May I let you in on a little secret? I hate waiting! I know; I know. That’s not really a secret in this day and age. Everyone hates waiting. It’s why we have microwaves, fast food restaurants, high speed internet, and movies you can download directly to the television without having to go to a video store. Everything in this life is about speed and instant gratification. But that’s not how God works. If anything, it’s the exact opposite with God.
I’m not quite sure when I figured this out. Maybe it was after the twentieth time of praying for something and expecting it to happen right away only to have to wait for months and sometimes even years to get a response from God. Yet I couldn't understand why God would make me wait for something He planned to do all along. Why wait?
My question was answered after my body developed an allergy to wheat. As weird as this may sound I learned an invaluable lesson once I was no longer able to eat wheat, which means I couldn't eat bread, cereal, cakes, cookies, and worst of all, pasta. I've always loved Italian food, and that’s all it’s made of – wheat. I tried gluten-free dishes, but to be perfectly honest, they were disgusting. No longer could I pop a Stouffer’s lasagna in the oven and satisfy my Italian craving. When I wanted an Italian dish, I had to make it from scratch. I was able to buy gluten-free noodles, but the rest was up to me. Quickly, I learned to make whatever pasta dish I wanted, although I admit, I don’t do it often because it requires a lot of time and effort. And that’s when I realized something about God and life.
Anything worth having takes time and hard work. Just because we can’t see the evidence of God’s handiwork doesn’t mean He isn't working in our lives. Yet far too often, we give up on God when He doesn’t intervene in our lives immediately.
We’ve been learning how to thrive for a while now, and there’s something we’ve seen over and over again through the course of this study. Thriving requires more than the status quo. It’s a choice we make every day of our lives, and if we fail, then we get right back up and try again. It requires heart, courage, trust in God, and time. Yet we will never be willing to give God the time to turn the trash of our lives into a priceless treasure if we don’t trust Him.
If you stop and think about it, most of our prayers come down to this one desire – to have the broken mess of our lives turned into a life worth having. It’s taking our trash – the heartaches, losses, selfish desires, fears, worries, insecurities, doubts – and turning it into a priceless treasure. That’s what thriving is all about. It’s leaving our old way of life behind and becoming the people God created us to be and doing the things He created us to do. I don’t know about you, but that is my greatest desire.
But that’s not an easy task. We have to be willing to wait and trust God to do what He said He would do. He’s been so faithful to us. Don’t you think it’s time for us to do the same for Him?
“Don’t overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with His promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining Himself on account of you, holding back the End because He doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” ~ 2 Peter 3:8-9 (MSG)
*If you missed the last devotion in the series “Learning to Thrive,” use this link http://www.erinelizabethaustin.com/blog/whats-so-amazing-about-grace
© September 3, 2014