Waiting Patiently

“Waiting Patiently,” © Lynn Abbott Studios. Used with Permission.

© 2017 Lynn Abbott

Sitting under the stars at a lovely Van Gogh-ish cafe, I observed a most unusual Labrador Retriever.

My husband, son and I had ordered what later proved to be the most delicious of pizzas for our evening repast.  Now, we waited.  My husband, ever the extrovert, attempted to engage other guests in conversation.

The charming setting, however, distracted me.  Particularly, the dog.

That engaging Labrador sat quietly next to his master, one table over from ours.  That’s nothing unusual in European cafes.  While living and working in England, I frequently dragged my pup to the local pub.

Nevertheless,  the owner’s actions surprised me: he tore off a piece of freshly baked, aromatic, Italian bread and placed it on the edge of the table.  The dog certainly did not miss the tantalizing treat.

I thought the man’s behavior a bit risky given that my dogs have always been eager to relish “people food,” and the lab appeared a rather large, canine specimen.

In other words, that dog certainly could lunge at any moment.   I understandably anticipated culinary disaster.

But the lab simply blinked.

He shifted his weight, but otherwise, he remained quiet.  Occasionally, the owner glanced over at the lab.   I noted that the pup eagerly observed his human.

That dog fascinated me.  His big brown eyes peered over the table edge at the apparently promised reward.  That  crusty piece of deliciousness was obviously meant for him.

Yet, there seemed to be an unspoken understanding between dog and master.  Although that “poster” dog for obedience training occasionally shifted his position, he left the bread alone.

That dog certainly could lunge at any moment.

I anxiously wondered when the owner would give the dog the “go ahead.”  Both dog and I waited ten minutes, literally an eternity in canine time.

Suddenly, the signal came.  And like lightning, the pup pulled his reward from atop the red-checked table-cloth.

“Did you see that?” I whispered to my son.

He nodded.  We shared a moment of mutual disbelief.  That dog and his master were nothing short of miraculous…

After all, such trust and patience in a dog certainly did not match any of my experiences with the canine kind.

Actually, it didn’t line up with most of my experiences with human kind either.

To be honest, I have never been patient when it comes to giving or receiving good gifts.  I struggle to keep secret the contents of a Birthday or Christmas gift.

For this reason, I tend to give gifts early because I’m so eager to see the delight on the receiver’s face.

Truth be told, I’ve been this way since childhood.

I certainly exasperated my mother more than once by opening gifts–my own as well as those meant for others–before the appointed time.

Uh, huh.  I upset many a “table” with disastrous results.

I have never been patient when it comes to giving or receiving good gifts.

Perhaps, that’s why I am especially amazed by David’s history.  As I have recently reread the book of Samuel, I have been struck by the extraordinary “wait” that David endured after being anointed by Samuel.

You remember the story, I’m sure.  King Saul had repeatedly disobeyed God; Saul failed to trust God and God’s timing.  What’s more, Israel’s first king failed to demonstrate authentic repentance when confronted about his disobedience.

The result?  God promised the kingdom to a young shepherd named David.  However, that promised gift did not immediately come to pass. Bible scholars suggest that fifteen years passed from the time of David’s anointing to his coronation.

Fifteen years?  He had to wait fifteen years for God’s gift?

Yes… fifteen years of agonizing wait; fifteen years of exile.

David waited for what  seems to me an “eternity” for his life’s purpose to be unveiled.

During those years, all hope  seemed lost, (1 Samuel 20:3).

In fact,  David endured years on the run, scraping out a meager existence marked by an ongoing need to hide from his murderous enemy, Saul.

David waited for what might have seemed an eternity for  his life purpose to be unveiled.

Was it easy?  David, after all, possessed great faith, right?

Sure ‘nuf.  But I’m not off the hook.

God has graciously included in His Word  David’s  Psalms, many that expressed authentic and heartbreaking questions during that trial by wilderness: “How long, O Lord?  Wilt Thou forget me forever?  How long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?” (Psalm 13:1).

Yet, during David’s grueling wait, not only did God prepare the hearts of His people to receive David as king, but God also prepared David’s heart.  While on the run, David grew closer to the Master.

The same David who asked, “How long?” also penned, “But I have trusted in Thy loving-kindness; My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation,” (Psalm 13:5).

You betcha. Those years in exile cultivated extraordinary faith.

Sometimes, in His extraordinary love,  God  asks us to wait for His promise.  More than worldly blessing and far beyond any goal, success or good we pursue, God values our relationship with Him.

He longs to establish our faith in Him.  He orchestrates our life events to build in us a steadfast love for Him (1 Peter 1:6-8).

Indeed, if we allow “endurance to have its perfect result,” that discipline builds trust and intimate relationship–a miraculous and supernatural bond like no other– with our Master, El Shaddai (James 1:4).

And when the time is right–when all has been prepared in and for us–He then delights in giving the “go ahead.”

“Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow, “~James 1:17

“Wait for the LORD; Be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD,” ~ Psalm 27:14

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59 thoughts on “Waiting Patiently

    • Thank you so much for your encouragement, my brother! I truly prayed a great deal before writing this post, and the Holy Spirit brought together the truth from God’s Word. I so appreciate your faithfulness to teach God’s truth! Your blog is an inspiration. God bless you greatly as you continue to serve Him!

      Liked by 2 people

  1. Thank you! What a beautiful story! For me, sometimes the trials seem never-ending, but then I remember that it is not about me-it is about my Father. What He has shown to me has been my blessings and my hope. Through Ink an Image, I am given new perspective and encouragement. Thank you for sharing with me and so many others. My readings tonite will be the verses you mentioned. Blessings to you and yours!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello, dear Patti! I am absolutely delighted to find your words here! It means the world to me that you came here to read. I’m so glad that this post resonated with you and that you are encouraged because you encourage me again and again. I thank God for you. God bless you greatly, my dear sister in the Lord!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What a lovely painting and story about patience. I think we all go through times in the wilderness and if we can hang onto the Master the end result will always be worth the wait. Love your work❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post, and I needed it today!

    Our society is what I like to call the “instant coffee” society. We expect everything to happen beautifully in an instant. Good coffee takes time to brew. Good results take time too! The Bible is full of long waiters—Moses, Abraham, Joseph, David (as you pointed out)—and it was often at least a decade or more before they received the promise. The wait helped develop their character and made the receipt so much sweeter.

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  4. This is exactly what I needed this morning. Plus my emails are coming in on my Kindle this morning which hasn’t been receiving them. I have an ulcer on my leg and must keep it elevated so can’t use main computer. God works on His perfect schedule, not ours. Thanks to you and David for helping me with this Patience Lesson. Praying God’s continued blessing, dear Friend!💝💚💙

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    • Oh, Bess… I’m so very sorry about your leg. I have been praying for you since I first read your comment earlier today. (I had to wait until I could get to my computer to respond). I’m truly grateful for your friendship. Your faith encourages me again and again! <3, prayers and hugs!

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  5. Lynn – That dog can teach most of us patience, I’m first in line to admit I’m not good at waiting. Isn’t that what God does though? He tells us the blessing but we’ve got to wait, be marinated, pruned, changed, molded….The journey is important, we’ve gotta go through the process – we chose how we do it though – Gods way or our way, we decide. I don’t relish going around the mountain – been there, done that so obedience, trust, faith in His process is key. So very well written my friend. As usual, you exude Him beautifully!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You betcha, Eunice! You are so very wise and you continually make me think deeper about faith and my relationship with Abba. Yeah… that owner loved the dog enough to patiently train the dog…and to build a strong relationship. The dog probably cared most about the bread. But the master saw the bigger picture. I think it’s much that way with me and God. And so, I found a lot of encouragement watching the dog and his owner interact. Thank you for all your encouragement! You and your friendship are truly a blessing! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you Lynn! Honored and humbled by your words. I find it funny a dog was used as a teaching tool haha! Nothing is wasted with Him. He’s used my cat to remind me I didn’t have to worry about my needs. A cat expects its owner to provide and doesn’t worry about tomorrow but I do, most of us do. You as usual are awesome and an amazing inspiration to us. Blessings my friend 💕

        Liked by 1 person

      • God uses all of His creation to teach us, doesn’t He? I just need to slow down and listen more! I love what God is teaching you. What an inspiration! And thank you so for your kind and thoughtful words! You are a wonderful friend, and truly have the gift of encouragement! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. After David became King as we know Lynn his life ended up in a mess, he Sinned greatly but he Repented and God knew he would and said he is a Man after my own Heart.

    Below is what David asked God to do for him and we need to ask our Abba Father to do the same for us as we put our Carnal Flesh to death by The Spirit and Aim to be Perfected in Love and yes we always seek to Trust and Obey because there is no other way.

    Christian Love Lynn and God’s Blessings – Anne.

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    • It is so glorious to see God’s grace in action, isn’t it? David messed up, truly. But unlike Saul, David’s repentance was authentic. Saul did not truly repent his disobedience and thus, God did not continue to bless Saul’s reign, and promised that Saul’s house would not stand. Interestingly enough, although David’s multiple marriages led to huge family problems and difficulties for the remainder of his life (as you well observe), and although the child that resulted from David’s great sin died soon after his birth, David’s son Solomon became the next king. Solomon was the son of David and Bathsheba. Thus, the child of God can rest, knowing that if s/he confesses sin, God redeems and fully forgives. And as a result, God will then continue to use imperfect people like David for God’s glory. In fact, David was promised that His house would last for eternity. And indeed, Christ is the fulfillment of that promise. That’s the kind of Gracious and Merciful God we serve! Thank you, Anne, for reminding me of the complete story of David’s life. And for the link to Keith Green’s beautiful rendition of David’s Psalm of genuine repentance. God bless you greatly! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      • God bless you too Lynn, sorry I have not replied before now or on your recent Post messages, I have been having Computer problems again and also with friends visiting my time has been very limited.

        I agree with what you shared Lynn: The Child of God can rest knowing that if s/he confesses Sin, God redeems and fully forgives.

        Yes we can indeed rest in the certainty that we are forgiven as we work out our Salvation, not meaning work for it. We put our Carnal flesh to death by The Spirit (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6 -Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) as we Aim to be Perfected in Love (Matthew 5:48 – Hebrews 6:1-Philippians 3:14-16 -2Timothy 3:17-1John 4:16-19- 1John 2:4-6- 2Corinthians 13:11) but not Worldly Perfection of course, as we know it just keeps changing.

        Blessings – Anne.

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  7. Hi Lynn, this is actually a comment for your introduction blog (I didn’t find a comment section under that one). You wrote: “Quite honestly, I am fascinated by the people who grace the pages of the Bible. I identify with their struggles and admire their faith. And I suppose I relate to them because despite the fact that they were ordinary and flawed, God loved them.” All I can say to that is Amen and ditto! Took the words right out of my mouth! Very much looking forward to reading your blog entries.

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    • Hi, David! So honored that you would visit my blog! I was absolutely delighted to discover yours. Yes. Like you, my heart has always resonated with the people of the Bible and their stories. It took some time to track down your blog as it isn’t listed on your “gravatar.” But in the process, I discovered you have written a wonderful book about the people in the Bible! I’m looking forward to purchasing your book to read when I have a little more time… after the busy holiday season. I’m truly glad to meet you! You are a fantastic writer… of course, you are… many years of experience +talent=expertise! And your personal story is extremely compelling. You are chosen by God twice over! 🙂 How blessed you are! I’m so thrilled to be able to read your blog. Sorry about my About page (that there is no place to comment). Sometimes, technology perplexes me, and I can’t figure it. I guess I need to investigate how to set that page up for comments. Thank you! God bless you big time!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you so much for the kind words, Lynn. Equally as blessed to have discovered your blog. And thanks for the heads up regarding the “gravatar.” I’ll make sure to link my blog to it. Much blessings to you, and have a wonderful weekend!

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      • Oh, you are welcome! There are so many “corners” to a blog… My blogging friends continue to help me find stuff that I didn’t know about regarding WordPress. You have a fantastic weekend! All the best to you, my new friend!

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  10. Amazing post! What a fantastic illustration and oh how relatable it is! Sometimes it is hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that God’s promises do not come when I want them to come, but when He chooses. How glad I am that God has my best interest in mind and He knows what He is doing ❤

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