One day I ran into a mature lady in the grocery store that I hadn’t seen in quite a while. She had asked me about how life had been for me and I had told her that I had prayed to God about somethings that I desired and was waiting on those things to be fulfilled. But I told her that it had been several months since I asked and I was starting to believe that maybe it wasn’t in God’s plan. And she mentioned about having the faith to believe that “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believing, you shall receive” Matthew 21:22.
She went on to tell me the story of how her faith in God lead her to stay with her husband for 12 years until he finally decided to change his life to follow the Lord. She talked about how he had abused alcohol for 12 years of their marriage and would become extremely nasty and rude when he’d arrive home after drinking. She explained how she’d pray consistently for God to change his ways and draw closer to him. She said she has asked God to heal her marriage and give her the peace of mind to wait patiently on him to bring it to pass. And as time passed on, family members and friends told her that she deserved better and should get a divorce and find a new man to treat her better. But she said she believed that the man she married was indeed her husband and that it would be a matter of time, before God would change the circumstances. And after 12 years, she said her husband came home and sat down before her and apologized for all that he had done to her in the last 12 years. He told her that he wanted God in his life and was going to work harder at being a better husband! She said she nearly fell to her feet, because she knew that the time would come. And his confession and change was 6 years ago. She told me that she’s so much happier now and that those last 6 years of genuine love far surpass all the grief she had to endure for the last 12 years. But her question was…”How long are you willing to wait for God?”
I teared up (I get emotional like that sometimes) in the store. That was a beautiful story about never giving up on God. But her story made me think about many of the things I’ve asked God for in the past and because I didn’t get it on MY timing, moved on to take an alternative course which actually may have caused me unnecessary grief. I’ve had some people tell me that they knew certain things weren’t meant, because it never happened. But the fact to the matter is if you truly believed when you prayed and YOU gave up, because God didn’t grant it in the time you expected for him to, you don’t truly know if God wouldn’t have fulfilled it.
I had a conversation a few months ago with a young man who has been praying for a special person to come into his life. He says that he’s prayed about it and it’s been several months and that someone hasn’t come yet. So he should just give up on it and focus on his career. Now I don’t believe that you should just do nothing and wait on God to answer your prayer. But I don’t think we are willing to indeed wait patiently on God’s timing for the prayers we give him. God’s not a wizard, so he’s not going to just fix everything instantly. But in due time, I’m 100% sure he will, but most importantly is that HE CAN!!! The funny thing is…God has pretty much answered every prayer that I’ve asked him for. The problem was that because I wasn’t willing to wait, I always ended up backing myself into a corner. For example, I remember asking him for a specific job with a company. I had interviewed with the company and was waiting to hear back from them. They, however, didn’t promptly follow up with me about the opportunity. And when I called them about the opportunity, I was told that they hadn’t filled the position but would make their decision in a matter of weeks. However, the weeks passed by and a different opportunity presented itself. The opportunity that presented itself wasn’t what I really was passionate about. But because I figured God was opening this opportunity because he knew that the other opportunity that I wanted was closed. I took the lesser appealing opportunity only to hear back from the company in a couple of months presenting me with the offer that I really wanted. But because I had contracted the lesser appealing opportunity, I had to turn down the opportunity of my dreams. I started thinking, if I’d only been willing to wait on God to do it on his timing, I may have gotten to experience the opportunity of a lifetime.
Now I don’t believe that you should look backwards on your life. I’ve made a number of decisions that I realized after I made them, weren’t the right ones to make. But when you know better, you should do better. I am learning to be willing to wait on God to open up the opportunities and to trust that it will be done, when it’s best for us to have it. But we have to wait patiently on the Lord (Psalm 37:7), regardless of what others may say or think that you should do. Just remember, eventhough we can’t see him working…doesn’t mean he isn’t!