Aug 20, 2008, 3:30 AM
Nowadays many people hate to wait. They think that waiting for God’s provision can be a long and winding process; having God bless us each step of the way at his pace could turn out to be mighty slow. We live in a world where everything must be accelerated.
It is fast food, fast lane, quick fix or short cut. We are in a hurry to go through a phase designed as a gradual process. In our present day culture the word ‘wait’ has lost its place in our everyday vocabulary, to be replaced by ‘fast-forward.’ If we have our minds set on something it must be birthed as soon as possible - with speed, without any gestation period. Tomorrow, it seems, will be too late.
For this reason therefore most of our endeavours are undone, uncooked and immature; they have been birthed prematurely. By forcing God’s hand and by failing to bid God’s time we land ourselves in serious problems we had never envisaged. In other words, we compound the issue at hand. More damage is done than if we had waited for the due process. Take for instance the practice fruit vendors engage in to ‘fast-ripen’ fruitsby washing them with a chemical known as carbide. Fruits should be left to ripen naturally. God has designed them to fulfil their purpose after a certain number of days if we are to enjoy them fully.
Failing to wait breeds impatience, impatience leads to worry and as we tamper with any planned process, for that matter, we end up dissatisfied, unhappy and disgruntled. While the waiting game is an exercise in patience, its fruits are immeasurable and countless. Our God, speaking through prophet Habakkuk admonished: “For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” (Habakkuk 2:3)
There is a popular saying that goes like this; ‘God’s time is the best.’ Rightly so! We serve an all-knowing, all-powerful and ever-living God “…who is able to do immeasurably more than we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,…” (Ephesians 3:20) Why not wait for the appointed time? Why do we have to force issues? We are not in control of our lives. When we submit to God we ensure that our lives are conducted the way God had programmed it. We are his own. God’s promises for our lives will come to pass if we care to wait. He is not man to lie or deny he never said something. His promises are ‘yes and amen.’ “God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man that he should change his mind. Does he speak and not act? Does he promise and not fulfil?” (Numbers 23:19)
God promised Abraham a child at the time when he entertained doubts of ever fathering one. It appeared his wife was barren because at the age of 90 she had not conceived. He thought for a moment that his nephew would inherit his property, but that was a lie of the devil, for God had declared. “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.” (Genesis 15:4) God then showed him the sky and confirmed that his offspring would be uncountable and numberless like the stars.
That child, whose name was Isaac was born to the couple 25 years after the promise. That was a pretty long time to wait. So when nothing happened as the years progressed, Sarah, Abraham’s wife devised a plan. “Sarah took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with him and she conceived.” (Genesis 16:3-4) Such anaction in common parlance is known as plan B – an alternative, just in case plan A does not come to fruition.
God did not endorse that plan B because Isaac was later to be born to Abraham through Sarah. Plan B right at its inception became a source of misunderstanding. Sarah and Hagar could not see eye to eye, they fell out. Abraham became neutral rather than a referee. Hagar gave birth to a child named Ishmael. ”Sarah mistreated Hagar” and the latter had to run for her life. Strife, tension became the order of the day. In the end Abraham had to send Hagar and her son away. What pain, what sorrow! Each time we step out of God’s plan or out of his will disaster sets in. Peace returned to the polygamous home only after Hagar left.
It may seem like you are in the pit, but hold on God is sending help! God is still in charge. Hand over your doubts and your problems to him and he will provide solutions to them. Each time we seek our own solutions we are putting spokes in the wheel. God does not require our help for he can do it all on his own.All he asks of us is to wait. The psalmist wrote; “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.” (Psalm 40:1) God never comes late. He is always on time. He will not delay.
Let us learn to wait. It is important that we also cultivate a habit of waiting, knowing that he who is for us cannot be against us. Let us stop trying to prod or prompt God.