Just like I’m learning to embrace small, it’s becoming clear that I need to embrace slow. I’ve fought against slow for a good 10 years, and it’s gotten me nowhere. Slow doesn’t hurry because I tell it to. Slow doesn’t mind my groans or sighs. Slow takes it’s time.
And so does God.
I’ve starting thinking, what if God would have given me everything I wanted when I wanted it? I shudder to think of the prideful brat I’d be. I’m becoming thankful for the trials and the waiting I’ve endured over the years. No … I’m not asking for more. But, when I look back on each trial, I see them drenched in grace. Grace given to me to see things from a different vantage point. Another reason I can’t judge someone. Another reason to have mercy and compassion on those who fail in some similar way. Another reason to praise God for seeing me through. Only time and testing can do that work.
I was reading about various kings in Chronicles this morning, seeing how they succeeded, and also how they failed. I wondered if some of them would have been in better condition to rule had they been older. Had they been made to wait a long time to sit on the throne. I think of poor Moses, and those long 40 years he spent in obscurity before he stepped into his calling. I think of David who was anointed as a young teenager, and didn’t become king until he was 30, after years of running for his life. I think of Joseph who at 17 knew he had a divine calling, but got sold into slavery by his brothers and endured trial after trial. Years later, at 30, he became the second most powerful man on earth. In all these instances the timing was perfect. They were better suited for their roles and circumstances were ripe for maximum blessing to others and glory to God.
There are so many other examples like this in the Bible. Even Jesus waited till he was 30 before he stepped into His ultimate purpose. Why then do we think things should be happening faster in our lives? We have a vision of what things should look like, and if by __ (insert your age) those things haven’t happened, we are in a complete tizzy, and we ask God why He’s holding out.
I think the answer to that question is grace.
Grace to not give us something before we are ready. Grace to not let us destroy what would otherwise be a beautiful gift to us and others. Grace to get to know our Lord in an intimate way first, so when we receive those gifts, we won’t quickly forget Who gave them to us. Grace to give it to us when He (in His total omniscience and love) says it’s the right time.
Let’s not look around in comparison or jealousy at those who seem to have gotten something quicker than us. We have no clue what God did in their hearts and lives beforehand, or what He is doing now. They are not our concern. We need only know that in the slow parts of our lives He is certainly doing something good. Something filled with grace and love and mercy.
Thank you, Lord. I trust You and Your timing.
My times are in your hands – Psalm 31:15a
But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. – 2 Peter 2:8-9
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. – Ecclesiastes 3:11