What do you do when you have a decision to make and God won’t clearly show you what to do and doesn’t seem to understand what a deadline is?
Recently I had to decide something relatively important that would affect our family and had some reasonably long term ramifications. I prayed and looked in God’s Word for an answer. I asked family and godly friends for counsel and I looked, listened and waited…and waited. I told God I’d do whatever He wanted but I needed Him to show me clearly and quickly.
I’m learning in trying to hear God that the problem isn’t God. It isn’t that he doesn’t care, understand the concept of time or that He just likes messing with my head. I’m learning what I perceive to be God’s slow response time and apparent inability or unwillingness to provide clear answers when I’m earnestly trying to make a decision in Jesus’ name, isn’t the problem at all.
What I’ve realized is I’m not waiting for God to make a decision, He’s waiting for me. I’m finding when I ask Him what to do, the final outcome isn’t all that important to Him. I’m beginning to understand what Oswald Chambers meant when he said,
“What we call the process, God calls the end.”
As much as I try to figure out how to expedite, streamline and simplify the process of discerning what God wants me to do in any given situation, God doesn’t roll that way.
As I’ve waited for God to give me clarity with my decision, I have found myself praying more passionately instead of praying my usual mindless, emotionless and faithless prayers. I’ve listened more intently and with expectation to trusted godly friends, instead of doing all the talking. I’ve learned things I didn’t want to hear and things I thought I already knew, but that God knew I needed. In “the process” of waiting, God has been teaching me through His Word, counsel from family and friends, and in Spirit-inspired whispers in my heart and mind.
While waiting for God, he’s taught me how to have more joy and gratitude. He helped me realize the difference a positive attitude makes. He’s shown me that the answer to my decision was not going to come as an epiphany, but through a series of slow revelations about areas of pride, fear and discontentment in my heart that, because he loves me, he wants to weed out.
In the past few weeks I’ve learned a delay in an answer is not a reflection of God’s lack of concern, but on the contrary is a reflection of His love. I’ve learned God cares more about seeing my desperate, broken and questioning eyes on Him than He does giving me what I think I need, in the time frame I think I need it. And I’ve learned that what I gain in “the process” are gifts of peace and freedom I would have never been given had God decided to be “efficient.”