Sunday, February 26, 2017
Waiting on God
IT’S ALL A MATTER OF TIMING
If I told you that sometimes I think I need to buy God a watch for Christmas, would you know what I mean?
Sometimes, especially when in the midst of hard times, it is easy to question God’s timing, and to feel like maybe he has forgotten us in our situation. Maybe as you are reading this, you are experiencing a time in your life when things seem very difficult, and while you are waiting for God to help, the wait seems interminably long. It can make you wonder whether God can tell time! Hence, my temptation to send him a watch…
You might be interested to learn that this is not an uncommon experience, even for people in the scriptures. The question asking “How long?” is fairly common in the Bible, occurring in Psalms alone over a dozen times, such as this one from Psalm 13:1 (NASB)---
“How long, O Lord? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?”
In the New Testament, Peter reassures his readers that God is not slow about his promise (2 Peter 3:9)…which clearly indicates that they felt like maybe he was! The book of Revelation depicts martyred saints asking God the same question (6:10). Job asked the question, David asked the question…so if you wonder how long God is going to wait to help you, you are in good company!
It can seem as if God no longer cares, or as the Psalmist said, that he has forgotten you.
But he hasn’t.
And he isn’t running late. He is always on time. Perfectly on time.
It’s just that we can’t always figure out the whys and wherefores of his timing, especially when we are ready for some kind of deliverance from sorrow or struggle, and it just seems to take forever! Often, once God does act, it is possible to look back and see how it was indeed, the perfect timing…but it is sure hard to fathom other times!
On the other hand, in case you have never realized it, there are many times in the scriptures it is God asking US how long! Asking how long we will wander away from him, how long we will waffle between two opinions, how long we will delay turning to him for help. Sometimes it is our own sluggishness to respond that creates the difficult situations in our life and leaves us far from experiencing God’s care.
Much as I might like to give God a new watch, somehow I suspect he doesn’t really need help from me. He has the kind of eternal perspective that means he sees things much more completely and much more clearly than I ever have. Though it is hard to trust sometimes, it is critical that we learn to do so, and the only way to learn trust is to go through experiences in which all we can DO is trust. Afterwards, we will see that God really DOES know what he is doing, even if WE don’t understand what it is. As a matter of fact, if we fully understood, it wouldn’t take much trust!
When I am in those dark times, there is a little verse in the Psalms that I find particularly encouraging, and I think I will close these thoughts by sharing it with you. It is from 30:5 (NASB)--
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.
Hang in there…morning will come.