Waiting on God

I noticed something in the Bible today: Jesus didn’t take shortcuts. He was born as a baby, not a man.

He let John baptize him, despite the fact John thought it was ridiculous. Jesus’ response? “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” (Matthew 3:15) In other words, this is plan God laid out, so we’re gonna do it right.

After John the Baptists imprisonment, Jesus went to Galilee in order to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah (see Matthew 4:15-17)

See, despite the fact that Jesus was fully qualified to fulfill his role, his calling at any point; he had to wait until it was time. He had to do all the things that needed to occur before beginning his ministry. He had to do the first things first. Because God’s plan is to be followed, not picked and skipped like some out of date procedure.

The past two years of my life, I have been waiting. Waiting for God to put me in a place that could fulfill my calling in a full-time position. I have been working at a job that allowed me to support my family and put myself through Graduate school. With school complete, I sought a job that would be in line with my mission, my calling.

But the silence from heaven on when I would get to that place was deafening.

I wrestled with frustration. I cried, I yelled, I demanded, I set ultimatums, I proclaimed, I begged. I know what it’s like to try not to hope for something better because the hope just hurts.

I knew that God was preparing me and maturing me, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t really, really hate the process.

That season of my life is now coming to a close. In the span of 1 month, here are the changes to my life that are occuring:

- My wife gave birth to our third child (our first son).

- I was offered a full time position as a pastor at a local church.

- I will start teaching my first classes at a local university as an adjunct professor.

You should realize that being in ministry at a really awesome church and working as a professor are two things I have been asking God for over the course of the two years. And I’m ecstatic to have another kid. I always wanted to have at least 3.

God has given me all I’ve ever wanted, but only at the proper time.

My wife and I had another offer for a job before this, but we felt it wasn’t part of God’s plan. We had to turn it down at the time. That was painful, but now we see that if we had taken that position, we never would have gotten to ‘the promised land’. If we had taken the easy way out, we would have missed the awesome things God was about to do.

As I look back on the past two years, I see how God was with me the entire time. Even (perhaps especially) on the worst days, when I was full of despair and hopelessness.

I’ve heard the cliche many times that ‘Trusting God means trusting in his timing’. But it certainly is true. God isn’t mean or cruel or forgetful. He does let us deal with adversity and challenges and uncertainty. Not because it amuses him, but because (I believe) he wants us to learn to trust him more and more. My best friend put it like this: as a parent, it’s great to tell your kids some great news and see them dance around the house shouting with joy. But it’s also meaningful to hold them tightly and whisper words of encouragement when they are sad or hurt or fearful. A true relationship is not just built on the ‘highs’ of life. It is build on the lows and the normal, boring days as well.

There’s no way to rush depth in a relationship. It takes time and shared experiences. And I believe that is why God would never give us shortcuts. Because to avoid adversity or uncertainty would mean that his relationship with us will be cheapened and weakened.

He is not a fair weather God. He wants us to know that he’ll be with us in the worst of times as well as the best of times.