We received the answer to a long-standing prayer yesterday. It has brought joy beyond measure, and more blessing than deserved. It is a private thing that I cannot share, but know this…God is good. And I intend to be good as well. This, more than most things in my life, has taught me the value of patience, and timing. My reaction to this answered prayer is far different than it might have been five years ago when we first prayed. I am a wiser, stronger person now, and God’s timing is perfect.
We live in a world where people seek instant gratification. Perhaps it has always been so, and is just more noticeable now because of easier communications. But sometimes what we want NOW is not suited to who we will be or what we will want in a few months or a few years. Sometimes waiting develops character. Sometimes waiting allows things and people around us to change. Sometimes waiting changes our relationships or knowledge. God is the only one who sees the future and knows the perfect timing for each part of our life.
No, I don’t think of my life as “written in stone” or planned out in great detail by God. I don’t believe that everything I’m going to do is already decided. Rather, I believe that my life is like one of those movies with “alternate endings”. I believe that God has planned for my redemption and my home in heaven, but for my life on earth He gave me free will to decide my own fate. It’s like our lives with our own children. Are you happy when you force your child, by YOUR will, to do something you know is good for them, or are you happiest when they make a decision because you have taught them that it is the right thing to do and they made the choice by their own will?
Free will is like a dance- action and reaction. But 1+1 always equals 2. There are limitations to our power. I cannot go against the laws of nature that God has set into play. I cannot go against the laws of the Bible and the teachings of Jesus without suffering the consequences. So each step we take in life affects the next step. Each person we have a relationship with changes us and how we view the world. Each circumstance of our life gives us the opportunity to do something, good or bad, wise or foolish. That is why God sometimes answers our prayers with no or maybe. Prayer is our way of asking for the “alternate ending” and God is the ultimate director.
So I leave you today, blessed beyond measure, not because of my will, but because of God’s glory. Today is the first day of a whole new life and I don’t intend to waste it. This is an alternate ending I prayed for, but I’m not sure I really believed would be granted. God is good!