Occasionally I have a problem with God.
See, my problem is I have problems. Problems that I need Him to solve for me. Now.
And part of my problem with Him is He rarely, actually never, solves my problems as quickly as I want Him to.
I am currently studying covenants, and my studies have brought me back to the beginning. Back to the book of Genesis. I’ve been reading about Abram. “Abram believed the Lord, and He credited it to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6, NIV).
Interesting character, that Abram, or Abraham, as God likes to call him. God made some BIG promises to Abram. And one thing I have learned is that when God makes promises to His children He doesn’t only make them work for it, He makes them wait for it too. And it kind of seems to me, the bigger the promise, the longer the wait.
The bigger the promise, the longer the wait.
Ever feel like that?
I’ve had my fair share of waiting. I was a single mom for seven years after my divorce. Want to guess how long my sister was single after her divorce? About a week. No lie.
About a week after her divorce was final she went on a date with her high school sweetheart and that was it. They dated for about a year and a half and got married.
Not me. Seven years almost to the day.
Seven years is a long time. Much longer than seven days. But it was worth every second of the wait for my marriage to be restored. God healed my relationship with my husband, and after seven years of divorce Chad and I entered what I like to refer to as “Round 2” of our marriage.
I didn’t see that coming.
But God did. He knew exactly how much time it would take for me to learn how to become completely dependent on Him and how much time Chad would need to mature into the fine specimen of a man I am glad to call mine this time around.
Did I do everything perfectly the seven years I spent as a single mom? Not even close. I blew it many times. I would go out with guys I knew were not godly. I would go places I shouldn’t go, do things I shouldn’t do, say things I shouldn’t say, you get the point. I blew it. Often. But despite my failures, God was still in the process of working a whole lot of me out of me. Over time my faith grew stronger despite myself and my failures. I knew God had something great in store for my life. After a couple of years I finally mustered up some resolve and started putting my foot down to things that I had been making exceptions for.
This week when I was reading about Abram in my Bible Knowledge Commentary (my most favorite Bible commentary – if you don’t have one you should look into ordering one. Now.) I came across this, “God had much to do before fulfilling His promise – including disciplining His nation to make it fit for receiving the promise” (BKC, page 55).
Wow. God makes sure we are fit for receiving His promises. Isn’t that amazing? And beautiful. And reassuring. When we have to wait, and we know that we know that we know that we heard God make a promise, but it was so long ago we are starting to question if we understood correctly. Then we realize, we are still being made fit to receive all that God has in store for us. Whoa.
That right there pretty much knocked my socks off this week. I’ve been waiting for a while. Actually I just counted on my fingers and realized I’ve been waiting since January of 2009. Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been waiting for seven years! And I’ll wait another however long I have to, but God made a promise to me. I know He hasn’t forgotten or changed His mind. He’s waiting on me to be fit to receive.
So what are you waiting for? A dream job? A godly spouse? Waiting to start a ministry God has given you a vision of? Maybe you know you are supposed to go on a mission trip but you haven’t heard from God about where you are supposed to go, when you are supposed to go, or maybe you know you need to go but you don’t know what it is that you’re supposed to do once you get there! Maybe its fostering or adoption. Whatever it is that God has promised you, maybe it’s time you start working on getting fit to receive instead of sitting around waiting on God to move.
During my time as a single mom someone told me, or I read it, I honestly cannot remember how I know it but I know it, anyway this is the story I remember: If a man wants to marry a godly woman he will never meet her if he never leaves his home.
We have to get out there and get fit to receive. We need to work on preparing ourselves so that when the time is right we are ready to receive the promise God has in store for us.
The promise God gave me has had me shaking in my boots at times, sometimes it has brought me to tears that He wants to use me at all, and other times I have been filled with complete exhilaration at the sheer thought of what He told me. I don’t know if it will happen when I’m 40 or in another forty years but one thing is for sure, when the time is right I want to be fit to receive!
I am waiting in faith. While I am waiting, I am trying to allow God to use me in any and every possible way He feels necessary.
Today, right now, write down what God has spoken to you. If God has given you a promise write it down. If you’re like me you don’t like to put things like that in writing so write it real small and later you can make confetti out of it, but write it down. Now think about everything you are currently going through and think about the seasons you have been through in the last several weeks, months or years and see if there are any connections. Is it possible that God has been allowing you to experience certain circumstances that could be shaping you and molding you and getting you fit for your promise?
…I know. He’s so good and so sneaky!
I’m so glad He’s in charge! All I really have to do is put my faith in Him and allow Him to lead and guide my steps. Often when I don’t understand the who, what, when, where, why and how, I cling to Isaiah 55:8, ““For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.”