Have you ever been guilty of putting a timer on God? Sometimes we are almost tempted to say, “ God, I know you are going to take care of this, but can you hurry?” Waiting can often be a frustrating and patience testing experience. We live in a society today that has geared us towards a mentality of getting what we want and getting it fast. Ever since the advent of drive-through restaurants and microwave ovens, we have been molded into a society that expects nearly instant gratification. America today is full of people that have been exposed to the “Get it and get it now” brainwashing. Let’s be honest. None of us like having to wait in long check out lines at the store or having to take numbers at the service counter. Today’s hustle and bustle world has created the monster of impatience in all of us. I will be the first to be very transparent and admit that patience is not one of my strong suits. Now of course, how long we have to wait in checkout lanes, or wait for our food in the drive through at McDonald’s is extremely trivial in the scope of life. The waiting that really separates the diamonds from the cubic zirconias, the gold from the iron pyrite, the strong from the weak… is the waiting that occurs during the periods of our lives that seems like a walk through the dessert. It is in those times of waiting on God to intervene for us that our levels of faith and patience are tested.
Anytime we are in a place in life in which we have serious concerns and issues that need God’s intervention, it can be very difficult and stressful waiting on God. I like what James said in the Bible about the subject of enduring difficulties and having patience. In the first chapter of the book of James, James said. “Dear brothers, is your life full of difficulties and temptations? Then be happy, for when the way is rough, your patience has a chance to grow. Let it grow, and don’t try to squirm out of your problems. For when your patience is finally in full bloom, then you will be ready for anything, strong in character, full and complete.” (James 1:2-4 Living Bible) The words James shared are words of advice that we all need to take to heart. It is easy to trust God and have a full tank of faith when everything is going well. As James said, it is when the way gets rough that our patience has a chance to grow. Difficulties and trials develop our patience and help our faith to develop. It is during those times of our life that we are on the brink of disaster, and we need God to throw us the lifeline of His grace and His peace to keep us from drowning in the ocean of despair, that trusting God and having patience is difficult. During the stressful times of life when we feel like we are a paycheck away from homelessness, a doctor’s appointment away from a death sentence, and a big break away from total failure…it is then that God steps in and brings hope to the hopeless and power to the powerless. In my life I have seen God work out situations for me that seemed to be zooming towards the edge of the cliff. Even during what I deemed as the most dire and discouraging dilemmas in my life, God has proven over and over again that He is never late. I have to remind myself that because God is an eternal God, and a God who has no beginning and no end, time is totally different to God. A year, five years, ten years, or any amount of time equates to just fractions of seconds when compared to eternity. When it takes months or years for the hardships and problems that we face to be resolved, to us it seems forever. To God, it is just a blip on the radar of eternity.
One of the most difficult things to do when we are going through a tumultuous time in our life is to sit still and wait on God. In the Book of Psalms in the Bible, we are told to do just that, to be still and wait. In Psalms we are told to “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for him to act.” (Psalms 37:7 Living Bible) I would encourage anyone who is reading this that is experiencing a difficult time in life to keep trusting God and don’t lose hope. Don’t try to put God on a timer, only to tumble into despair when the amount of time that we have placed on our timer runs out. God’s ways are above our ways, He does things in His time, and God is NEVER late. I remember an old chorus that was frequently sung in the church I grew up in as a kid. The song said, “Don’t give up on the brink of a miracle.” Just because God hasn’t answered your prayers in the timetable that you think He should have doesn’t mean that He has turned a deaf ear and is unaware of your situations. God knows, God cares, and He is even now working behind the scenes in your behalf in ways that you don’t even realize. Hang in there and don’t put a timer on God.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,