Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Timing is Everything....

I always hear people say, "Timing is everything"...and I have to say that I agree, but I would also add this in order to make it totally accurate: "God's timing is everything". I can want something all day long and do all that I can in my own strength to make it happen....but until God brings it about in His perfect timing...I am like Sisyphus pushing a boulder up a hill only to see it slide back down again.



I guess what is hardest for me is when I feel like I am asking God for something that is good for me or good for someone else (i.e, praying in what I think would be His will)...and the prayer isn't answered quickly (ideally 5 minutes after utterance, complete with thunder crashes and maybe some mountain shaking...nothing too theatrical).  Am I crazy for assuming that God had no idea that my friend needed help, or a person at church needs a job, or a friend of a friend needs healing, until I took 10 seconds between asking for my Christmas list of things to briefly mention it?   Yes...I am crazy for assuming that, but that doesn't mean that just because God already knows what we need before we ask that we stop praying, kick our feet back, and await the outpouring of blessings.  Praying to God, whether it be intercessory (for others) or for yourself, is how we acknowledge that we understand that it is God who is in control and not us.  I used to get so annoyed with my brother when I would call him for advice and every single time he would say...."Let's pray about it".  It's not that I didn't believe in prayer, but I just wasn't used to depending on God more than I depended on my own understanding, answers, and strength.  My brother understood that it is through prayer and faith that our answers will come.   

I lift up my eyes to the hills- Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip -
He who watches over you will not slumber;
Indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD watches over you
The LORD is your shade at your right hand;
The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm -
He will watch over your life;
The LORD will watch over your coming and going
Both now and forevermore.

Psalm 121

I was talking with one of my best friends last night about God's timing.  We both discussed how there have been times in our lives where we know that we need to stop doing something because it isn't good for us, and even though we pray to have the burden taken away or that we be removed from the unhealthy situation....it doesn't always happen for way longer than we had hoped.  Why wouldn't God want to immediately rescue us from something unhealthy or bad for us?  Why wouldn't He just take it away when we ask Him?

We came up with multiple reasons (and we love to make lists)... 

1) God doesn't always lift us out of unhealthy or bad situations when we ask Him because sometimes we have to hit rock bottom in order to never go back to that person, place, or thing.
2) It is through enduring pain or hardships that God shows us our true strength in Him.
3) God's glory is revealed ever greater when you have to wait for Him.
4) We weren't ready yet.
5) God was waiting for us to really mean it when we ask Him and not just say it because it is something we should say.
6) Just because something sounds like a good idea doesn't mean that it is a God idea.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

I think we also have to take into account that God gives us free will.  We are free to be disobedient and ignore His still small voice (and His loud booming voice as well).  Although our mouths may be saying, "please take me away from this", our hearts may be saying, "regardless of how bad this is, it is familiar to me and I am too afraid to leave it."  God isn't a vending machine shaped like a cuddly teddy bear, but when we read Romans 8:28 and see that, "...God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose," we sometimes interpret that as if He is.  Just because God is good does not mean that we are immune to hardships.  A "good" parent doesn't give their kids everything they ask for and never give them discipline.  Along with blessings and mercy comes a balance of justice and discipline.  God is good because He loves us too much to spoil us and leave us as selfish, weak, jellyfish-type people.  We endure hardships so that His glory can shine.  It's something that we can't comprehend easily, but His glory is our purpose.  It's not about us.  It's about Him. 


I suppose it all comes back to learning patience and having faith that God will answer your prayers in His timing.  Two things that don't really come that easy to me.  I talk about patience a lot because it really is central to living a Christ-like life. But the best part is...our patience doesn't come from within us...it comes from the Holy Spirit. When I look back over the years and remember all of the prayers I prayed...okay more like "begged" to God, I am SO very thankful that He didn't answer some of them.  I would pray for something that I thought I wanted or needed based on my very limited knowledge and understanding of the "big picture".  Only God lives outside of space and time.  Only God can take my prayer and hold it in His hand until it's time comes.  Only God knows what is best for me and for others.  God knows the desires of my heart....He put them there long before I was ever born.  He knows me better than I will ever know myself.  When I feel like things are "falling apart", what is really happening is that God is saving me from something that wasn't for me.  For that, I fall on my knees in thanksgiving.  There are so many amazing things happening my life and the lives of my friends and family right now that I am almost afraid to be happy or excited about it.....and then I remember....my Father delights in blessing His children and He does so whether we deserve it or not.  Thank you, Jesus for your Grace.

Love,

Katie

3 comments:

  1. This was good! I started to think ... so many times I've prayed for things. Sometimes...just sometimes I knew in my heart that me asking was a lost cause because deep down in my heart -- I just knew that what I was asking for wasn't exactly how I felt in my heart. :) Thanks for writing this. Yes --- timing is SO everything!

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  2. I love this! It is so hard to be patient when we are asking God for something (whether it is for something good or an escape from something bad), but it's amazing how perfect His timing really is! Too bad it's only in retrospect that we can see that... "someday" I will learn to faithfully wait on Him :)

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