We were ready. The forecasters had been talking about it all week. It was going to be the big snowstorm of 2017. Food was bought. The roads were prepped for ice accumulation. Warm clothes were brought out of storage. Everything was ready. All we needed was the snow. So we waited. And waited. And waited!
After giving up on it snowing before we went to bed, we eagerly anticipated waking up to a winter wonderland. Yet when we awoke the next day, there was nothing to see. We got nada. Zilch. Bubkkes. It was cold, dreary, and rainy.
Normally, this wouldn’t be such a big deal, but when you live in the South, snow is a precious commodity. For us, it’s akin to Christmas. It comes around once or twice a year, if you’re lucky, and most people look forward to living in a snow globe for a day or two. Needless to say, there were a lot of disappointed people Saturday morning.
Twelve hours after it was supposed to start snowing, the first snowflake fell. As I watched the drab browns of winter begin to change into a beautiful white, I couldn’t help but think about how life is often like this. We know God’s promises, we pray expectantly, and nothing happens. Or rather, nothing happens per our desired timetable. Because Scripture says God will bring it to pass, we “know” our prayer will be answered immediately and in the exact way we expect. Yet seldom does God work in the way we expect. Sometimes we must wait much longer than we anticipated, while other times His answer is vastly different than what we expected. But like the snow, an answered prayer is no less beautiful than if it happened in the exact way we deemed it should. More times than not, we appreciate God’s response even more when we have to wait.
The problem with waiting on God is we often lose our faith in Him when He doesn’t immediately answer our cries for help. We buy into the lie that not having our prayers answered in the way we demand means God doesn’t care. Yet one of the first names for God we come across in Scripture is El Roi, which means “the God who sees.” In Genesis 16:4-13, Hagar ran away from home when her problems became too much for her to bear alone. While in the wilderness, God came to Hagar and told her to return home because she wasn’t alone. El Roi was with her.
I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty of trying to solve my problems on my own when I get tired of waiting for God to magically fix my problems. Yet God doesn’t call us to fix our problems on our own. He calls us to stand firm in our faith, believe Him, and wait for Him to work.
As I listened to her story, I couldn’t help but wonder how often we almost miss God because we didn’t believe He would fulfill His promises. If we’re going to fully trust God, then we’re going to have to believe He knows what He’s doing. He is El Roi – the God who sees. He sees each of us. He knows the problems we face and the cries of our hearts. Our only job is to hold fast to our faith and accept not only the how, but the who, when, and where in whatever way He chooses to answer our prayer.
There are going to be times we find ourselves in the waiting room of life, but don’t give up on God. He truly is the God who sees.
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, if I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, and the light around me will be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to You, and the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to You.” ~ Psalm 139:7-12
© January 12, 2017