The Slow Work of God
Recently, I heard the phrase, “Waiting on the slow work of God” and it got me thinking. For Americans, this statement is counterintuitive because we do everything fast. Our food is fast, our entertainment is fast, and the way we conduct business is fast. If something in our lives isn’t fast we tend to get impatient and if someone in our lives isn’t fast, they tend to get labelled as, “lazy”. So, when I heard this statement it took me aback because I had to process it in a way that I wasn’t used to. I had to think about instances where God’s work was done slowly and as these started to come to mind I was left wondering why I felt it necessary to have my work done so quickly.
In Genesis we learn that God promised Abraham and Sarah offspring but we also learn that it took decades for that promise to come true. In Exodus we find out that God waited 400 years before he sent Moses to free the Hebrews from Pharaoh. Throughout the entire Old Testament we learn of a Messiah that was going to come to Earth but it takes approximately 4000 years for Him to show up! And when He does arrive, God has him on the Earth for more than 30 years before He actually fulfills His calling!
As we think about this in an American context it’s easy to think of all the time God wasted. He could have accomplished all of these things much faster so why didn’t He? In some instances, we actually prevent Him from completing His work. Take Abraham and Sarah, they knew what His promise was but tried to take care of it themselves. Ultimately, this delayed God from completing His work. In other instances God might be waiting for us to come around. The Hebrews of the Exodus seemed to forget who their God was and so He waited until they came back to Him. Sometimes, God moves slow for our own benefit. In the case of the Messiah coming (both the first and second times), God’s process has been slow because He desires that all come to a personal relationship with Him. 2 Peter 3:7-9 reminds us of this, “But by His word the present heavens and earth are being reserved for fire, kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.”
When we begin to think about the work that God is doing in our own lives we have to remember that it’s going to be slow because God won’t be done working in our lives until He calls us home. Be happy with where He has you now and what He is currently doing. In all of the examples above God did amazing things but it was all in His timing. Be submitted to God's will so that His work doesn't have to be delayed in your life, and Remember to be patient as you wait for God's work to be accomplished and fulfilled in your life. Keep focused on what He is doing today and what you can do for Him today as well.