In a recent conversation with a dear friend I made the comment, “I love God’s timing, don’t you?” (Oh, I need to be much more careful about what I say!)
But here’s the thing. Most of the time, I really don’t love God’s timing. I want immediate answers to prayer! And I want that answer to be what I want—when I want it.
But God doesn’t work that way. Yes, He may very well grant me what I have prayed for, but then again, He may not. He may well grant me what I prayed for in a timely manner (to my way of thinking), but then again, I may have to wait weeks, months, years, for an answer.https://www.youtube.com/embed/lhcA1MudwBI?feature=oembed
Sometimes it’s hard for me to accept that a “no” or “not now” may be best for me. A very simple analogy involves children: You don’t allow your child to stick his fingers in an electric outlet, no matter how much he wants to. You know better, and your firm “No!” prevents him from harming himself. You don’t allow your children to play in the middle of a busy street. You know the dangers, even if they don’t.
I think that’s the way it is with God. Sometimes His no is because He sees a far bigger picture than we do. “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts’” (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Sure, some things He doesn’t grant simply because it’s not in His will—for reasons known to Him, but not known to us. Maybe not now, and maybe never. But at those times we need to keep Paul’s words firmly in our minds:
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable his judgments, and his paths beyond tracing out! Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been his counselor? Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them?” For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Rom. 11:33-36)
Then we need to be like Job and say, “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth” (Job 40:4), which is a polite way of saying, “I’m going to shut up now, because I know You know best, even if I don’t understand it. Lord, help my unbelief.”