(Don’t) Wait for It… On Time, Free Will, and Patience

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


One day each of us will dwell in a kingdom where terms like “past,”present,” “future”–even “one day”–will be moot; where the exoskeleton of time will have fallen away; existence will be the realm of “now” and “is”; and where the term “wait” is no longer part of the lexicon.

But as hard as it often is to do, i.e., to wait, if you think about it, waiting (waited, will wait) is perhaps one of God’s greatest gifts because of another great gift called free will, as free will is linked up with waiting, with time.

Free Will

Into the land of yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows, into which we are conceived, within which, in due developmental course, both consciousness and conscience emerge, we gradually and/or suddenly come to the choices that we make and/or others make for us.

These choices define and shape us, and in the consequences thereof we can choose to either rejoice in a good choice, or remain mired in some tragic or desperate “now” of a bad choice.

But if the latter, we can always choose to step forward in hope and faith into something better with a little help from our friends and the Friend of friends.

Regarding another very different kind of choice, we can also choose to float along with the fads and feel-goods on the surface of things and, as time goes by, inevitably experience less and less of a satisfying return on our investments. And treading nearby, of course, are plenty who would profit off of our fickle hearts and skittish emotions.


Meanwhile, back in Hopeandfaithland, as to the Time Keeper (Designer and Minder):

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:8-9, NIV)

God’s “slowness” in this regard, though often frustrating and/or puzzling on our end, is all for the good, His good for our good. That is a hard truth, however, as some consequences, especially those imposed upon us by others’ choices, can be so harsh…**

But that’s not all.

In the incomprehensible largesse of God’s love, His “slowness,” aka patience, with his creation, is a blessing multiplier, wrapping its benefits around not only ourselves but others, as well.

In God’s customized timeline for each, if we are willing, He works through time to mold, chisel, shape, and shine patience in us and by extension blessing others, as illustrated between the lines here:

Whoever is patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. (Proverbs 14:29)

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:9)

Better a patient person than a warrior,
one with self-control than one who takes a city. (Proverbs 16:32)

And to the genesis of all such blessings as outlined in another passage in the biblical anthology (Proverbs, chapter one) but infused in all:

1The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel (…)

for gaining wisdom and instruction;

for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.

As to the genesis for each of us?

The fear [knowledge and reverence] of the Lord is the beginning… ***

To Today

For here and now, God also says:

“Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts”… (Hebrews 3:7-8)

And if you haven’t “heard” Him already, this is something to give careful thought to in the “here and now” where, even in what might seem the span of  a long life, such things as time, free will, and patience are fleeting, and where, ever after, they are no longer.

That everlasting realm of either darkness or light, pain or peace, weeping or rejoicing.

Choose light, peace, and rejoicing.

Today would be good.


*Here are some additional thoughts on free will.

**As Joseph said to his brothers who, out of jealousy, treated him quite cruelly (narrative here), “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

From the cruelty of others’ in our lives, too, God can work good–not only for our salvation, but for others as well if they receive it, recieve Him.

***From there, here is some background on, and instructions for, what comes next, if you have not taken this step.

Damaged clock face image from Wikimedia Commons


This entry was posted in Devotionals, encouragement in hard times, free will, most recent posts, On Free Will, spiritual transformation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to (Don’t) Wait for It… On Time, Free Will, and Patience

  1. ‘Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever’ (Hebrews 13.8 JB). ‘The Lord created me when his purpose first unfolded, before the oldest of his works. From everlasting I was firmly set, from the beginning, before earth came into being. The deep was not, when I was born….’ (Proverbs 8.22-24 JB). ‘And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time’ (Matthew 28.20 JB).


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