"We're a nation of quickaholics," says Sue Monk Kidd in her book When the Heart Waits. We have fast-food restaurants, jiffy markets, instant coffee, express lanes, and express mail. We can get our glasses in an hour and our oil changed in ten minutes. Fast-food restaurants were timed in Pittsburgh and the winner took forty-six seconds to serve a hamburger, fries, and a soft drink. The loser, a slow three minutes.
The danger is that the lure of the quick and easy will seep into our relationship with God. Jesus said for the disciples to go into Jerusalem to wait-to wait for the promise of the Father. In Luke they were to told to tarry until they received power. Expectant waiting yields power.
Recently I was seeking the Lord's help. The Holy Spirit was helping me pray when the doorbell rang. I started for the door, but then heard the UPS truck and knew the driver had left a package outside my door.
At that moment I had a choice. I could have shown the Lord I was truly waiting on Him. But, I thought, I'll just bring the package in and then continue praying.
I was surprised to see that the package was a dress I had ordered. I almost succeeded in putting it aside, but thought, it wouldn't hurt just to peak at it. By the time I looked at the red dress and decided it was too large, the Spirit of prayer had gone. The hunger to know God's answer, to hear Him speak, had been deferred by a minor interruption. It was almost as if the Spirit, who is very sensitive to our desires, read from my actions, "She doesn't want Me as much as she said." I realized I had lost an opportunity to demonstrate to the Holy Spirit how very much I wanted Him.
Dear Lord, deliver us from a complacency toward prayer that is the cause of our failing to wait.
"I wait for you, O LORD; you will answer, O Lord my God" (Psalm 38:15).