Whenever I have a doctor’s appointment, I always request the first appointment of the day. I figure the earlier my appointment, the less time I sit in the waiting room counting fish in the aquarium. But it isn’t so.
I may have a time scheduled, but it’s entirely the doctor’s discretion when I see him. I find the same true with Dr. God.
Dr. God fills our lives with waiting rooms:
- Your car in a traffic jam.
- Your office when five o’clock is slow to come.
- The grocery store when the line is long, it’s the cashier’s first day, and she’s out of receipt tape. (Ask me how I know.)
Inconveniences cause delays and frustrations. But there are other moments of waiting far more difficult and confusing.
You have plans. This appointment should be over by now. You’re ready to move on the next event, the next step in the grand plan.
But you wait because God has plans for you.
God Has Plans for You that Begin with Preparation
Growing up with Jesus didn’t make His brothers more patient. One day they pressured Him to quit wasting time in obscurity and go instead to Jerusalem to become famous. His response? What He told them could also apply to us:
My time is not yet at hand, but your time is always opportune. —John 7:6
We want the solution immediately, but God wants it appropriately. When we’re struggling, the best solution usually seems the quickest one. But with God, the best time for us is the time He desires.
There’s a reason He delays.
Why We Wait
We know God created each of us to do specific things (Ephesians 2:10). However, God seldom puts us immediately into the place He ultimately desires us to serve. There’s a reason.
The Lord reveals this part of His plan through the lives of those He leads:
- Noah waited 100 years for the flood.
- Abraham waited 25 years for his promised son.
- Joseph waited 22 years before his dreams came true.
- Moses waited 80 years to liberate his people from Egypt.
The waiting gets tough when we realize God created us for something—we may even know what it is—but God does nothing to advance the goal. At times, it even feels like the Lord works to thwart His own plans! Remember, David knew he would become king, yet God let him wander in the wilderness as a fugitive for years while a godless king reigned over Israel.
In every case listed above, as they waited, God prepared them for their purpose.
There were no shortcuts.
God Has Plans for You that Include Preparation and Waiting
In our impatience to succeed, we can overlook the qualifications for success.
We may feel ready for a certain task, but God keeps the door closed. Instead He has us doing some boring and inane (and irrelevant) task completely unrelated to our “purpose.” But all along God is preparing our character for what He knows is ahead.
While You Count the Fish
Our character remains far more important to God than our accomplishments. (For us, it’s usually the opposite.) Without godly character, our abilities and accomplishments are undermined—and the purpose for which God created us is hindered.
The waiting room is called life. You may have your appointment scheduled, but it’s totally Dr. God’s discretion when it’s time.
So as you count those fish, be assured that God has plans for you. Also be assured that His plans include preparation and waiting.
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