God is On His Own Timetable

True confession: I am an impatient person living in an impatient age. This does not work well when I stop to realize that God’s timetable is often much different than mine. Immediate for him is not immediate for me. For God a day is like a thousand years. That’s a long time for a person who wants things to happen in minutes, not millennia. And I don’t think I am alone in my desire for the immediate. In this digital age, our impatience is even more pronounced. We get news, status updates, pictures, videos, and e-mails all with the touch of a screen or click of a mouse. When the drive-thru line is too long, we just go to the McDonalds across the street. We are not accustomed to waiting long in this world we live in.

Our friends in the Old Testament had a hard time waiting as well. Granted, the pace of life was much slower, but this lack of patience, this need for immediate results (especially from God) is in our bones. While we all know that his promises are true and right, we often don’t understand why he doesn’t fulfill them right away or at least shortly after the promises are made. Eve hoped that the birth of her first child meant God’s promise was coming true right before her eyes (Genesis 4:1). Sarah used her servant Hagar to provide an offspring for Abraham because she eventually grew restless waiting on God to fulfill his promise of a child for them (Genesis 16:1-3). The Israelites made a golden calf to worship because they grew weary of waiting on God to speak to them (Exodus 32). The nation of Israel demanded a king when God had promised them that he would be their king (1 Samuel 16).

God’s timetable for fulfilling his promises looks very different than ours. And it is always good. In the waiting God is preparing us for a greater glory and joy than we would never have had without the wait.

We all know the example of the spoiled kid who gets everything he wants when he wants it. Where is his joy in the gifts his parents give him? Where is his appreciation? Where is his love for his parents and delight in them as good gift givers? It’s not there. The immediacy of his every desire being met produces a thankless, spoiled child.

God will have no spoiled children. He knows that in our waiting, in our longing, and in our cries for help that he is preparing for us a greater joy that could never have been attained without the longing. But more importantly, he knows that his timetable is always good and always glorifies his name in the end. He is the one who holds all histories together, including ours. He is the author of every story. We only know our personal experience. He knows the greater picture. This is why we can trust him. His knowledge is infinite. Ours is finite.

My husband read me this post from Desiring God this weekend. Jon Bloom consistently writes stuff that encourages my soul. I have often read his posts through tears, thanking God that he gave me exactly what I needed in those words. This post was no different. Whatever your wait is this morning, I hope it encourages you:

“God is not deaf to your groaning prayers, the ones that come from the core of your being (Romans 8:26). He knows your deep longings, your desires for his kingdom to come, your yearnings to be “set free from [creation’s] bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God” (Romans 8:21). He is coming to fulfill every righteous desire beyond your wildest imaginings.

But “the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect” (Luke 12:40). This is his way and his timing is often mysterious to us. But he knows what he’s doing and by employing the element of surprise in glorious purposes he humbles human pride, catches Satan off-guard (Luke 12:39), and, wonderfully, heightens our joy when the answers come.

So keep praying and cultivate patient, long-suffering faith. There will be a day when you find him unexpectedly at the well of your deepest thirst.”

Read the rest of the post here.