When I was a kid, I would have loved participating in a chocolate cake-eating experiment, but there was no such thing. Believe me, I would have found it. However, there actually was a famous marshmallow-eating experiment conducted at Stanford University. Children were tested to see if they could resist eating a marshmallow. If they could they would be rewarded with two instead of one. Researchers found that kids with marshmallow self-control performed better in school. Even more, they were seen as considerably more competent. When these children were followed into adulthood it was discovered that this characteristic stuck with them their whole life.
Delayed gratification is a crucial characteristic of maturity. Kids will say, “I want what I want when I want it.” When we see it in kids, we chalk it up to “immaturity.” But when an adult says it or even worse demands it, it’s just plain ugly. You may even find yourself embarrassed for them.
So today, do a quick maturity check on yourself. Do I demand my way? Am I impatient when I don’t get what I want or need right away? How do I do waiting at red lights? You might want to consider these Biblical characters. Abraham and Sarah waited over 25 years to have a son. Joseph waited about 20 years before his dream came true. David waited 15 years to become the King. Noah faithfully built the ark and waited on the flood for 100 years. Psalm 37:7a Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
Waiting patiently just might be the very thing God wants to develop in you. Who knows, you might end up with an extra marshmallow or two.