‘Dad, what is taking you so long?’ My five-year-old daughter was up and ready to start her school day, albeit still in her pajamas and a half hour before we try to leave the house. ‘I was getting ready for work and putting my clothes on,’ I replied. ‘What takes you so long some mornings?’ Without missing a beat, she said, ‘Uhh, it didn’t take me long YESTERDAY!’
My toddler is not yet speaking, at least not in a language we understand. When she wants me to play, she grabs my hand, pulls me to her preferred spot and pats the floor. I assume this means she wants to play. She could be telling me about our flooring. Then again, she is not speaking and ‘Dow’ is the best thing I can get her to say (occasionally) in the place of ‘Sit down.’
I am writing about this today because twice in the not–too-distant past my pastor has preached on God’s timing. You see, all of us have things that we take to God. Sometimes, we get a little antsy when God does not respond as fast as we would like, and we start asking God what is taking Him so long. Meanwhile, all of us are guilty of going to God when we deem necessary. Think about it this way. How much time do you spend in prayer before bed on a night that you are really tired, compared to when something disrupts your lifestyle and you need the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to intervene? Sure, we might not grab His hand, pull Him somewhere and say ‘Dow’ while patting the floor, but we are going to Him when we want in order to have our needs met. These may actually be the reasons God is not answering our prayers, at least not in the way we prefer. That said, here are a few things to consider for your relationship with God:
• When God does not answer, keep praying. NEVER give up. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to pray without ceasing.
• Give God the right to say, ‘no.’ This can help keep you from frustration and despair. It can also help you determine that there are things God does not want for you. There is that whole matter of God saying His thoughts are not our thoughts, neither are His ways our ways (Isaiah 55:8).
• Realize God makes no mistakes. He did not say His answers are sufficient for us, rather His grace (2 Corinthians 12:9).
God wants us near Him. God created us for Him (Revelation 4:11). Still, just like we say to our kids, ‘No, you don’t need that toy,’ God does the same. When our kids are asking for something they don’t need, parents sometimes say, ‘Later.’ If we expect our kids to take no for an answer, and if we expect our children to be patient, why are we not doing the same with God?