Instant Gratification

We live in a culture who wants what they want, when they want it. The art of patience and waiting has been ruined by the creation of fast food restaurants and cell phones.

I remember having a pen-pal as I grew up. I would receive a letter in the mail, sit down and write a response, put it in an envelope, write on the address of where it needed to go and post it. It would take a few days to be delivered and my friend would have to go through the same process before a response was on its way back to me.

Now I get frustrated if someone doesn’t respond to my text immediately. There is no more waiting, no more expectancy.

The examples we are given in the famous chapter about men and women of faith in Hebrews 11 teach us that we are missing something when we are longing for instant gratification instead of a heavenly country.

Hebrews 11 vs 13-16

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had the opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country –  a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.”

Something twists in my heart when I read the words that they did not receive the things promised. I pour out my requests in the morning and I long for certain goals and plans to come to fruition. Which forces me to ask the question: “Am I longing for instant gratification or for a better country?”

In a world of instant gratification it is very easy to set the mind on achievable short term goals. To go through a list and tick off all our accomplishments one by one. But am I truly longing for a better country? A heavenly one?

The next time that you are in a season of waiting for something that has been promised, stop a moment and allow yourself to dream about the heavenly country. For no matter what it is that you desire on earth, the Word clearly tells us that this heavenly country, is a better country. And for those who long after this heavenly country, who admit that they are aliens and strangers to this earth, God is not ashamed to be called their God and he has prepared a city for them.

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