Can We Outwait God?

WaitI’ve been a Christian for over 30 years now and throughout that time I know God has been teaching me, molding me, and helping me understand him better. But the last few years I’ve come to know him much better.

It’s not that God has done anything different. He is unchanging after all! All through these years, he has been a constant companion, counselor, friend, and good father. But most of my life, I managed to block out many of the ways he was teaching me and reaching out to me as that constant friend and advisor.

Even so, I still learned a lot despite my stubbornness – he is the Almighty God after all! He knows each of us better than we do ourselves. He made me and you! He has all sorts of interesting ways he draws us to himself – through his Word, even if we are reading it as a boring textbook, through human relationships, both the good things in them and the lack thereof, through our successes and failures in work and in all parts of our lives, through our struggles with wanting more out of life and finding all the world offers really doesn’t satisfy. He speaks to us in the beauty of his creation and also in the grief of its fallenness. He speaks to our very hearts with conviction and correction and sweet words.

Basically, he’s always speaking to us because this is his world, his life and he’s everywhere! Should that surprise us? He is always communicating with us far more than we will ever be able to fully understand. But, how wonderful to finally realize this and start to enjoy even more such an amazing friendship with the God that loves each of us enough to die for us.

So what changed, you may ask. Why now can I say this after so many years of God seeming distant and inaccessible?

I changed.

God is doing what God has always done and will do for eternity – reaching out to us, loving us, drawing us toward himself as much as we allow. I just wouldn’t allow him to draw me to him much of my life. I didn’t understand he cared that much for me. I had  accepted his salvation but was still living as a slave when he had adopted me as his child and wanted to treat me as such. I couldn’t accept all he offered because I  couldn’t comprehend how amazingly he does love me, and every person. Once we accept him as Lord and Savior, he holds out his hand to start a grand adventure with us. But, he doesn’t force us and if we cross our arms stubbornly and sit down instead, we do miss out on many things.

That’s what I feel I did. He was always with me of course, but it’s like he said, OK, lesson one is

you have incredible worth, you are valuable and well-loved.

And I said, I just can’t believe that and put down my traveling gear, refusing to budge. Here and there I would pick it up and start to walk but lesson two seemed to be, God saying,

we’ll go my way.

That sounded too risky. I wanted to choose safe, well-worn paths, nearby destinations, no risk trips, so I just set my traveling gear back down and waited for him to relent and let me make the plans. One big lesson I did finally learn is that we can’t outwait God. If we think we can get our way by throwing a fit or holding our breath so we pass out… I can tell you first hand, he won’t relent!

He won’t agree with us that we are worthless and he won’t agree to our small, fearful plans. So that is the long story short of most of my Christian life. I’m sad I’ve been so stubborn, but the great thing about God is once we resolve things with him,

he does forgive us

and gladly works with us to make up that lost time so we do get where we are supposed to be. I don’t have to regret over 30 years of stubbornness because in the these past years, he has been giving me many of these “missed” experiences and lessons in speed form. And, guess what…? It’s been amazing and I have loved traveling with God and getting to know him better.

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