This past weekend I was at my cousin’s house, her twin boys were having a birthday party. It was a wonderful afternoon; the whole family was gathered there, celebrating with her and her husband. I admired all they’ve achieved; their marriage, successful careers, cars, house and wonderful friends and family around them. It got me thinking and asking God; will I ever have this kind of life, God? If so, when is it going to happen? How exactly are you going to make it happen? Obviously when I got home that evening, I was in a lower mood than I’d been in earlier, and it was all of my own doing, of course.
As I think about it now, I’m asking myself whether I was coveting what she has. I know that coveting is a sin and sinning is the last thing I want to do! So I looked up the definition of coveting and found out that it is to wish, long or crave for the property of another person. At that definition, I breathe a sigh of relief! I don’t want what she has, I want my own; my own husband, my own home, my own successful career, my own car, my own children, and it’s all so different to what she has.
That night I wrestled with God. Whereas my cousin was living her ‘dream’ life, my dreams had not come into manifestation. Was I jealous? Truthfully, I was. I approached God and asked for his forgiveness. I laid out my hopes, dreams, wishes and aspirations afresh before him (as if he didn’t know them already, after all, not a day goes by that I do not remind him). I ticked all of them off one by one, asking God; will I ever have this, this and that? God was silent. That frustrated me because I needed those answers in order to proceed with the process; if the answer was no, then the case was closed, with a lot of tears accompanying the closure, of course. But if the answer was yes, obviously the next question was going to be, when? It was as if God saw right through my childishness and nipped the whole thing in the butt!
After I had cooled down and stopped my pouting and childish tantrum, I took to my Bible, seeking some solace. I started to page to Psalm looking for the verse; “take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4. Instead I landed on Proverbs 10:24b; “…what the righteous desire will be granted.” I couldn’t move past that verse. Of course I am righteous in God’s sight, in lieu of what Jesus did for me on the cross and so I do qualify to have my desires granted. Whether God will actually grant all of them is another issue altogether, and a topic for another day, but suffice it to say that I felt that God would not withhold from me what I desired.
One thing that never fails to amaze me about God is how he can answer a question without going into specifics! I got an answer but it was not specific. With the reply I got, I could not tick off, one by one, the items on my list. God just gave me an overall answer. There was no time frame, no step by step breakdown as to how I’ll attain all of those things. It was as if God was saying, don’t worry about it, I’ve got this! Just then the Holy Spirit reminded of the many verses where God demonstrates his majesty, power, superiority and grandeur. How he owns every beast in the forest and cattle on a thousand hills; Psalm 50:10! How the gold and the silver are his; God owns this whole world! And here I am, insinuating that he cannot meet my meagre needs when he synchronises the seasons, sunrise and sunset, with perfect precision! Countless narratives in the Bible attest to God’s power!
Just as I was blown away by that narrative by the Holy Spirit and feeling so minute that it was unimaginable how God would notice tiny me; he went on. Even so, even with all those great responsibilities, I have you engraved on the palms of my hands, not the hills, not the stars, not the sun or moon, but you! I’ve numbered every hair on your head! I know what you need before you even ask! I know what’s in your innermost being; your dreams, desires, aspirations, longings and wishes! I am able to do exceedingly; abundantly above all you can ever ask or think!
I just heard a whisper deep down in my spirit, saying, ‘I’m in control of your life.’ Something on the inside of me just melted; because I know that he’s got great plans, future and destiny all mapped out for me! And for God, time is meaningless! He is not controlled, hindered or constrained by time! Me trying to constrict him and make him define his ways, thoughts and plans in time was insulting. After all, “a thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night.” Psalm 90:4. In this verse, the Psalmist was showing us that time is of no consequence to God. How can you bind a God who lives in eternity to time? All I needed to know was that God is never early or late, he’s always on time. If all that I’ve asked him for hasn’t happened yet, it simply means it is not time yet.
There is no human being alive who hasn’t wondered whether God has heard their prayers, will answer them and when it will all happen. Even when we know in our spirit that all will be well, our minds demand absolute answers, logic and timeframes. And we all know that God works in mysterious ways! So let’s take heart, my dear brothers and sisters, he who has promised is faithful. It might not happen the way we want it to, or when we want it to, but our God is sovereign. It might be that there are some things that he sees that we do not, that first need to be sorted out. One day it will be revealed to us why we had to wait as long as we did, why things didn’t happen the way we wanted them to and we will thank God that he didn’t do things our way!
I leave you with these words; “do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7. I love verse seven, where we are assured that after we have presented our requests to God, his peace will guard our hearts and mind. Even if what we have asked for hasn’t materialised yet, we must allow God’s peace to fill us so that our hearts and minds (which tend to go on and on about an issue even when we’ve surrendered it to God) will be silenced! With that peace on the inside of us, we will be able to persevere and wait on God.
So, whatever you’re going through, whatever you’re waiting for to manifest, just know; God’s got it!