Hurry Up and Wait

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Abraham was seventy-five years old when he set out for the land God promised to give him (Genesis 12). At the time God also promised to make a great nation out of him. He had to wait twenty-five years to even get to the first step of “great nation” status. That was when his promised son and heir, Isaac, was born (Genesis 21).

Genesis 21 begins with: “Now the Lord was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did for Sarah what he had promised and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him” (21:1, 2, emphasis mine).

It was a “hurry up and wait” situation, one that neither Abraham nor Sarah always dealt with appropriately,

Sound familiar? “Hurry up” is relatively easy, but “wait” is not.

But the important part of the lesson is found in those bolded portions of these two verses. God did “as he had said.” He was faithful to “what he had promised.” And God delivered what he had promised “at the very time God had promised him.”  Yes, it took twenty-five years. We aren’t told why it took that long, but can only surmise that, like the birth of Christ, “when the time had fully come” (Galatians 4:4) or just at the right moment in history, God made sure that what needed to happen, DID happen.

I am pretty sure I know what I want, and when what I want should happen. The trouble is, my agenda and God’s don’t always match and therein lies the problem. When He doesn’t deliver what I want when I want it, we sometimes gets into “discussions,” or I melt into worry, or I whirl around in frustrated impotence.

There have been “ah-ha” moments when I have realized that many times I don’t even know what I should want, let alone when it should be delivered—at least not the specifics. You see, the ultimate desire of every believer is to want whatever God wants, and sometime He doesn’t provide us with the details of His will for us at the moment that we’d like to have those details. Faith understands that God will do what He says, He will keep His promises, and He will do what He had promised at exactly the correct time.

The beauty of this is reflected in these words of wisdom from Proverbs 3:5, 6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” Psalm 37:4-7, describes it this way: “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him...

One thing that strikes me with these verses is that I start. I trust. I lean. I delight. I commit. I acknowledge. I am still. I wait. THEN He does what He has promised—even if it takes twenty-five years. And in the course of those twenty-five years, having done all those “I” things, His heart becomes my heart, His desires become my desires, and His contentment with the timing becomes my contentment with the timing. And as all that happens there will be fewer “discussions” between us, less anxiety, and no more frustration.

And that’s ALL good.

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