God’s Timing: Learning Patience Through Disappointment

old-time-clock

Computers are fast means God should work at the same speed. Right??

As a native of Silicon Valley Tech world, I have gotten accustomed to obtaining information fast.  I remember in the late 90s when I got my first computer desktop. You would have to insert a phone cord to the computer to connect to the internet. You remember that irritating noise it made when connecting via AOL.  Thank goodness for Wi-Fi! LOL!

Since then I have seen the speed of computers progress and evolve into the sophisticated Wi-Fi touch screens tablets that can be seen in almost every kids hands today.

I remember every time I was introduced to a new computer I was impressed with the improvement of its processing speeds. This also raised the standard for me as to what was an acceptable speed for receiving data. In Fact, I have an expectation that any computer I use will be fast and if it’s not that is unacceptable.

My Speed

Unfortunately, I have allowed technology to infiltrate my theology of God without realizing it until recently when I found myself in a trial of disappointment.

A few months back,  I lost my job unexpectedly.  I stepped out to a new position only to have it not work out; I left a descent job for a higher paying job more in line with my career aspirations.  The grass was not greener on the other side.

Post unemployment I found myself hankering for God to fix my unemployment situation fast.  I experienced shock, discouragement and I even questioned my value as a person (which was realigned through reading The Gospel At Work). I was confident that God had opened up this door for me.

My action plan to this situation was to go with my modus operandi–hustle.  I applied to several jobs all over the place and didn’t plan or take into consideration things like salary or family needs. I found myself being haste, frustrated, irritable, anxious, and fearful of what the future holds.  I did manage to get a few job offers but did not accept them because the pay was not sufficient nor desirous.

In retrospective, I was making decisions in crisis mode and I was confronted with some of my weaknesses.  This experience has caused me to reconsider my view of work and to look at delay in a positive light.  It has help me to see how God uses delay in His children’s life for their good and His Glory. It is not a bad thing to have to wait for desires.

God’s speed

Going through this,  I was reminded of 2 Peter 3:8 and it reads: “But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” 

The verse talks about God’s perspective on timing. It is a lot different from ours.  One day to him is 1000 years to us.  It speaks of His patience and control. You get the sense that God is calm and collective and not in a hurry. It really showcases his sovereignty over time and events.

Seeing how God views time gave me perspective, peace and motivation to apply patience in my life.  After all, most of my life I have tried impatience.

To my surprise, allowing delay from God is liberating because it takes idea of being in control out of your hands and into His. I was faced with two choices trust myself or trust Him.

Not knowing my future has driven me to trust God more and to believe He will guide and direct me where I need to be vocational wise.

Consider the promise of Jesus; “Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” 34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. (Matthew 6:31-34)

Lessons Learned Over Time 

Every Man of God that has been raised up by God has gone through seasons of difficulties and trials. God uses time to build character, perseverance, & hope so why would he do anything different in our lives.

A review of the scriptures will show often God could have changed quickly the circumstances of many godly men throughout history but did not.

I believe He purposefully delayed. Wisely, He did for each individual received a greater blessing through waiting on God’s timing rather than receiving deliverance immediately.  Hint! Hint!

Abraham 

The great father of the faith Abraham waited 25 years for God to give him his first son at age 100.  God being the giver and taker of life could have instantaneously given him a son but instead chose to give him his first son 25 years later.  God fulfilled his promise (Gen 12:1-3) to Abraham and the result was fruitful for he matured in his faith. Scripture tells us that he honored and brought glory to God through waiting for God to bring the promise to pass (Rom 4:21-22).  This awaited promise has brought a blessing to all the families on the earth.  If you are a believer today then you know exactly what this means!

Joseph 

It is recorded that he was sold into slavery at age 17 by his jealous brothers.  He spent 13 years in Potiphar’s house and in prison where grew into the Man God wanted him to be.  He didn’t do anything deserving to be sold as a slave to Egypt yet God allowed this unfortunate event in Joseph’s life. It was through this that God accomplished His will and molded and shaped Joseph into the man he wanted him to be. Eventually, at age 30 He was made an overseer and later reunited with his dad and brothers who he forgave and was able to show mercy, compassion and aid.  God could have rescued Joseph from slavery early on but did not.  As a result, Joseph ended up where God wanted him to be an overseer in Egypt that helped preserve families and help alleviate the severe famine that took place.

3 Ways To Walk In Delay  

1. Be Patient 

As I mentioned, I desired my vocational situation to be fixed right away but it did not happen in my timing.

Naturally, It is much easier to worry and stress about the future.  It is a lot harder but more rewarding to be patient as you count the cost and take time to plan and use down time to better yourself.  Patience is a virtue and it’s God’s desires that we grow in this area.

Consider Galatians 5:22-23,  “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”  

The passage above outlines several attitudes that God desires of us and it is the Spirit that helps us to live these truths out. If you demand change right away then you will be disappointed and frustrated but if you allow time and God to change things, then you will be at peace and in a place to grow in patience.

No one grows in patience through being haste or by never experiencing inconvenient situations and times.

2. Be Faithful

It’s easy to allow situations, failures, disappointments and trials cause you to have a “poor me” attitude and justify mediocre living.  Repeatedly,  faithfulness of God’s children is encouraged and commended by God.  It is a lot easier to be faithful when things are going well in your life but it takes effort and character to be faithful when they are not.  This is what God desires of his children.

Consider the church of Smyrna that was poor and persecuted.   They underwent harsh persecution for a period of 10 days, and Jesus encourages them to be faithful even if it cost them their lives.

Rev 2: 10  reads, “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life” At the end of that suffering, I am confident they came out stronger in their faith & trust in God. Their fear of man was diminished and their Hope was strengthened.

3. Be in Prayer

This is a must in any situation.  Philippians 4:6 reads “ Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”  Prayer is humbling yourself and asking God to direct and guide your life.  It is seeking God’s will for your life and it’s a way to slow down in your decision-making as you consider the cost and wait for direction from God.

He is interested in the details of our lives and he tells us to cast our anxieties upon Him for cares for us (I Peter 5:7).  You can trust him to lead you to where you need to be.  God has promised frequently to hear and answer our prayers so you can be confident He will hear and answer.

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