Many years ago I prayed to God asking for patience. It was a good, but really crazy request for me because seriously patience is not an area in my life that I want to be challenged in. I should have known that when you ask God for something such as this, he is going to allow many opportunities to work on that aspect in your life. I instantly had things in my marriage I had to practice patience on, stuff at work that pushed my lack of patience to the brink, and then trying to conceive a child which required a crazy level of patience. I desperately wanted to go back and say, Lord you remember that prayer... um how about we act like it never happened because I really don't want to grow in this area right now, maybe later when everything is going as planned...by me of course ;(. Maybe its just me but although some things do go well for me, a lot of things NEVER go as I have planned which is hard but probably necessary in many situations ;).
Although this was a request from many many years ago- I, in no way, have mastered this skill. I am constantly put in situations where I need to exercise patience and "the planned out organized" part of me takes a serious beating. I think sometimes we think that when God says something is going to happen in our lives or we have this belief of something changing we expect it to happen quickly or in a certain reasonable timeframe. Im learning more and more that although God has the ability to change any situation in an instant it just doesn't always happen that way. I sometimes worry God isn't hearing my prayers or maybe my desires aren't as important as the next but of course that isn't true. I clearly just need to work on my faith and patience. There are MANY bible stories that I should take into consideration. Here are a couple very well known ones but super great reminders:
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers around seventeen years old. God was always with him helping him along the way to fulfill His plan for his life but he was absolutely put in some tough situations along the way. He knew God had a plan for him from his dreams, yet it took about thirteen years before that plan came into fruition. I personally get impatient after a week or a month of waiting at times, so to wait over a decade...whew!!
What about Abraham and Sarah? We all love this story right!?!? At the ripe age of seventy-five God promises Abraham that he would be a father to many nations although he and his wife had no children yet. Fifteen years pass by and God reassures him that his promise will be fulfilled and it still wasn't until after another ten more years that Sarah gives birth to Isaac. Twenty-five years!!! Im exhausted thinking about that kind of wait! (its another whole topic to dig into what happens when we don't understand the wait and take matters into our own hands...Ishmael/Hagar)
It's rough when you want something to change and/or happen and it just isn't moving like you would want it too but please keep the faith. Although I would rather not "wander in the wilderness for 40years," I have to remember that God has a purpose for every decision he makes even if its painful to experience or doesn't make any sense to me. Like he really needs MY approval-haha! If Im honest w/ myself sometimes I know I bring on those unwanted consequences, doing things my own way. Just know that sometimes God's delays ARE in fact a real denial of something we want but may not need BUT sometimes it's really just what it is "only a delay" and will happen in due season. Easier said that done of course as I'm sure I'm absolutely the 1st person who constantly needs this reminder. ;0