“Wait for the Lord” on “Water Lilies Stained Glass – Green” acrylic painting, 45″ x 45″ c. May 2017 © by Donna Gonzalez *
- Stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens. Synonyms: hold on, hold back, bide one’s time, hang fire, mark time, stand by, sit tight, hold one’s horses.
- Used to indicated that one is eagerly impatient to do something or for something to happen.
- A period of waiting.Synonyms: delay, holdup, interval, interlude, intermission, pause, break, stay, cessation, suspension, stoppage, halt, interruption, lull, respite, recess, moratorium, hiatus, gap, rest
- The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.Synonyms: forbearance, tolerance, restraint, self-restraint, stoicism, calmness, composure, equanimity, imperturbability, phlegm, understanding, indulgence, perseverance, persistence, endurance, tenacity, assiduity, application, staying power, doggedness, determination, resolve, resolution, resoluteness.
I happen to love words and learning new ones too. In truth while writing this post I had always thought the word “wait” meant the same thing as patience and was a synonym for it as well…hmmm….was I wrong! Perhaps you knew the difference. Take a look at the definitions above; two very different words and not having even the same synonyms!
This past month while doing my errands I’ve noticed how very impatient some people are on the roads, perhaps you met them too on your travels. Waiting is something most people are genetically opposed do even less show any patience.
Because waiting and patience are two very different things. Staying where one is or to delay action until a particular time or until something else happens is one thing. One can pass their time by becoming busy changing the radio station in the car.
But who wants to learn a virtue at the cost of experiencing trouble and suffering – as in paying attention, using the breaks to slow down to the actual speed limit behind me before I quickly completed my right turn before said driver plowed into me?
No, that is extremely difficult for some people to do. Instead it’s far easier for driver to keep foot glued on accelerator gunning the engine past me on the left while mouthing something and shaking their fist in the mirror.
Hmm…. no wonder people warn others about praying for patience – but they should do it anyway. Patience really is a much higher noble virtue to attain! Which brings me to the artwork I created. “Water Lilies Stained Glass – Green” is an acrylic painting composed of 16 mosaics placed into a pattern. It comes in purple and pink too.
I happened to be conversing with a friend sharing favorite bible scriptures after a group bible study. Her favorite is Psalm 27:14. And when I got home I did something different again, usually the scripture comes after the pattern but this time I had to “find” which painting would best suit this scripture.
I chose “Water Lilies Stained Glass – Green” as its bright colors resembled a stained glass window. There are pink and violet opened lilies surrounded by great big green leaves, highlighted in peachy orange. (See below) The big green lily pads are highlighted in yellow and have a closed purple flower in between them. All of which is surrounded by the dark and light blue portions of the mosaic that representing water. Easy-peasy.
Now, did I know before hand that this mosaic painting placed into a pattern would create a flower, a lily pad and water? No. Now here is where it all gets quite interesting…
I did some research on waterlilies to see if there was anything I could learn about them. I found that water lilies grow quickly and are invasive the lily pads can get really big (some up to 6′ across) covering almost the entire water surface of a lake or pond, preventing any other water plant from reaching the surface. Hmm.. so does this artwork have a good amount of lily pads too!
Now, the white lily flowers bloom in the evening, sending out a rich fragrance throughout the night. The flower must wait for a certain little beetle attracted by the fragrance to come pollinate it. Once it lands on the flower it enters in searching for nectar.
The flower then closes up for a full day keeping the beetle safely inside, which it doesn’t mind at all, since it is happily drinking sweet nectar, but the flower has slowly started to change color – to pink. And in the meantime the flower’s pollen has mixed with the pollen on the beetle.
At last the blossom opens up to let loose the now heavily nectar-logged pollen-encrusted beetle as it flies away in search of another white blossom to imbibe and pollinate unknowingly. Hmm… fly, drink, pollinate and repeat…what a life!
Lovely story. But just how is all of this making any sense with Psalm 27:14? Well, a lot actually. There is so much deep biblical application in this for all of us, that I will try my very best to keep it succinct.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14
This verse is part of King David’s prayer to God to deliver him from his enemies who conspire to bring him down. Being a king David could do anything at anytime against those who hated him, but instead he prays to God. David accepts that those who oppose him will most likely still give him trouble before God vindicates him, but instead of getting angry or upset he instructs his heart to be strong and wait for God’s timing to vindicate him. This is what it means to be patient before God.
Now the water lily blossoms at God’s perfect timing in the evening just as the beetle is out flying over the water in search for white water lilies. As the lily waits to bloom at God’s command so it is with us Christians. God’s word tells us to wait upon Him, not to go before Him but to sit tight, hold on, expectantly, He understands the whole matter better than we do.
So we wait with patient endurance, whether or not it includes struggles, trouble or suffering we persevere with calmness, because we know that in God’s timing it will all work out. As David did.
We as believers are encouraged not to faint, or loose heart in the endurance of persevering, because when it is complete it leads us to maturity in Christ. James 1:2-4 says:
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance, Perseverance must finish it’s work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
What would happen if the water lily didn’t wait at God’s command to bloom but chose it’s own time to bloom; or chose instead to close up it’s petals before the beetle arrived? It would have missed its one chance at being pollinated.
When we take matters into our own hands and do not wait upon God as He says, we miss out on blessings. This is what happened to Saul when he lacked patience, didn’t restrain himself nor have the capacity to accept delay in waiting for the prophet Samuel to show up. Saul became perturbed, disregarded the word of the Lord from Samuel to wait to do the sacrifice until he came and it ended up costing Saul not only his blessing from the Lord but his very kingdom! I Samuel 13:8-14
The flower does not lack anything when the wait is finally over. You see, pollination isn’t the end of it all. For after the pink blossom has been pollinated it will shrivel up and sink back under the depths of the water and die – but here is the wonder of it all…it will bear fruit – a seed! And this seed will now grow up in maturity to become a beautiful new water lily for the glory of God!
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. -John 15:8
Hmmm….Maturity in Christ by waiting on God showing self-control in patience – leads to blessings and fruit which glorifies God! Now, isn’t that were we all want to be?
Be blessed my friend!