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?