“We often say God is never late, but generally He isn’t early either. Why? Because He uses times of waiting to stretch our faith in Him and to bring about change and growth in our lives,” says Joyce Meyer. Close to a year ago, in the midst of a spiritual battle, I came across her article with this quote titled, “When God’s Timing is Taking Too Long.”
As time went on, though, I had forgotten about it. In talking with a friend last night, she encouraged me to re-read the above article that I had shared with her this past summer. Timely then, timely now. It puts my situation in perspective and reminds me that God’s timing is perfect and even when we think we are ready for the next step, God waits until He knows we are ready. Just like the Israelites.
Exodus 13:17-18 tells us that God led the Israelites the longer, harder way on their journey to the Promised Land because He knew they were not yet ready to go in. There had to be time for their training, and they had to go through some very trying situations. They wasted a lot of time wondering about God’s timing, but God never failed to take care of them and show them what He wanted them to do. When the Lord closes a door, it means that He has something better for me than I had for myself. (Meyers)
A couple of nights ago, I discovered a few pieces to a puzzle left undone and a few reasons to a door quickly closed. And all I can say is WOW! Knowing what I do now, I fall on my knees in gratitude, thanking the Lord that He closed that door and spared me from the pain and hurt that would have accompanied it. In the trial, though, I kept begging God to work things out and questioning his reasons.
It’s like this. You see an open door. You want to walk through it. But before you get there, the Lord quickly shuts it. You are left no choice but to turn around and walk away, each step asking ‘why?’. Sometimes, you are fortunate to learn the reasons later on and sometimes you don’t. Either way, you continue to put one foot in front of the other and learn to praise God in the hallway.
In this particular situation, the Lord revealed His reasons to me through a few close friends. I now know the ‘why’. I don’t know if it is possible, but I feel like my faith grew 10x that night.
This rather startling and unexpected revelation reminded me of this verse:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9)
I don’t know what my future holds, the doors that will be opened, the opportunities that will arise. I’m in between. Last night, as I was browsing inspirational quotes on Pinterest, I came across this saying from Corrie Ten Boom:
So simple yet so powerful. When I think of Corrie ten Boom and her life-threatening situation, my situation pales in comparison. Corrie didn’t know if she would live to see the next day, let alone her future. But she continued to trust that the Lord had a plan. Her strong faith and unwavering trust inspire me.
Likewise, in my in-between, “when I can’t trace the Lord’s hand, I’ll trust His heart.”