Many of the lessons we carry through life can be traced back to our elementary school days. Respect for authority was certainly one of those. Rules were not questioned, and consequences were expected when we stepped out of line. I can still see the straight line painted on the floor outside the door to our principal’s office where the toes of those who had broken a rule would stand immovable until they were “invited” inside to discuss their offense. In those days, a paddling was administered as one form of discipline, but one look at the long board kept many of us on the side of what was right!
Even observing the school bully could be educational. It was easy to gain compassion when you witnessed someone being treated terribly by a mean-spirited delinquent. And it was a lesson in courage to stand with the underdog when you knew the bully had you in their sights as a new victim.
The playground and gymnasium both held lessons as well. You came to understand the pain of not being picked for a certain team if you weren’t one of the best players. Two team captains would stand and pick those they wanted for their team in a game of baseball or basketball while those waiting to be picked grew more nervous, dreading the possibility of being last.
How painful it can be when our faith is tested in times of waiting. It feels like God is busy picking someone else to bless while you stand and wait, flexing your faith muscle and trying to stay strong in the waiting period. It’s always painful when we long for something from the Lord and He hasn’t brought it to pass for us but someone else is getting the same blessing that we so desire.
This waiting period is a good time to consider the ground of our heart and whether we will believe the promises in God’s Word or become offended by our present circumstances. We must be aware of bitterness when we have not yet been picked for the blessing, or be left with a hardened heart:
Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up, because they had no deepness of earth: Matthew 13:5
Waiting and wondering if our prayers will be answered, and when, is always a challenge to our faith. But God chooses all who trust in Him and wait on His timing. In the end, no one who trusts in Him will be left alone. When faced with a time of waiting, ask God to give you the grace to wait on in faith. Your time will come!