I prayed and waited and prayed and waited and prayed and waited. This tortuous, sometimes monotonous repetition went on and on for nine long, agonizing years. I yearned for a sibling, a sister to be specific. Nothing would stop me from believing that I was not meant to be an only child. I went through spurts of tremendous heartfelt devotion to prayer and through phases of just going through the motions type of prayer, nonetheless, I prayed. It didn’t always seem like God was listening and I had my doubts, but I persevered, no matter how weary. Year after year, the agony went on and on. Then, in one instant, God changed my life forever. We received one phone call out of the blue, and then I was holding my sweet, precious little sister in my arms three short months later. As I gazed into her eyes, sobbing uncontrollably, all the years of disappointment disappeared. I believe in prayer.
Some may feel this is quite a poor example of answered prayers, since it took nine years for God to respond. I say it is the perfect example. I got exactly what I asked for, and the endless blessings Libby brings to my life erase any scars left from waiting. God’s seemingly lackadaisical response to my prayer is only perceived that way by those naysayers who only live in the moment. It is easy to succumb to this frame of mind since we live in a society that promotes, and even demands, instant gratification. Few want to wait or work for much these days. Whose fault is that? Is it because our parents indulge us too much? Is it television, the movies, the music industry, or the media? Do we buy into their “you can have it all” attitude? Do we really believe this will make us happy? We are too often looking to the outside world for our list of needs and desires instead of turning to God. I’ll wholeheartedly admit I can easily fall into this attitude. I will make my own little agenda, under the pretense that it is God’s desire for me, and I play it out in my head, how it should unfold. When it fails to transpire, disappointment instantly ensues. Waiting fails to be a particular strength of mine and it lacks a certain appeal, however it is necessary at times. Our culture, and even many Christians, seems to believe that God owes us something. God’s apparent lack of promptness in fulfilling their prayers irritates many. Therein lies the problem.
God owes us nothing. Yet, he graciously blesses us immensely every day. Unfortunately, most people are so caught up in their personal list of “I wants”, that they miss them. We have no idea what is best for us. We have no idea when the best time is to receive blessings, we only think we do. Only God knows. God’s timing is impeccable. The recipients are the ones that have the problem with timing. It’s a control issue. Most people desire to have command of their lives. We want to know what is in our future. We want to be in control. It’s hard to let go and give it all to the Lord.
Even though God’s timing might not always align with our schedules, He has a plan for us and He reveals it to us at the absolute perfect time. Prayer is a lesson in patience.
God is the only one who can see the big picture. We must trust Him. He will never lead us astray. We must pray and try to follow the path He has laid before us. I believe in prayer and most importantly, I believe in God’s timing. I am a much stronger person because I wait on God’s timing. I understand that God always listens and responds to my prayers, and I am okay with Him not always sharing with me what He’s up to, right away. I know He will eventually tell me, and that’s enough. Is it always easy to do this? Of course not, but I trust Him. Still, in a sense, I do believe we can have it all. I believe that every one of us will do something spectacular with our lives. Some may be doctors, lawyers, ministers, teachers, husbands, wives or parents. Some may live a large life; some may live a small life. Some may achieve their dreams early in life, others later. However, the most magnificent thing we will do in our lives is turn them over to the Lord and watch what He will do. Psalm 130:5 states: “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.” Remember, it takes patience. So we all just need to chill out and trust God.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.