My eight year old son is a know-it-all (like his mother). He likes to be right and will confidently state his case despite his error(s). One day in the car he quizzed himself. He said things like, “I know what 100 + 100 is. I know how to spell Mississippi.” Somewhere in the sequence of proclaiming his brilliance, he told me he knew how to spell apple. He began, “A-P-P.” Giggles. He started again, “A-P-P.” More giggles. Pee-pee may sound funny to an eight year old but not so much to a more mature person.
As children often can, I find myself easily frustrated. It’s a challenge I have to work on since it is foolish to quickly be provoked to anger (Ecclesiastes 7:9). People like me can become frustrated when things don’t happen as expected. There is a difference between time and seasons. Time is continual but seasons are cyclical. We can’t maximize our time if we haven’t learned from seasons past. We serve a God who does not operate in time but in eternity. Our finite minds can’t always comprehend why God hasn’t done it yet. Maybe it is a job, a spouse, or peace of mind. Whatever it is, we shouldn’t resent the process.
I may be simplifying things too much, but I’ve always felt that if I want something I don’t yet have there are likely two reasons. Either it’s not ready for me, or I’m not ready for it. I recently heard a sermon that encouraged me greatly as I am in a season of waiting. Pastor Marcus Johnson of Hungry Church said, “If the place you’re headed exceeds your maturity level God will delay you to prepare you.” This can be illustrated in the book of Exodus. Twelve spies were chosen to scout the land the Israelites were soon to inherit. Ten spoke in fear while two, Joshua and Caleb, brought back a favorable report. Recall that the Israelites wondered in the wilderness for 40 years as opposed to taking a shorter route. Do you ever feel like it’s taking an exponentially longer amount of time than expected to accomplish some things? Sometimes there must be a season of separation. God had to allow an entire generation of doubting, whining, ungrateful, and forgetful people to die off before those with faith could reach the promised land. If you think your crew, posse, family, friends or whoever you’re connected to aren’t an issue then maybe there’s something within you that God has to cut off. God doesn’t want anyone to go into a promised land with an Egyptian mindset.
Another issue Pastor Johnson reminded me of is at what expense we pursue certain things. We shouldn’t pray beyond our level of sacrifice. Let’s say you’re shopping for a pair of pants and you only have $60 to spend. You pick a pair you like and it costs $50. You would likely buy the pants because you can afford to. However, you could also decide not to buy the pants if you feel it isn’t worth your $50. Your choice confirms how much you want those pants and what you’re willing to do to get them. That was a fairly simple example but things get complicated when you add faith to the mix. Can you let go of what you can see in hopes of getting that which you cannot see?