“My soul is in anguish. How long, O LORD, how long?” Psalm 6:3 (NIV)
Have you ever waited on God to come through with one of His promises and started to wonder why He seemed so late? If you’ve ever asked God that painful question, “How long?” then you’re in good company. David, the King of Israel and a man after God’s own heart, asked that same question at least sixteen times in the Psalms.
Why does God have us wait so often? If you’re in God’s waiting room, you may want to consider the lessons God was teaching David. Waiting is a discipline. It tries our patience and builds and reveals our character. Sometimes, the answer to the question, “How long?” is as simple as when a parent disciplines a child. “You’ll sit and wait until you learn the lesson you need to learn.” Out of His love for us, God knows that we are not ready for the promise or the assignment He has for us. As with Joseph, He is using the delays and difficulties to develop our character to match His purpose and calling.
According to Hebrews 12, when God disciplines us, we can respond in several ways. Some will delay the process even further while others will speed it up. We can despise the delay, resist it, resent it and ultimately collapse under it and quit, or we can accept it and submit to God. When we submit to God, we enable Him to do a deeper work in us so that He may accomplish a greater work through us.
Recently, we adjusted our clocks for Daylight Saving Time, setting our clocks back one hour to align with those around us. If you didn’t, you found yourself an hour early for church. What if we aligned ourselves with what I call GST – God Standard Time. His timing is always perfect. When we align our hearts to God’s timing, we can rest in the confidence that He will complete the work He began in us. He promises He will in Philippians 1:6,
“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.”