God’s timing is rarely my timing, and this is one of the hardest things for me accept.
When I graduated from college back in 2012, I had a really good idea of where I wanted to be and what I would have accomplished by now. I thought by 2015 I would be graduating from Mississippi State with a Masters in Counseling, established into the career I wanted, and either married or well on my way. Now 2015 is almost over, and none of those things happened. I’m almost finished with Masters of Education at Memphis, I’m going into teaching, and I’m still single. The timeline that I had imagined for myself was replaced with God’s timeline, and I don’t know where it’s going to end up.
There was a time where this subverting of my grand plans would make me angry, or bitter. I thought I deserved to have the things I wanted happen to me when I wanted them, and for my selfish pride, God made none of those things happen. In retrospect, the things I wanted for myself at that time were not the best things for me, and it took a lot of humbling from God to put that into perspective. If things had happened the way I had wanted them to, I would not be where I am now, nor would I ever had the experiences and opportunities that have shaped me so much in the last 3 years. It’s difficult for me to admit that I’m often the worst judge of what things should be important to me.
A few weeks ago one of my mentors said, “The last thing you should be concerned with is the endgame. You should be concerned with the process.” Basically, you have to keep your focus on what’s in front of you, not what could happen. Back in 2012 when I had those lofty end goals for myself, I didn’t even think about the journey that I would have to go through to get them. I was only focused on satisfying my desires, desires for what I hoped would fulfill me INSTEAD of God, so he took them away and set me off on a course where I can’t see the shoreline, and my only option is to trust his guidance.
Part of living for Christ is understanding that your desires are secondary to what God desires, and that includes the timing of the events of this life. We all want certain things to happen, but we can’t stand to wait for them. Waiting is as much a part of life as action, and both have their purpose. Abraham and Sarah waited 25 years for God to fulfill his promise of Isaac. Joseph waited 10 years to be released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit. David waited 15 years to become the king he had been anointed to be by Samuel. All of these things were done for the same reason: to build faith.
God is using this time of waiting to build my faith in him. I can either accept this and trust him, or resist it and cause myself more hardship than necessary. My problem is that I often slack in the day to day grind of living for God because I want results. God cares about my obedience, not my results. So now I have to obey, trust, take it a day at a time, and wait for the results to come.
There’s nothing wrong with waiting as long as we wait with faith and trust.
As hard is it may seem at times, we have to trust God with the endgame and devote ourselves to the process of following God day to day in faith and trust. Our society has trained us like Pavlov and his dogs to demand satisfaction immediately, and often with little to no work. God doesn’t work this way, and this is something I’m continually being reminded of. We must work, trust, and wait on God’s timing.
We should trust his timing, he did create Time after all.