Life is hard and then you die.
Not your typical encouragement from God’s Word Girl, is it? Don’t worry, just my odd sense of humor coming through. This post gets better, honest.
I used to say that, though. Looking back it’s kind of funny now because I said that when I was younger. Like, before marriage, kids, a mortgage, car payments, electric bills, phone bills — you get the picture. Before life was ripe with responsibilities. I consider it a badge of spiritual maturity that I no longer say that. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally think it.
Quite frankly, I’ve been battling sinking feelings lately. It’s mostly because my expectations concerning answers to prayers have not been answered in the way or time that I had anticipated. Although this has been subject matter of mine before, it bears repeating, especially since I’m not the only one wrestling with this.
There is an older couple from our church whose husband has been on a physical roller coaster ride for 4 years, maybe more now. He’s bed fast and aware, but unable to speak. The twins had made cards for our friend in honor of his birthday this month so Beth and I went to deliver them. The wife’s eyes were swimming with tears as she softly said, “I had thought by Easter . . . ” and then she shrugged. Neither are willing to quit the fight but the weariness of battle is evident.
I try to abstain from asking the LORD “How long?” But like my life is hard statement, that doesn’t mean I’m not thinking it. Mum has said I was a bit of a nag growing up. I admit it. What causes the nag in me to come out is being told something’s going to happen and then when it doesn’t, I wait. And wait. And wait. And then I begin to nag. Anyone else out there suffering with the symptoms of taking-too-long-timeitis? That makes me smile. Taking too long by whose standards? God is obviously adhering to His own timetable and if I have done all He has told me to do and am keeping the faith, there’s nothing I can do besides wait.
I think of another friend of ours. She and her husband have had quite the ordeal with the process of fostering a child with adoption being the end result. The day the LORD revealed that this child was to be part of their life was a buoyant day indeed. For two years they prayed, believed, did the proper paper work, integrated him into their family at every opportunity, cooperated with the family member who was their contact, jumped through every hoop, and persevered through the maze of red tape. On Good Friday, however, I got a frantic text. The boy’s family member had driven my friend to her utter limit. Her plea boiled down to, “Pray!” Which I did. I prayed a bold prayer; I asked the LORD to rectify the situation in time for Easter. After 9 p.m. Saturday night the text came: He’s here!!!! Nearly an hour later a picture of my friend, smiling from ear to ear, holding their new son. What a long, drawn out battle, but then, SUDDENLY.
As Beth and I were parting from our older friends, I said to the refreshed wife, “You know, nearly every time I wait a long time for an answer, I think of the story about Jesus healing the blind man. The people wanted to know who sinned, the man or his parents. Jesus said, ‘Neither. But that the Father may be glorified’.” And the wife and I said in sync, “When it is time.”
God has not forgotten us. The Blood of Jesus still has its power. Holy Spirit is invading the earth. Angels have been dispatched and are warring. Things aren’t happening according to my timetable, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t happening. I was speaking to yet another man just last week about some general expectations we as Believers have concerning the Church as a whole and our nation (and other nations as well). I said, “I believe there is a lot more going on than we realize. One day we will know about it.”
God said He will have His way. He who promised can not lie. He said many enemies from without as well as within the Church have tried to destroy His Bride, but He won’t have it. When it is time, and He will receive the most glory, He will shake the earth with the evidence of His awesome existence. In the meantime, He is looking for those who will take His name and His armor, and battle for the souls of those crying out to Him day and night for salvation. Will we be those who are named among His great army? I want to be. I can think of no greater calling.
But what about this time thing? Beloved, when you did all you know to do, Just stand. Our Father has a treasury full of Suddenlies and at the most opportune time they will be poured out on the faithful. There are no “nothing” days. God is always up to something. He is always on the move. Maybe we won’t see the fruition of His hand today, but we will see it. Until then, please join me and worship Him for simply Who He is. God is love. God is forgiving. God is faithful. “His goodness is running after me.” Sing it. Say it. Share it. Believe it.