I often talk about a specific desire that God placed in my heart – Serenity Self Defense. I’ve shared my thoughts about what I’d like to do, what I think God wants me to do, and the direction this project is going. The more I seek God, the more He guides my every step and consumes me with patience, love, and hope. And yet lately I feel like every time the ball starts to roll it abruptly stops. Every time I get a whiff of God’s direction, my lack of patience takes over. Here’s an example of a typical thought to God:
“Okay God, I know what I’m suppose to do, but I’ve known this since last summer and not much progress has been made. What can I do to get this started now? How can I reach out to the community now?? And why in the heck is taking so long???”
Please forgive me for sounding like a whining child, but that was a pretty accurate example of my thinking/speaking to God. The devotional I received really encouraged me and helped me to cope with the fact that maybe, just maybe, I am going to have to calm down, and be patient. If you are going through something similar, I pray that the words below will speak to you.
“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient! They will not be overdue a single day!” Habakkuk 2:3 (LB)
Even as you make a decision to follow the dream God places in your heart, you can expect a delay. God will not fulfill your dream immediately because this is another step toward building your faith.
In Habakkuk 2, God says, “These things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.”
In this step of faith-building you will most likely start asking the question, “When, Lord? When are you going to answer my prayer?”
And we hate to wait. We don’t like to wait in a doctor’s office, or in traffic jams, or at restaurants, or for Christmas presents, or for anything else. But what we hate worst of all is waiting on God.
Have you ever been in a hurry when God wasn’t? It’s so irritating! You’re ready, but God isn’t. God wants to work on you before he works on the project. Every believer must go through the University of Learning to Wait (ULW). Some of us are still working on our degrees from ULW!
- Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.
- Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn’t have a child until he was ninety-nine.
- God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of four hundred years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert forty years.
- Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.
- God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.
We all have to go through these waiting periods. Even Jesus waited for thirty years in the carpenter’s shop before setting out on his public ministry.
Why do we wait? It teaches us to. We learn that his timing is perfect. One of the facts we have to learn is this: God’s delay never destroys his purpose.
A delay is not a denial. Children must learn the difference between “no” and “not yet,” and so must we. Many times we think God is saying, “No,” but he is saying, “Not yet.” (source)