Wait. Be patient. These are not words that we like to hear, ESPECIALLY my generation. We want things as soon as possible, or even sooner. The problem is that we then try to take these demands into our relationship with God.
Has God ever made you a promise? Has that promise been fulfilled yet? If yes, we rejoice with you. If no, you are probably wondering what in the world is going on. Why does it seem like everyone else is receiving their promise, and yet you still have to wait?
You may never admit to asking these questions, but you have. How do I know? Because I have too. We all have. Every single one of us have wondered why God would make us a promise, and then wait so long to fulfill it. It can be maddening and frustrating, especially if you don’t understand God’s timing.
The first thing we need to understand is that God CANNOT lie. It’s not just that he doesn’t want to lie, he cannot lie. If he lies then he is no longer God, according to the rules that he has set for himself. If he said it then he will do it. If it seems like God has lied then we need to examine ourselves, because it is literally impossible for him to lie.
The second thing we need to understand is that God is not on our timetable. He doesn’t owe us any special obligation to answer our prayers when we want them answered. He does whatever he wants, whenever he wants. He isn’t bound by the little box that we try to put him in. That’s most of our frustration. When God doesn’t do it when or how we think he should, we somehow become discouraged in his promises.
The Apostle Peter said that with the Lord a thousand years is as one day, and one day as a thousand years. If we take Peter literally, then that means it has only been two days since Jesus rose from the dead on God’s calendar. Clearly, his days are not the same as ours. The prophet Isaiah said that “his thoughts are not our thoughts, and his ways are not our ways.”
One of our biggest frustrations is that we think that God should act and think like we do. We think that everything should go according to our plan. We should be very careful thinking like that, because that can turn into a form of idolatry. We can’t equate our ways with his ways, and we certainly can’t put ourselves in his place and try to force things to happen.
Abraham is the ultimate example of stepping out of God’s timetable. He listened to the voice of Sarah his wife, instead of the voice of God. Because of this, he slept with Hagar, and Ishmael was born. If you don’t know history, the Muslims claim Ishmael as their father. When Abraham stepped out of God’s timing he gave birth to a war that continues even to this day.
So just be patient. I know it’s difficult. I know that the process can be so long. But we can create far more disaster than good by stepping out of the plan of God. His timing is perfect, and sometimes it’s just our job to wait. We don’t like it, but when the promise is fulfilled we will be so thankful we did.