Waiting on God
I waited patiently for the LORD; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1 (ESV)
Recently, one morning, I telephoned my doctor’s surgery to make an appointment. As usual the line was engaged, and every 30 seconds I pressed the recall button hoping to be connected. After 35 minutes of trying I got through to a lady at reception! Does this scenario sound familiar? Friends tell me they have had the same problem when calling their doctor… only to be told they will have to wait several days or weeks to see them.
Thankfully, when it comes to connecting with God, there is no such delay. He is ‘online’ 24/7, 365 days a year, with never an ‘engaged tone’. He is delighted to hear from us and in no hurry to ‘terminate our call’. What a blessing it is that the God who flung stars and galaxies into space is pleased to hear the praises and petitions we offer him.
Although God is never distant from us, he does sometimes let us wait for answers to prayers. I knew a Christian lady who prayed for 25 years for her alcoholic son; not only has he controlled his addiction, he is now also active in his local church. His mother lived to see her son’s life transformed, her persistent prayers answered.
King David of ancient Israel was a man of prayer, who had to learn to wait at times on God for answers. I can imagine his frustration when he prayed, ‘How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? …’ (Psalm 13:1). Samuel the prophet anointed David, when a young man, to be next king of Israel (1 Samuel 16); but it was many years until his father-in-law, King Saul, died and David took the throne.
Do we sometimes wonder why God takes so long to answer our prayers? Whatever our problems or desires, we can rest assured that God knows about them well before we ask.
We may never fully understand the reasons why God answers our prayers the way he does. Paul experienced a ‘thorn in the flesh’ during his ministry and wanted rid of it, but God told him that His grace would be sufficient for him (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). Paul eventually got the message and replied, ‘…Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.’ (v.9).
There are times in life when solutions to our problems seem impossible. It is at times like this that our first recourse should be, as David wrote, ‘Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the LORD!’ (Psalm 27:14).
Father in heaven, as humans we are not hard-wired to wait and be patient. Patience is a fruit of the Spirit; help us to draw on Him when we need help. Thank you for your faithfulness, in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Study by John Magowan
About the writer:
John Magowan attends the Lisburn congregation of Grace Communion International, Northern Ireland.
Lisburn Grace Communion
Ballymacbrennan School House
129A Saintfield Road
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