was training him and preparing him for what was coming to him, but he left the process prematurely. He thought he knew more than his father. He thought he had it figured out. What he didn’t know was that responsibility came with the inheritance. I’m not sure of his age, but asking for something only to use it on oneself was a sign of immaturity.
Sometimes the enemy will try to convince you that you’re missing out on something or that you’re running out of time. I don’t know what he was in search of, but whatever it was, he never found it because it was in the place that he left. He wasted his substance living a life contrary to the one that he was taught. He knew right from wrong. The moment he spent it all, a mighty famine came and he began to be in want. He wasn’t prepared for a time such as this. When he lived with his father, he didn’t want for anything, but in this country, he had to toil and no one gave him anything. He was feeding another’s man pigs, but he himself was hungry – so hungry that he desired to eat what the pigs were eating. No one cared for him or took care of him like his father.
I’m not sure how long he worked in the fields, but he was literally in a mess – a pig’s mess, to be exact. He probably was afraid to go back home. What would his father say? Would his father receive him again? Maybe he was too ashamed to go back home so he tried to stick it out. He tried to fix what he messed up. He tried to make things work. But one day, he finally came to his senses. He remembered that his father was rich and had hired servants. So, if his father was rich, that meant he was rich, too.
Some of us have been in situations longer than we should have been. You’re not waiting on God. God is waiting on you to come to yourself. The younger son made a choice – to arise and go (vs 18). Yes, he could have left at anytime, but he had to first want to leave. He had to get tired of being in that situation. He could have said, I want to go home, but I don’t have the money, which would have been a true statement, but he didn’t let anything stop him. He had been in that field long enough.
Make a choice, not excuses.
This young man didn’t wallow in guilt or self-pity. He didn’t beat himself up over his mistakes. He walked away from his past and walked into his future. You must do what he did and lay aside the weight. You’re not going to go very far in life (or in ministry) being bitter, angry, refusing to forgive, blaming other people or refusing to do what God told you to do. The ability to get up – to arise – is in you. The only person who is stopping you is you.
It was going to be a long journey back home, but that journey was life changing because it caused him to humble himself and to repent of his sin (vs 21). What was so beautiful about this parable was that in the end, he got what his father wanted him to have all along – the best!
Bring forth the best (vs 22).
To every purpose, there is time. Don’t focus on the time – When is God going to do it? Focus on the purpose – What am I doing now? I know we want things now, but if you learn to wait, you will not be disappointed because the Lord is good to those who wait for HIM (Lamentations 3:25).