I'd Like it Now, Please

Confession: I sometimes struggle with God’s timing. After praying eleven years for my husband’s salvation, fifteen years for my back-slidden army-dude son’s salvation, and waiting for a grand total of 4.9 million years (give or take) for a publisher’s response on my nonfiction book proposal, you’d think I’d have this waiting/God’s timing thing figured out.

But I don’t.

Mary didn’t either. She said, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” Somehow, that brings me comfort. I guess I like knowing I’m not the only one suffering—not the only one who just doesn’t understand.

Jesus knew that Mary’s brother was on-the-verge-of-death ill. He had received word from the sisters, yet he chose to stay put. That’s right. Jesus didn’t budge. And Lazarus died. (See John 11:32)

How many times have I worked myself into an emotional tizzy because God didn’t make His triumphant, obvious move when I longed for him to? If yearning, tear-stained requests always influenced God’s timing, let me tell you, the world would be a far different place. But then God wouldn’t be God.

The two sisters spent four days mourning their brother’s death, and then Jesus finally showed up. And though they were happy to see Jesus, they couldn’t comprehend the magnitude of what He was about to do.

But Jesus knew.

I don’t know what you’re waiting for God to do, but if you’re anything like me, you probably wish He’d just hurry up and get to it. We want the stone-rolling moment! And there’s nothing wrong with wanting Him to move, expecting Him to move in our situations.

But I have learned one thing on this crazy journey toward holiness: I can trust God.

And so can you.

We can trust Him when it’s taking far too long for our prayers to be answered, when the dreams He put in our hearts are unfathomably, painfully slow in unfolding, and when we’re flat-out frustrated wondering why He hasn’t intervened in our situations.

No, I don’t always understand God’s timing. But I am learning to understand God’s character (I’ve had plenty of time to learn, after all.) I’m certain that:
  • Jesus intimately knows every detail of our situations. (See Matthew 10:30)
  • He’s in the situations with us, and He understands how it’s affecting our hearts. (See Mark 2:8
  • His timing, while perhaps tardy in our sight, is preparing the way for plans far bigger than all we could ever think or imagine. (See Ephesians 3:20)
So even though I sometimes struggle with God’s timing, I'm learning that my times really are in His hands (see Psalm 31:15) and that God is faithful and utterly trustworthy (see 1 Thessalonians 5:24).
The next time I’m tempted to stomp my foot and, like Mary, tell God "If only You had ______, this wouldn't have happened", I’m going to remind myself to take a deeeeep breath and remember I can trust God.

How about you? Do you struggle with God’s timing? Is it easy or hard for you to trust God?


Melanie said...

I'm convinced of bulletin points 1 & 2 and am waiting for #3.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Oh, yes. I do. You'd think I'd have this waiting thing down, after 47 as a Christian, but I struggle with impatience way too often.

Thanks for your encouragement!

Diane said...

Thank you for the encouragement today. I struggle with this also and get discouraged in the waiting. :O)

Karen said...

Wait? You used that horrible "w" word? arrrrgh!

I'm right there with you! AND I covet to add those prayers to my list. Blessings**

myletterstoemily said...

amen! i have the reverse problem, too.
sometimes i want to have MORE time
to get ready for something.

Jennifer Farris said...

Wonderful post. I'm reminded of a gospel song I heard once that goes, "Well, He's an on-time God, yes He is! He may not come when you want Him, but He'll be there right on time!" Thanks for this good word.

achildoftheking said...

Great reminder to be patient on the LORD. Amen!

Cheryl Barker said...

I think of that scripture phrase "My times are in your hands" every day, Julie. Helps so much to remember that. And sometimes I need that reminder more than once a day! So thankful we can totally, utterly trust Him...

Ginny said...

Yes I do. I am impatient and then it turns to worry and anxiety. You would think I knew this already, but the scripture passages you gave will help me to continue on my journey of trust. Thanks, Julie

Kelly said...

I'm wanting to know if you ever heard from the book publisher and what is going on in that area!

Nice to visit, I don't go blogging as much as I used to.

I struggle with God's timing, but eremind myself that 1,000 years is like a day to him. So that's why it seems slow to me. :-)

Tea with Tiffany said...

I understand this all too well. I'm wondering if GOD is waiting on me. :) To do the work!

Thanks, Julie, you spur me on to dream and trust God.


Lisa said...

Julie thanks for your post. I am reminded of a season in my life where I waited and waited for God to bring me my husband. I was forty years old when I got married. I waited forever to be a Mommy and finally at the age of 42 I became a Mom and then again at age 44! In my waiting period I remember feeling like my dreams were never going to happen. I ached so much that at times I would cry myself to sleep at night. Just as I was ready to give up on hope God showed up! Now everytime I find myself waiting on God I remember how faithful He truly is. Lisa

Erin MacPherson said...

I'm SO with you. I seem to always want things to happen NOW and when they don't, I get all uptight. I commend you for being patient for God's timing even when things seem sooo slow.

Hester's Heart said...

Julie, Great words. Thank you for blessing us with your insight from your time with Him. Take special care, Hester

Walk In Truth said...

Hi Julie,
I hope you have had a great week.
I struggle with impatience, and I'm learning (key word "Learning") I just have to take things one day at a time, and redirect my focus back onto the Lord, and not my crazy life. It seems like I have to redirect my focus at least a million times a day :o) and I could not do this without the help of His Holy Spirit.

God bless you,

Shelly said...

Taking a deep breath and giving thanks that His timing is perfect. :) THanks for sharing you words of encouragment.

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