Do I believe that God will show up?
How about a year in when things are more difficult?
How about three years later, still struggling with similar issues?
I want to say that no matter how long I’ve been waiting for whatever it may be – healing, freedom, reconciliation – that I will not waiver in my belief that God is a god who provides. Reality check: I want to bail when things get tough, or when He doesn’t show up on my timeline. I want to throw a party – a pity party. I wallow. I cry. I’m just like Sarah, who when God did not prove faithful on His promise to her and Abraham on her self-created timeline, went out and fixed the problem on her own, messing everything up further. Waiting creates an idolater out of me. I long to put myself on the throne, especially when I am not confident that God will prove faithful to His promises on the timeline that I have set.
A sweet friend paraphrased a workshop she was listening as we chatted on my drive home yesterday. She shared that the speaker said, “Get your eyes off the clock and onto Jesus.” When my eyes focus on the clock, I get so tunnel visioned, I cannot see what is going on around me. I also become obsessive, and am irritated on how long God is taking to fulfill His promise to me. There is no timeline for getting over heartbreak, staying a job that is difficult, or kicking an addiction. We can simply take each day at a time. I know that God is good and He desires to fulfill His promises to me. He wants me to live a life of true freedom, but on this journey, I am my own worst enemy. I want to know when. When will the tears stop, when will the frustration end, when will I be able to always resist the temptation. Instead of growing weary, I must shift my focus. From when, to who. Jesus.
I know how the story ends. Jesus will be victorious over all. Every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord. In the midst of everyday struggles that seem to go on and on, I can shift my focus to the one thing that truly will endure forever. From the clock, to the King of the Ages. Around me, in the midst of the heartbreak, loneliness, frustration, despair and confusion, God is fulfilling His promises to me, on His timeline. If I can shift my focus from the clock to Jesus, I will be able to see everything that He is doing around me, and rejoice in those provisions, even if they aren’t exactly what I’m waiting for.
Not only is He fulfilling His promises to me, but He extends grace to me in the waiting. When I am frustrated and want to run in the other direction, His grace strengthens me. In the middle of trials, God is gracious enough to empower me to shift my focus from the clock to Himself. God has been faithful 100% of the time, but not always, or really ever, on my timeline. As soon as I can look away from the clock and focus on Him, my priority will not be my messed up timeline, but instead rejoicing in His faithfulness.