Temper tantrums don’t get you what you want. They just make you look silly.

I’m a pretty impatient person. When I want something, I want it now. And it doesn’t help that I’ve grown up in America, the land of instant gratification. I don’t like to wait for anything. And if I have to wait, my first reaction is that I’ve done something wrong. Because, after all, why would God wait to give me something I want? So if I have to wait for something, my first inclination is to change tactics, intending to fix whatever error I made so that God will give me what I want.

It makes sense, right?

Well, it would make sense if God worked like that. But He doesn’t.  Yes, there is some truth to changing your ways and growing into a responsible person God can trust. If you do that, He’ll trust you with more responsibility. But being a “better person” or living a “better life” by no means entitles you to get the things you want. Because the things you want may not be good for you or the things you want may distract you or the things you want may cause you to take your focus off God.

Today’s verse is Psalm 62:1.

 1 I wait quietly before God,
      for my victory comes from him.

How many of us are accustomed to waiting for anything, let alone waiting quietly?

Waiting is hard. And it seems like it’s all I ever do. And honestly, it’s depressing sometimes. Because I want to run ahead. I want to do great things. I want to go places and help people. But, no, I have to wait, either for vacation time to accumulate or for the savings account to build up enough. Or I have to wait until God tells me it’s okay. That’s the big one.

And when God tells me to wait, the last thing I want to do is wait quietly.

What does that even mean? How can we wait quietly? What does that look like? I always love comparing different translations.

The Ampified Version says, “For God alone my soul waits in silence.”

Isn’t it true, though, that when we have to wait for something we want, there’s a huge temptation to throw a temper tantrum. Have you ever been walking around in a store listening to some child have a meltdown in the next aisle over because he or she wanted something their parent wouldn’t buy for them? Wow. There is nothing like the sound of an angry child screaming in self-serving indignation. And if you’ve heard it enough, you can tell there’s a different sound to it than a scared cry or a sick cry or a tired cry or a just plain unhappy cry.

I don’t speak Greek. But to me, this verse is saying that we need to wait without throwing a temper tantrum. Quietly. Silently. Even if it’s hard to accept when God says no, we still need to stem the need to lash out at Him.

Temper tantrums actually only serve to make you look like an idiot. Maybe on some occasions, a temper tantrum will get a child what he wants. But in my case, a temper tantrum only served to get me in deeper trouble. And I guarantee that a temper tantrum in front of God will only make you look stupid.

Seriously. Don’t you think that temper tantrums are negative? Don’t they affect your opinion of a child? So what does it do to your opinion of an adult when he or she is having a tantrum because God won’t give them what they want?

And besides looking like a fool, temper tantrums wear you out. Emotionally and physically, they drain you. And you’re left exhausted and you still don’t have what you want because no temper tantrum will ever convince God that you’re ready.

Speaking of being exhausted, I love the NIV translation of this verse. The New International Version says: “Truly my soul finds rest in God.”

That’s what my soul needs to hear today. My soul is exhausted. October is a difficult month. Actually, my life just starts getting crazy in August and it doesn’t let up at all until January, and that’s a long time to go without rest. But I don’t need to be exhausted because I’m supposed to find rest in God. If I’m exhausted, that means I’m looking for rest somewhere else. It means I’m waiting quietly for someone else to provide me with the answers I want.

The last part of the verse says that our victory (or our salvation) comes from God. Victory can’t be found in any other source. Any victory we think we achieve on our own is temporary.

But if we wait quietly for God — if we find our rest in Him — He will give us victory of a different sort. And when victory comes from God, it doesn’t end. Victory from God is eternal and lasting and changes you from the inside out.

When God is ready, He will give us the things that He has for us but not before He’s ready. And it may be hard to deal with and difficult to accept, but we have to trust that He has our best interests in mind. Because He’s our Father. He knows how to give good gifts to His children, and if He isn’t allowing you to have something yet, maybe it’s not as good as you think it is. Or . . . maybe it’s not as good as it will be when you’re ready for it.