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When God, When?: A Discussion on God's Timing

We've all been there before. "When God, when? When will you deliver me from [blank]? When will get my breakthrough? When will I hear from You again?" Maybe when God first spoke to your heart about your path, your situation, or His plans for you, you were excited and speaking life into your situation through faith; but, now it has been day/weeks/months/years and all you can say is "When God, when?"

The truth is, waiting is hard! Really REALLY hard! When we have been told something is going to happen or when we believe our lives are meant for so much more than what we are seeing in the present, it does not make sense in our minds to stay where we are at. Those days/weeks/months/years that we have been waiting and working for the situation to change is precious time in our short human lives, after all; and it can really feel like God is just taking His time and forgetting that we do not live for eternity here like He does. Does He even care? Did I even hear Him right the first time? Is it really ever going to happen? We feel like giving up, but we know that giving up means that we have truly wasted precious time and continuing to hold on means that there's a chance it might still be true. So, we dig our heels in and say once again, "When God, when?"

The problem with God's timing stated very frustratingly in Acts 1:7 when it says "The Father alone has the authority to set those dates and times, and they are not for you to know." (NLT) Uhhh... thanks? So God is calling the shots on what is to happen in our lives and He has all the time in the world. He doesn't have to worry about our mortgage or our fertility or our physical, emotional, or mental strength. This doesn't feel like a winning situation for us because we see it as high stakes when we feel no one else can even imagine how really high stakes it is... and we don't have say in the matter. Habakkuk 2:3 seeks to comfort us with, "This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed." I don't know about you, but I don't particularly comforted or patient. I want it NOW!

The problem, I'm sure you would agree with me, lies in the fear that we will lose so much time waiting that either we will run out of time before our deliverance/breakthrough/next word from God takes place; or when it does come, we will not have time to enjoy it. Ecclesiastes 3:11 really speaks truth when it says, "Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end." As humans, we have no knowing of how long we have left or how far we have to go, so we rush rush rush as fast as we can to get as much accomplished as possible so that we might secure some time to enjoy the good things of this world. God, however doesn't work this way.

God, being God, knows exactly how long each person has as well as how much a person can handle at each stage of their lives. Therefore, it is much more important to Him that we are made ready for what comes next than if we will be able to enjoy it for a really long time. God made everything beautiful for its own time and that timing really matters to God so that the things that he brings forth are not wasted by our inexperience or lack of growth.

Does this mean then that God will wait so long that we will have no time to enjoy the good things that we have worked and waited so long for? Of course not! Let's look at the story of Abraham and Sarah to illustrate how God might make us wait AND allow us to enjoy what we have waited for.

Genesis 18:1-14:

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground.

 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

“Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah. “Quick,” he said, “get three seahs of the finest flour and knead it and bake some bread.”

Then he ran to the herd and selected a choice, tender calf and gave it to a servant, who hurried to prepare it. He then brought some curds and milk and the calf that had been prepared, and set these before them. While they ate, he stood near them under a tree.

“Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him.

“There, in the tent,” he said.

Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.”

Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”

Sarah and Abraham had been waiting patiently for a child for years, but let's face it, the time had passed for that to happen. Sarah was approximately 90 years old (and Abraham was about 10 years old than her) at the time. I don't think I have to tell you that by 90 and 100, our bodies are not quite in the working order they used to be and childbearing is pretty much impossible... but guess what happened.

Genesis 21:1-5:

"Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised. Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him. When his son Isaac was eight days old, Abraham circumcised him, as God commanded him. Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him."

The Lord did for Sarah as He had promised. Did He do it quickly? No. Did she get tired or waiting and almost give up? Yep. Did it seem hopeless at times? Yes. Did she get any time to enjoy her breakthrough once it came? Well, let's find out....

Genesis 23:1-2:

"Sarah lived to be a hundred and twenty-seven years old. She died at Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan, and Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep over her."

Sarah not only got to enjoy Isaac for a while, she was able to watch him grow and did not pass until he was about 37 years old. God gave her more than enough time to enjoy what He had made her wait for! He will do the same for you. Waiting is difficult and at times it might feel like defeat, but hold strong. God's going to come through in His perfect, beautiful time.

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