It is difficult to tell at times the difference between having patience in waiting to make a change, and hesitating due to the fear of change. I quote Stephen Covey from a post on Facebook on January 28th:
Patience is a self-willed restraint until you come to understand. Complacency is some times a mood of contentment and satisfaction independent of the surrounding environment. Patience is a key element of charity, and is a proactive response to difficult situations.
I myself have learned to tell fear or complacency from patience by listing to myself and to the Holy Spirit. I immediately feel guilt, tension, and hesitation in my body and hear the voice of God saying, “You know better…” at times when I am resisting change that I know must be made. That voice may be through the conscience or power of reasoning, but I acknowledge that it is God nonetheless. Complacency restrains growth in every area of life. Resisting the voice of the Lord at these times not only will delay a blessing, but shows a resistance to hearing God that makes it easier and easier to resist in the future at times when the penalties for resisting may be even higher.
When patience truly is required, and waiting on change is the order of your steps, there should be a calm about waiting, even when the change is welcomed and anticipated. Knowledge, wisdom, counsel, prayer and reflection are needed at these times; elements that make up what Solomon would refer to as discretion and judgment in the Proverbs.
Isaiah 40:31 reminds us that those who wait on the Lord “renew their strength.” The verse is a promise that we can do things with God’s strength and not faint in our pursuits. Running alone will see us fall down exhausted while striving under our own power. This is not an inactive waiting, it is an active anticipation and preparation for what is coming next, whether the change is around the corner or years away. Fear dissolves and resolution builds to face the challenges; character and integrity develop in order to better shoulder responsibility.
God’s timing is perfect and unquestionable. He will never lay on us more than we can bear, whether in trials and testing, or benefits and blessing. When He says go, go. But if he says wait, then blessed will be the one who waits.