Sometimes the most challenging aspect of faith is waiting on God’s timetable. If you are like me, then in your impatience, you have asked God questions like these.
Lord, when will You lead me to a better job?
Lord, when will I not be single anymore?
Lord, when will You bless our family with children?
Lord, when will I be well again?
Lord, when will the grief subside?
Lord, when will I get past this storm in my life?
As I said, sometimes the most challenging part of following God is not believing He can act but waiting on Him to act. So, if you find yourself waiting on God, here are two important biblical truths to sustain you through the waiting room.
The first is that God predated time. Scripture alludes to the fact that God predated time’s institution. For example, in 1 Corinthians 2:7, Paul said that God’s wisdom was “destined for our glory before time began.” Paul also stated in 2 Timothy 1:9 that God “saved us and called us…according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.” Then Paul added in Titus 1:2 that “eternal life…[was] promised before time began.” The phrase “before time began,” which appears in all these passages, implies that time had a beginning. That beginning is recorded in Genesis 1:14, where we are told that on the fourth day of creation, God created celestial bodies that “separated the day from the night” and “serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years.” Essentially, God spoke, and time began. In creating the elements by which time would be measured, God created time, and, therefore, He predates it.
Why is it important to remember that God predated time? Because it reminds us that, while we are inferior to time, God is greater than time. And the fact that God is greater than time means that He is the only one who can see time in its totality. He can see the past without limitation, and He can see the future with clarity. As a result, God is the only one who has perfect timing.
The second biblical truth that we need to remember when we wait is that God controls time. God is kind of like an air traffic controller. An air traffic controller is perched in the airport’s control tower observing flight paths, communicating with pilots, and telling planes when they can land and when they can take off. It is his job to direct traffic, it is his job to keep everyone safe, it is his job to make things run smoothly, and sometimes, to accomplish those objectives, he has to make you wait. In like fashion, God is perched in heaven, observing the paths of our lives, communicating with us through His Word, and trying to maneuver us in the direction of His will. At times He will give the go-ahead signal, and at times He will ground everything. He wants to direct traffic. He wants to keep everyone safe. He wants to make things run smoothly, and sometimes, to accomplish those objectives, He has to make you wait.
Consider Joseph’s story for a moment. Joseph spent thirteen years waiting on God’s will to be fulfilled. He endured forsakenness by his brothers, false accusations by his employer’s wife, and forgotten promises by a fellow prisoner. The best years of his life were spent between a pit and a prison. Yet, at the end of his story, when his brothers were worried that he might seek revenge, Joseph revealed that his wait was a part of God’s plan. In Genesis 50:19-20 he said, “Do not be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” In other words, Joseph recognized that everything he endured and the time it took away from his life all became a part of God’s grand plan to save His people.
Why is it important to observe that God controls time? Because it reminds us that God uses time to fulfill His purposes on His schedule through His people. We have to remember that we are just passengers on the plane and He is the air traffic controller in the tower. He sees the entire grid while we can only see out of the window. He knows all of the activity in the sky while we only know the activity in our seat. So who are we to question His timing? With this perspective in mind, we should approach time with the same attitude as David, who declared in Psalm 31:15 that “My times are in your hands.”