Blessed are all who wait for him! (Isaiah 30: 18)
We often hear about waiting on God, which actually means that He is waiting until we are ready. There is another side, however. When we wait for God, we are waiting until He is ready.
Some people say, and many more believe, that as soon as we meet all His conditions, God will answer our prayer. They teach that He lives in an eternal now, that with Him there is no past or future, and that if we can fulfill all He requires to be obedient to His will, immediately our needs will be met, our desires satisfied, and our prayers answered.
While there is much truth in this belief, it expresses only one side of the truth. God does live in an eternal now, yet He works out His purposes over time. A petition presented to God is like a seed dropped into the ground. Forces above and beyond our control must work on it until the actual accomplishment of the answer.
~from The Still Small Voice
I longed to walk along an easy road,
And leave behind the dull routine of home,
Thinking in other fields to serve my God;
But Jesus said, “My time has not yet come.”
I longed to sow the seed in other soil,
To be unshackled in the work, and free,
To join with other laborers in their toil;
But Jesus said, “It’s not My choice for thee.”
I longed to leave the desert, and be led
To work where souls were sunk in sin and shame,
That I might win them; but the Master said,
“I have not called you, publish here My name.”
I longed to fight the battles of my King,
Lift high His standards in the thickest strife;
But my great Captain had me wait and sing
Songs of His conquests in my quiet life.
I longed to leave the hard and difficult sphere,
Where all alone I seemed to stand and wait,
To feel I had some human helper near,
But Jesus had me guard one lonely gate.
I longed to leave the common daily toil,
Where no one seemed to understand or care;
But Jesus said, “I choose for you this soil,
That you might raise for Me some blossoms rare.”
And now I have no longing but to do
At home, or far away, His blessed will,
To work amid the many or the few;
Thus, “choosing not to choose,” my heart is still.
And Patience was willing to wait.
~from Pilgrim’s Progress
Cowman, L. B. E.; Reimann, Jim (2008-09-09). Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings (pp. 339-340). Zondervan. Kindle Edition.