A Closer Walk
"'I heard your prayer. Trust my timing.' God." This quote came to us as an attachment to a recent email we received from a sister in Christ. This sister volunteers in an all volunteer organization. One of her responsibilities is filling volunteer staff positions that have become vacant. One particular position had been very difficult to fill. Many prayers had been uttered asking for God's help, and some sleep had been lost over the situation. The sister in Christ had talked to several people and received a stream of no's. Then one morning, out of the clear blue sky, a lady called our sister in Christ and offered to fill the open position. Hallelujah! I asked for and received permission to share this portion of the email with you. "This process is hard and exhausting, but good. Good for my sanctification, and good for building my faith and my dependence on my Heavenly Father to provide in His time." Then that same day our sister in Christ ran across the quote above. "I heard your prayer. Trust My timing. God."
Our Heavenly Father ever desires to deepen our sanctification, and to mold us into being more like Christ. He wants us to look to Him for our provision, even though He knows what we need before we ask Him. In the Model Prayer Jesus instructed us to pray this way; “...give us this day our daily bread... .”
Offering the prayer is the easy part, compared to waiting for God's timing. Many of us are not good at waiting. In our “drive through” society we expect instant gratification. Several years ago the University of Michigan did a study where they placed hidden cameras at stop lights and by elevators in buildings. This study revealed that the average American gets visibly agitated after waiting thirty seconds. Not thirty minutes; thirty seconds. One half of a minute. Visibly agitated. Hmmm. Is that us? Someone once said that in their own personal experience it seems that the Lord rewards our patience.
“I heard your prayer. Trust My timing. God.” How do we know that our God has heard our prayer? “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not,” Jeremiah 33:3 KJV. Our Lord told the prophet Jeremiah specifically that if we call out to Him, He will answer. Simple. Easy. He will answer. No qualifications, no requirements. We needn't be in a specific position ( standing, kneeling, or prostrate). Nor is there a certain time when we should pray. In fact, equating praying to farming let's look at the words of Solomon. “Sow your seed in the morning, and do not be idle in the evening, for you do not know whether morning or evening sowing will succeed, or whether both of them will be good,” Ecclesiastes 11:6 NASB. If we see our praying as the sowing, then we should pray morning, afternoon, and evening. We can call out to our God anytime, day or night, whenever we feel the need. And He will answer.
But when will He answer? In His time. He will answer when the stage has been set, and everything has been prepared for Him to deliver our answer. In our humanness we tend to want our answers right now. But we should remember that our God is an Eternal God, and His answers to our prayers may have eternal implications. In the email above, the woman who volunteered to fill the vacant position may have been wrestling with the decision. She may have been praying seeking God's guidance, and making a good faith effort to make sure that agreeing to fill the spot would work out with her family, and her situation. Clearly she had been aware of the opening. Perhaps she was waiting to see if someone “more qualified” would step up. Don't we do the same? Don't we think that someone, anyone, would be more qualified? “God doesn't call the qualified. He qualifies the called,” Ken Owen (former President, Racers For Christ).
Trusting our Lord's timing can be difficult for us. Many of us are not good at waiting. But our God promises that if we call to Him, He will answer. “ 'I heard your prayer. Trust My timing.' God.”