Christian Women's Magazine | Trusting God's Timing

By Shelly Esser

Out for a bike ride, I passed a house we almost bought several years ago. Slowly riding by to familiarize myself with it again, I was so thankful we hand't bought it; it would have been purchased merely out of panic instead of what was best. It had been a really tough time. Our house had sold and we had no where to go, my husband was ill, and I was feeling desperate; so desperate that I would have settled for anything just to have a house! Instead, God wanted us to wait. Never was I so tempted to run ahead of God. That's often the case in times that don't makes sense. Instead of trusting God with the unknown and patiently waiting in His holding pattern, where we're often uncomfortable and helpless, we try to take matters into our own hands.

Abraham also struggled when things didn't go as planned. He was facing what seemed to be the impossible. God had promised he and his wife Sarah, who was beyond child-bearing years, a child. Instead of being patient and waiting for God to act, Abraham let Sarah talk him into sleeping with her maidservant, Hagar. She ended up conceiving and she and Sarah had a contentious relationship with consequences that endured for years. I wonder how many times when "we are troubled on every side" (2 Corinthians 4:8, KJV) that we've pulled a Hagar? I almost did with that house. I wanted to take control because God didn't seem to be responding in the time frame I wanted Him to!

It's especially difficult when we have done everything we know how to honor God only to watch our lives or ministries go terribly wrong. The delays, the silence, the inactivity can make the waiting even more excruciating. What I discovered was that just because God seemed silent, didn't mean He was inactive. He was getting a house ready for us for just that appointed time. When waiting goes on for days, months, and even years, the heart can grow weary and hopeless. There can be an agony of heart that can lose its strength, and without the grace of God, can even sink into despair. We may not see the beautiful plan God is hiding in the shadow of His hand if we try to mess with His plans. 

In order to cooperate with God's timing we have to let Him make necessary changes in us. God wanted to work in me! When it came right down to it I was struggling with trusting God with our homelessness. Doesn't God promise to take care of our daily needs? Doesn't a house qualify as a daily need? God's delay was used to re-teach me about trust (I'm fearful by nature), something that was extremely lacking in my life during those desperate months. God moves in response to our waiting expectantly on Him, and putting our trust in Him not in anything or anyone else.

Isaiah 30:18 says,"...Blessed are all who wait for him!" God was divinely delaying because He was waiting to bring us a gracious gift. As we waited, we moved in with my parents for the summer. It was just the prescription for my husband's recovery as God so lovingly led us beside "the still waters". It felt like we were on a retreat the entire time we were there, nestled on the edge of a beautiful lush forest. Instead of unpacking boxes, God was restoring our souls. God has us at this resting stop so He could orchestrate the perfect house for us in His perfect time just before school started. I was learning how to "step fulling into the unknown...and believe God is exactly who He says He is" (Streams in the Desert). All of it was a testimony to God's extravagant love for us. 

Have you been tempted to pull a Hagar like me? Maybe you're facing your own move, or waiting for the next ministry position. The problem with pulling a Hagar is you soon discover that the timing you thought was right for a particular decision, isn't. God wants us to receive the right things from Him at the right time. Waiting is tough and frustrating, even painful, but it requires us to place our trust in the One who knows what's best for our lives. God's delays accomplish His divine purposes for our lives.

I still smile when I ride past that house - an ever present reminder of how I almost pulled a Hagar.

Please enjoy the articles JBU has shared from this issue of Just Between Us Magazine. As you read, we pray you are encouraged as you trust God through whatever trials you face; finding contentment to help you embrace your circumstances and ultimately finding the peace only God can give.



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