In the time of my favor I will answer you, and in the day of salvation I will help you. (Isa. 49:8)IT WAS 5:55 A.M. I had been awake for hours, stealing glances at the clock and praying for dawn. There was no emergency, not in the usual sense. I was nine years old, and the date was December 25. My parents had placed a gag order on my sister and me that would expire at 6:00 a.m. In just five minutes, I could expect to tear into the pile of Christmas presents stacked under the tree.

Fearful of delaying the big event by even a few seconds, I took my analog alarm clock into the bathroom, turned on the nightlight, and watched as the second hand made five painfully slow circuits. It seemed to take hours—lifetimes—for those few minutes to pass. Waiting is always painful.

Children may wait impatiently for trivial things, but adults hope for things of real consequence. We wait for healing. We wait for freedom from the sins that entangle us. We wait for the salvation of loved ones. We wait for justice. We wait for heaven. And God’s clock turns slowly, too slowly by our reasoning.

“I will answer you,” God has said. “I will help you.” When the day comes—the day of His choosing, not ours—God will deliver on all that He has promised. Healing, justice, freedom, salvation: It is all coming to those who wait.

Watch the clock turn for two full minutes as an exercise in patience.

Lawrence W. Wilson is a pastor, author, blogger, and avid cyclist from Fishers, Indiana. He is the author of A Different Kind of Crazy: Living the Way Jesus Lived (Wesleyan Publishing House).