Impatience becomes our default trait when the promises of God seem to be sitting on a shelf without any sign of them getting fulfilled — at least the expected time on our calendar has already been crossed out!
I looked up again, but the scene before me hadn’t changed at all. Still behind this particular tractor. The traffic was obviously not moving and boy I was growing impatient. I desperately needed to get to this wedding and to make matters worse, I was one of the bridesmaids. Sigh.
Those of us who’ve lived in villages (rural areas) before know tractors on the road are a fact of life. However, just being “the norm” doesn’t make them any less irritating if you’re in a hurry. Some years back I remember I had to accompany my dad to one of His emergency cabinet meetings in the village, He was in a rush as our car followed a tractor down a narrow two-lane road. Once my dad’s patience was stretched to its limit, He completely lost it and started yelling, “Masa Hurry! Hurry! If you are not in a hurry move!” Amazingly, my dad’s impatience didn’t speed up the procession at all.
How many times have I approached God’s timing the same way? God rarely operates at a pace that pleases me, and I want Him to hurry, hurry, hurry! I’ve prayed impatient prayers for a job, for marriage, for ministry and even a greater understanding of His Word.
Just this week, I found myself reminding God that the year is ending and I’m fast approaching another significant birthday… as if He’d forgotten. There’s a dream in my heart that feels like it has an expiration date, so I was pleading with God to fulfill it quickly, before my bones are too creaky to do what I know He’s called me to do.
There was a woman in the Bible who also felt past her prime and had trouble with God’s timing. Sarah, Abraham’s wife, felt impatient just like I feel impatient. After waiting 10 years for the baby God had promised her (Genesis 12-21), Sarah decided to help God hurry. Surely 10 years was too long for anybody to wait, she likely reasoned.
So Sarah gave her maidservant Hagar to her husband, and the two of them had a child. Even our modern-day television dramas don’t hold a candle to what ensued! It turned out “helping” didn’t help, and the promise still wasn’t fulfilled.
Fourteen years later, Sarah and Abraham had a visitor who reminded them of God’s promise, causing Sarah to laugh out loud and say, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?” (Genesis 18:12)
Do you hear your disbelief and questions about God’s timing echoed in Sarah’s? Well, I hear mine. Now, Lord? I thought this would happen years ago. Aren’t You just a little late?
God answered Sarah’s question in a way that answers ours, too. “Is anything too hard for the LORD? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son” (Genesis 18:14).
Less than a year later, Isaac, the child whom God had promised 25 years before, was born. God was not late. His timing was perfect. It was Sarah who had been in a hurry, but God called Isaac’s birthday “the appointed time.”
According to the dictionary, “appointed” means “predetermined; arranged; set.” Isaac’s birth came at the exact time God had planned all along!
God may seem like a tractor in the road, slowing down our dreams, but He knows the entirety of our story from beginning to end. He also knows how our story weaves into the lives of others. We may be tapping our watches, but He is never late. He may seem slow, but He’s always right on time. He is never on the blindside of our challenges and storms – nothing takes Him by surprise. God Himself holds the appointed time in His hands.
Has God made a promise to you that seems delayed? Has He planted a dream in your heart that has not yet come to pass? You can see I’ve struggled with impatience too, but let’s stand together in confident hope! God is faithful, and we can rely on His perfect timing.
“I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.” (Psalm 130:5)
Sometimes I don’t understand Your timing. It’s hard to wait, but I trust You. I want to rely on Your ways, Your thoughts and Your perfect timing. Help me learn what I need to learn as I wait, and help me resist rushing Your plan. May I wax stronger in you as I wait In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Stay Blessed, Always!