Updated: Apr 9, 2022
Of all the things God does to groom us for our intended purpose at any given point in our lives, accepting HIS timing is perhaps the most difficult of all. As humans, we are so focused on the concept of time (and on rushing from point A to point B) that we forget that developing a habit, that learning a new skill, that perfecting a craft, that being good at something, that creating a beautiful masterpiece, that moving up the ladder, that achieving success at anything, takes TIME! Instead of recognizing this simple fact, we act with impatience, we waste time in anticipation, in over-thinking, in trying too hard, in rushing to get to the finish line, in skipping over directions because we think we already know what we're doing, in finding short cuts, in by-passing reading the fine print and going ahead and signing on the dotted line without knowing exactly what we're getting ourselves into - all with the expectation of realizing gratifying end results sooner rather than later. Is it any wonder with this mindset that God's timing can so often feel like forever?!
All the while we are growing up we hear things like, "Take your time," Practice makes perfect," If at first you don't succeed, try, try again," "Don't get discouraged; keep at, you'll get it." We learn that learning - that becoming good at something - takes study, practice, and yes, time. And we supposedly also gradually learn the concept of delayed gratification: of saving for something we want but don't immediately have the money for, of the commitment and time it takes to get a good grade or to become really good at something, of the planning, dedication, and hard work that goes into realizing a goal or finishing a big project, of the effort and the accomplishment it takes to hone a skill or to win an award for our achievements, etc.
Yet for some reason, as adults, when it comes to asking God for what we think we need or want, we expect things to be different. We want what we what NOW! We want the straight line to the finish, without any hills to climb, without any curves or bumps in the road, and certainly without any stops along the way. "Why isn't He answering MY prayer?" "Haven't I put in enough time?" "Haven't I suffered long enough?" "Why won't He fix this for me." "Haven't I worked hard enough?" "When is it going to be my turn?" "Why isn't He listening?" "What am I doing wrong?" "Why does so-and-so get to have everything he wants, and not me?" "Why is life so unfair?" And on and on... We seem to have this arbitrary sense of entitlement that thinks it knows when and what and how much and how long.
When did we forget that the best things in life are usually worth waiting for, that hard work tends to reap the greatest rewards, that we learn more from doing, and from the bumps and bruises and failures and repetition along the way than from anything else? When did we forget that patience is a virtue? Why do we resist the reality of what we subconsciously already know - that life really is more about the journey we take than it is about the destination, AND, that the journey to the destination is where we do most of our learning anyway?
We are human, so I think we tend to mistakenly view God with the same finite human qualities we have, but in reality, though God came to earth in the form of man, and though He understands our human-ness with all its shortcomings, we must remember that He is not human, he is infinite! He is omnipotent (His power is limitless), He is omniscient (all knowing), and He is omnipresent (His divine presence encompass the entire universe).
In all situations where we are asking God to do something sooner rather than later, or asking him to solve a problem right away, or praying that He cure a loved one, or help us reach that next level of success or find that next job, or get closer to the realization of our dream, I think what is so easily overlooked by us is what it is that we don't know and we can't see, both in the present and in the future. God knows and sees it ALL. His timing is ALWAYS the perfect timing...perfect for you, and perfect for what He wants to accomplish in you, as well as for the impact and influence he knows you will have on others - for the growth he wants you to undergo, for the realizations he wants you to make, for the messages he wants you to hear, for the control he wants you to learn to relinquish, for the experience he wants you to gain, for the people e wants you to meet along the way, for the hearts he wants you to touch, and for the greater good he knows you will accomplish as a result of His preparation and His timing.
Remember, while you wait for the resolution of what it is you want, you are on a journey called life. You are taking baby steps you may not even recognize. You are taking on new challenges and trying on new patterns of behavior. You are growing your relationship with Him and learning to rely more on Him. You are perfecting your talents and your unique way of doing things. You are learning about your strengths and weaknesses. You are learning where and how to focus your energy and your time. You are learning what works and what doesn't. You are becoming the person God intends you to be so that you are ready for whatever that next step may be, or whatever that resolution to your problem may be.
This is where faith plays the biggest role. We must have faith that God knows EVERYTHING we don't. God always has our back, even when it seems like what we want is taking too long, and even when we think we are ready and have put in our time. The measure of success or the resolution you seek may not be exactly what He seeks for your life (at least not yet), or may not be the measurement He is using, or may not be in the best interest of others that are also involved. Additionally, what you see as your purpose may be a mere fragment of what He has in store for you, and what He does have in store for you, you cannot even begin to imagine!!
What we can do is trust His absolute love for us, and His divine purpose for our life, even when it's hard, even when we feel like He isn't hearing us (even though He is), and even when it feels as though we've more than put in our time or more than suffered enough. Have faith that the bigger picture will reveal itself to you at each step in your life journey, in the exact timing that is perfect for you and for the lives you are meant to ultimately impact. Be patient. Pray. Listen. Hear His whispers as He guides you. Look for and see His blessings every day, because the more you train yourself to see them, the more adept you become at discerning when He is speaking to your heart. Good things really do come to those who wait. Believe in the power of time - God's time - to make you even more amazing than you already are!
January 7, 2019