We’re such an “instant gratification society” aren’t we?! With technology booming and advancements in just about every area, it’s almost hard not to be in this mindset.
From DVR’s to fast food to internet shopping to phones to instant coffee to whatever….there’s a sense of entitlement in regards to the accessibility and quickness of things. We all fall subject to this. You know when you’re in the middle of something and your computer freezes up? You wait patiently for the status bar to slowly creep across the screen because progress takes time, right? Right? Ummm, no, not so much. You and I both act as though our precious time is being wasted in such a dramatic fashion, it’s almost comical. Actually, it is pretty comical.
Just as we expect life to conveniently and quickly come together, we often expect God to work in the same way. I know I do at times. “God, I really wanted that job, but it didn’t work out. Why did you let that happen to me?” “God, I’ve been praying for peace and comfort, but I don’t feel any different. Where are you?” “God, I prayed that you would heal this person and they passed away. Where were you?” These questions sound familiar?
I think we’ve all asked questions somewhat similar to these. We do so in expectation of an answered prayer quickly and exactly. When that doesn’t happen, we tend to get discouraged, to give up. It’s a natural inclination to sway in this direction, but WE MUST NEVER GIVE UP, EVER!
God doesn’t work on the same timeline as us for one simple reason; He’s not human, He’s God. We only see what’s in front of us, merely guessing about the direction of our future. God sees the whole picture. Instead of going at our pace, He’s way ahead of us, waiting around the final turn, on one knee, arms stretched, awaiting our embrace. He’s like a proud Dad, wanting our love and trust in return.
God knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows what makes us tick. He knows our insecurities. He knows the exact things in our life that would cause us to turn to Him. Sometimes, He allows the times of despair, because He wants us to seek hope and peace. Sometimes, He’s quiet, because He wants us to pursue him more diligently, consistently and passionately. Sometimes, He closes a door, because He has another door open…one we may not see yet. He does all this because He’s more interested in our journey, in our character, in our ability to show love, than He is in our comfort.
The bible talks about perseverance. You know, fighting the good fight and pressing forward at all costs. It all sounds pretty glamorous and righteous, but it’s so freaking hard to do sometimes. It’s a daily decision.
Practically speaking, if we desire to know God better, we just need to keep going. We need to keep doing what we know how to do. We need to keep praying, Keep seeking, keep hiking, keep working, keep singing, keep writing, keep reading, keep socializing, keep doing whatever it is that brings us closer to Him. If you and I are open and our hearts are truly seeking Him, we will be changed, in due time. That’s a promise.
Sure, sometimes God does answer our prayers quickly and exactly. It’s really cool when that happens.
Most of the time, God seems to work a little outside the box. Ok, a lot outside the box. That’s good, because our “instant gratification selves” typically desire things within that perfectly symmetrical box.
God ALWAYS has our best interests in mind. Slowing down and trusting that our relationship with God takes time is the key. It’s worth the wait.