I'm convinced God is the genius behind automated phone systems and Christmas return waiting lines.
After all, He's a master at leaving us in limbo, springing the unexpected our way, forcing us into unfamiliar territory. We beg for His favor and relief only to sit in what feels like a stalled car. You know what I'm talking about?
He says, "Don't be anxious about anything, but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." But when I follow that and "give it to God," the answers don't come any quicker. In my experience God usually requires a holding pattern, enough time to wonder if He's heard or will ever intervene. There's no explanation for what we're waiting for, only a resounding, "Trust Me."
Sigh. Is it just me or is that really tough?
Why does God work this way? What is He shaping by making us wait? Is He giving us time to relinquish our own ideas? Building our faith muscles? Trying to give us an eternal perspective? Teaching us to give it up already?
The Jews in the Old Testament waited for a Messiah. The Christians in the New Testament wait for His return. We wait for answers, His rescue, for Him.
Why all the waiting?
God gives a clue in the middle of His big faith chapter in the Bible, Hebrews 11.
All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. and they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country--a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.
He IS building our faith, but He also wants to see how serious we are. Are we fairy godmother Christians, in it to get His good graces or do we love Him so much we're willing to do whatever He asks? Are we looking for a heavenly home or earthly comfort? If we're seeking ease in this world, do we honestly worship Him? Are we a true disciple if no sacrifice is involved? Does the waiting sift out the shallow and reveal the faithful?
I want to be faithful. I work to be faithful. I endure to be faithful, but I admit there are times I get angry with God, thinking I've waited enough, wanting Him to make it easy one time. But God doesn't do easy. God does BEST. So when the growly in me starts rising at His admonishment to "Trust Me," I have to find a way to stay faithful, to wait for His best. I turn to His soothing Word.
Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; he rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!
He LONGS to be gracious. He shows compassion. BLESSED are all who wait for Him. I want His blessing. I want His best. So even when I don't like it or understand it, I choose to wait.
What will you do?