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How Would You Rate God’s Customer Service?

By: cookie cawthon

Starbucks gets the art of apology. My daughter and I cruised into the drive-thru in the Jeep. The top and doors were off; the South Carolina sun warmed our skin. It was glorious. For about two minutes.

Ten….then fifteen elapsed. Cars in front, cars behind. And I don’t do trapped.

Except when I have no choice.

When we finally arrived at the window, the barista immediately handed us an apology coupon and asked our pardon for the wait. My irritation instantly abated.

Impatient Consumer Syndrome

We boast of our road rage. We call ahead for dinner; we grumble about DMV waits and the line of cars to drop off or pick up kids at school, and we gobble up Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping. If we can dream of owning it, it can be delivered to our WELCOME mats in a flash.

As much as we love undercutting a wait, we have to guard against that ambition infiltrating our relationship with God. When we approach Him from a consumer's paradigm, scoring Him on how long we've been waiting, complaining about the "service" we're receiving or how our difficult circumstances are diminishing our enjoyment of Him, we are operating out of entitled, impatient hearts.

Galatians 5:22-23 states when we are wholly submitted to Him, we will naturally exhibit certain character traits. Patience is one of them.

There is wisdom inherent in patience. It says, “I can’t see all of the factors affecting this time frame, so I will gear down, listen, and trust.” This applies to a delay in our guacamole at lunch, the wait for a baby, the restraint required for allowing our children to learn from failure, the self-control needed to wait on the right opportunity, and the enduring prayer for a spouse’s salvation.

How to Wait Well

Any wait is a tool for God’s purposes, and we can wait well. When waiting on God, we can maximize the effectiveness of a time that can otherwise feel like a fruitless holding pattern. We can…

Any wait is a tool for God’s purposes.

  • Ask the right questions.
    • “God, how do You want to change me during this wait?”
    • “What do You want me to do during the wait?
  • Allow gratitude to temper an excruciating wait. We can know joy by pointing our perspectives to thankfulness.
  • Look for purpose in the wait.
  • Trust that He is working even if we can’t see evidence of it.
  • Memorize Scripture that reminds us of God’s faithfulness (like Lamentations 3:22-24 or Hebrews 10:23).

Ditching the Customer Mindset

We are not God's patrons; He does not owe us because we are faithful subscribers. He is not threatened we'll go elsewhere if we aren't satisfied. He is the Creator of the universe. We are not His customers; we are His creation. And sometimes we can stand to go a lot bigger on worship and at a lot less on whiny.

He’s no short order cook who fulfills my demands. He’s not a service provider, and He doesn’t issue apology coupons. He’s my Father, the Creator of all my eyes can see. With His very own Father hands, He made me. And now continues to make me more like Jesus—sometimes through a wait. And my response is to gear down, listen, and trust.

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