Ever contemplate in God’s economy of things, that little issue called “time”? It is a concept that seems to cause more frustration to us than it does for God who created it. We all assent to the mental affirmations that God is always God, immortal, omniscient, and His ways are not our ways. But what do we do when we encounter obstacles along our path that prevent our getting from where we are to where we thought we would be by now.
From the time my husband and I knew we were going to live overseas and minister cross-culturally, there was a period of about ten years where we were still Stateside. That certainly didn’t fit the global working scenario I had pictured. I knew the day I was saved I was going to be a global working nurse serving the Lord somewhere in the world. How could it possibly take 10 years for such a thing to happen? Where and how do we get God’s perspective?
Unfortunately in America, there are all too many influences that help us think things should be instantaneous – fast food lines, instant coffee, one hour photo labs, telephones that instantly connect us with worlds half a hemisphere away, even TV minis series completed by the end of the week. These are just a few influential things that make us think our lives and God’s course of events will be in the same category. If we are willing to obey the Great Commission, why would God want to take His time? I think at times we wrongly assume things about God. (See II Peter 3:8-9 for a beginning.) We think that by joining God, we will beam through life on fast forward. He can make everything happen that should happen, right? So surely He will. But in that thinking lies the danger. Remember, it is the world’s system that says everything must be instantaneous. In contrast, think of Biblical patterns given to us in God’s Word. How long was it from the time King David was anointed by Samuel to be King until the time he actually reigned as King of Israel? How long did Abraham wait for the son God promised him, till the time he actually had Isaac? How long from the day Saul was saved until God allowed him to go out on his first global working journey? In Galatians 1:17-18, 2:1-10 it seems to indicate it was close to 17 years! That was news to me. We can easily sit and read the book of Acts in a few hours and never realize the events being highlighted for us are events that spanned 30 years. God is so patient.
Realizing God’s timing is always perfect, not always easy, but always perfect, is a true process of God in our personal lives. We need to realize God’s objectives for our lives may not be just the ones we think are so blatantly obvious—“I should go to the field.” We are not the author and finishers of our faith—God is! So for those of you who feel as if your life is on hold, or that the process is taking far longer than you would have ever imagined, be encouraged with John Blackaby’s words in Experiencing God where he says God can do more in 6 months with a heart that is yielded to Him than in 60 years with someone who is not (p. 32).
Ask God to bless you with the grace to be patient with yourself, your peers, your spouse and your situation to see what God sees. We are being conformed to His image. God takes His time and He still gets the job done. Don’t be discouraged or frustrated in the midst of the timing, thinking this couldn’t be God’s doing. With God in the driver’s seat, you are right on time.
This article is a classic originally published in our early print magazines.