When the way you planned to run your day, or the way you planned to live your life is cut off or slowed down, the unbelief of impatience tempts you in two directions, depending partly on your personality, partly on circumstances:
On the one side, it tempts you to give up, bail out. If there’s going to be frustration and opposition and difficulty, then I’ll just forget it. I won’t keep this job, or take this challenge, rear this child, or stay in this marriage, or live this life. That’s one way the unbelief of impatience tempts you. Give up.
On the other side, impatience tempts you to make rash counter moves against the obstacles in your way. It tempts you to be impetuous or hasty or impulsive or reckless. If you don’t turn your car around and go home, you rush into some ill-advised detour to try to beat the system.
Lack of Faith
Impatience, as Piper points out, comes from not trusting in God’s sovereignty. It comes from a lack of faith in God.
And we can see the results of that in Isaiah 30.
“Ah, stubborn children,” declares the Lord,
“who carry out a plan, but not mine,
and who make an alliance, but not of my Spirit,
that they may add sin to sin;
who set out to go down to Egypt,
without asking for my direction,
to take refuge in the protection of Pharaoh
and to seek shelter in the shadow of Egypt!
God’s people feared Assyrian invasion. But they forgot God and took matters into their own hands, “without asking my direction” they went to “carry out a plan, but not mine.”
Pausing to Seek Direction
A raiding horde might not be in our back yard, but we’re no strangers to situations that we didn’t plan. From financial stress to health issues – even down to the smaller matters like being on time for meetings or interruptions that throw our day off.
In these times, what if we took a moment to actively remind ourselves that God is sovereign – and not us?
What if we took a moment to seek his direction on how to react, how to reschedule, how to reprioritize?
The circumstances might not be as serious as a military attack, but the heart matters are just as important.
Photo Credit: Gagan Sadana (Creative Commons)
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