O God, why have you rejected us forever? Why is your anger so intense against the sheep of your own pasture?…We see no miraculous signs as evidence that you will save us… Why do you hold back your strong right hand? –Psalm 74:1, 9a, 11a (NLT)
A woman wrote a postcard while vacationing in New Jersey and mailed it to her mother in Pennsylvania. When the card arrived, the mother called her daughter to say thanks. The daughter was confused. “What card?” she asked. The card had been postmarked in Asbury Park, N.J. and the daughter remembered that she had sent her mother a postcard from that location — but it had been 37 years before. It seems that shortly after its arrival at the post office, the postcard fell behind a sorting machine and it had been discovered when the machine was moved. The postal workers added a new stamp and sent it on its way. Talk about snail mail!
This story prompted me to reflect about how our contemporary culture views time and just how much change we’ve experienced in our lifetimes. Today, we live in a culture that is focused on the here and now. A lot of this has to do with technology, of course. The popularity of new communication technologies in recent years has really had a huge influence! The methods of communication that were once a regular part of life (like letter writing) are close to passing off the scene altogether.
A major downside to our instant society is that it gives an illusion that anything and everything should be at our disposal immediately. We expect a quick resolution to problems that have taken years to develop and become depressed when things aren’t better in the morning! We simply cannot maintain balanced lives if we expect everything instantly!
Often our impatience over timing spills over into our spirituality. When problems aren’t quickly resolved, we get angry at God. When we don’t see growth in our lives as quickly as we desire, we become depressed. We hear about (and some have experienced) God’s ability to change lives and fix problems instantly, but when we don’t see these miracles happening in our lives, we wonder why God doesn’t act on our behalf!
The simple truth is that following Christ takes time. Growing in maturity takes time. Character building takes time. Resolving most problems takes time. Building strong families and relationships takes time.
Today, take a longer view of time. I assure you that God is still on His throne. He is still at work in your life. Understand that God has His own timing (and ours is often different!) Trust that His timing is perfect when it comes to your life.
1. How have new communication technologies changed your life? How have you become more or less patient today as a result?
2. What areas of life do you find yourself impatient with God?
Romans 5:6; Galatians 4:4; Hebrews 12:7