As I shared during the last of our Friday Zoom calls during the recent season of church-wide prayer and fasting, God has been teaching me a lot about waiting on His timing. I pray expectantly and eagerly for an answer from God regarding my many prayers of petition. I am probably like the little child asking a parent constant follow up questions… “God, how about now??? Do you have an answer for me now?… How about now?” But it dawned on me that the timing of God’s response may be more significant than the answer itself.
Isaiah 44:18 says, “They know not, nor do they discern, for he has shut their eyes, so that they cannot see, and their hearts, so that they cannot understand.” Sometimes the waiting is not because He doesn’t have an answer cued up ready to give, but because I am not ready to hear His answer. My eyes have been shut for a season because there is still more that I need to understand about His ways and the heart that He has for me and the things that I am concerned about.
Isaiah, along with prophets like Jeremiah, petitioned God for the deliverance of God’s people who faced exile, but God didn’t immediately answer Isaiah’s prayers (hence Isaiah 44:18). Some prophets endured lengthy intervals of time that would lapse between intercession and deliverance, but God always had a purpose and a plan that He was orchestrating. Usually the time that elapsed was directly connected with the refining work God was doing within the hearts of His people.
This past month both of my youngest daughters had loose teeth. One had a loose tooth for a few months, and my other daughter for a couple of weeks. Both daughters anxiously awaited the day that their teeth would fall out so they could hide their tooth under the pillow, and one Thursday both girls lost their teeth at different points that day. They both waited for the same result but at very different lengths of time. There was no rhyme or reason for why one had to wait months and the other just a short time. The same is true as we wait on God’s timing but we can be sure that God is active and at work even in the waiting.
God is the one who gives discernment and understanding. Sometimes it is up to us to recognize the work that God is doing in our hearts during the wait. Psalm 119:101-105 describes a principle that the ones who have understanding move as God leads and directs. So as we are waiting on God’s timing in our life, the waiting doesn’t have to be sedentary; rather, we can actively follow His word, taking time to search God’s heart to move as He leads in our personal lives, in our families, and in our community. As we do that maybe we will discover what God has planned for us all along. His timing is always just right!
I have kept my feet from every evil path so that I might obey your word.
I have not departed from your laws, for you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.