Patience Now!

There is a scene in Star Wars, Episode IV, where Luke is attacking the Death Star, about to drop a bomb down a chute to the core of the weapon. His wing commander tells him, “Wait for it. Wait for it.”

Did you know the Lord tells us basically the same thing? In Habakkuk 2:2,3 (NLT) the prophet writes:

Then the Lord said to me,

“Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently,     for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

How many of us have ever prayed along the lines of: Lord, fill me with your patience. NOW! I think we all have in one form or another. We have a dream, a desire, a goal and it feels like it’s never going to happen.

Many years ago, my wife and I believed we had a call from God to move halfway across the country to serve in a ministry. I met with our pastor. We discussed all the ramifications of such a move—the impact on our teenage children, giving up a substantial income, and everything else such a drastic move entails.

He said to me, “If you’re ever going to miss God’s timing, it’s always better to be behind than ahead of him.” He advised us to wait several years to when our family would be in a much better place in terms of our kids and our finances.

We saw his wisdom and we delayed our move, although with some reluctance. Events proved his wisdom.

After the move, my patience was tested again and I discovered Habakkuk 2:2,3. I was believing for a job with the ministry we had relocated for. And believing. And believing. And believing.

I had made sure to write my vision based on the call God placed on my life. I submitted applications, but the call for an interview seemed like it would never come.

But then the Lord did open the door for me—just not the one I had planned—and I worked for the ministry for ten years.

I do believe God has a call for each of us, an ultimate plan he wants us to live out. But he can’t always simply thrust us into that dream. We need to grow into it, we need to be prepared for promotion, for the work we will have to do to achieve all he wants us to accomplish. When I look back over my life, I see how each place I had in secular employment and in ministry prepared me for the next step in God’s plan.

Now I can see how each position and place prepared me to be a writer. To write the words he gives me, words to minister hope, reconciliation, redemption, and restoration.

And I can see how he tried to develop patience in me. I didn’t always cooperate with him. Sometimes, I still don’t. To be patient—to wait for it—is really a test of faith. Do I trust him enough to do what he tells me, which is write, and trust he will find the best way to get my words to the readers? Patience really asks—Do I trust his timing?

God is never late. He’s never early either. He’s always right on time. But his time is not always my time.

I now trust him enough to believe his promise “…it will surely take place. It will not be delayed…”

How do you handle those times when it seems like your dream will never arrive?

 

 

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