As a Christian you learn over time to trust God. You learn that His promises are true and that He is always faithful. What it takes longer to learn is that His timing is not our timing. And sometimes that can be disheartening, even discouraging. We read in the Bible to pray according to God's will and that He will answer. But is His answer the answer we want or is it the answer that we need? And will the answer come immediately or will we have to wait. So pray according to His will and then as my granddaughter used to say, "tada!" there's the solution. Not quite and not always.
I have some prayers I have been praying for years and have yet to see the answers. I have had prayers that were answered almost immediately. And there have been some prayers seemed to take forever. Prayers that I thought maybe God had forgotten about. Prayers that had been waited on and then 'suddenly' got answered. I remember after my husband and I had separated and the Lord brought us back together, healing our marriage and restoring our relationship. We had wanted to move here to Prescott Valley from California where we were living and knew that the Lord had spoken to us that it would happen. So I started packing everything up. And we didn't move. Unpacked our winter clothes and packed up the summer stuff. And nothing happened. Packed up our winter clothes and unpacked the summer clothes again. It was almost 2 years before we got our 'suddenly'. Jim had three job interviews lined up here, all the money came in for us to move and within two weeks we were here.
When I had fibromyalgia I prayed for healing. I knew that I knew that God was going to heal me. I know I heard Him speak deep into my spirit that I would be healed. Almost three years I suffered with the insomnia, with the joint pain, with feeling like a failure as a wife and mother because I was so out of it, with driving to town and forgetting where I was going and how to get to places that I had been to multiple times. Every day I woke up and thought, wait, God said He was going to heal me. I was so tired and in so much pain and discouragement set in. I tried to keep believing but to be honest it was difficult. I struggled to keep my eyes on the Lord and my faith in Him. Then one weekend at our church we had a visiting evangelist. I was singing with the praise and worship team for I think four meetings. I again heard that still small voice tell me that I was going to be healed, that weekend. So first meeting, sitting on the edge of my seat. Nothing. Second and third meetings, the same thing. Final meeting, sitting up there on the platform after worship listening to the minister speak and I am ready to stand up and yell, here I am!! When he suddenly turns towards me and says you have a disease, I don't know what its called, that the doctor couldn't diagnose, God is healing you. Instant healing. This was back in 2000 when fibromyalgia was not commonly heard of. Again, pray, have faith, know the answer is coming and then wait, and wait and wait and then surprise!
Of course hindsight is 20/20. During the time waiting for the answer to prayer about our move here, we made life long friends. We were trained in ministry and got to go on a small mission trip. We were able to counsel other couples whose marriages had come to the point of failure. In other words it was not time wasted. It was time in His perfect will and of course everything went according to His plan. When I had fibromyalgia, I learned so many things. That He is faithful to keep us even when we are in the most pain. He is able to touch us when we are down and depressed and ready to give up. His love is unconditional and even when I felt like a failure and a mess He still loved me and showed me that love in a million little ways. I again made life long friends when I was up all night not able to sleep. That was when we were given a computer. Again, a gift from the Lord. I connected with some wonderful Christian ladies who listened and encouraged and laughed and cried with me. I have a beautiful sister in the Lord in Australia that I have never personally met, but she has been a constant source of blessing to me over the years. I have ladies in California that I have not met either, but we pray for each other as we see the needs and know we are never alone. Sara, Ginger, and LaVonna. Proof positive that God never leaves us forgotten or forsaken.
There is a saying that the journey is more than just getting to the destination. Our lives are proof positive of this. Just what I have shared above shows the truth of this. Why do we live waiting for 'that moment'. Even when that moment might be a specific, certain promise from God, we tend to put everything else on hold and wait for it appear. I have learned, and yes am learning every day that I need to live life in the now. Live today with the prayer that I will be obedient to His call, that I will discern His will and as my husband says, not miss my appointment for today. The greatest lessons learned, the most incredible blessings have come in those times of stasis. There is the pull of my circumstances and then there is the pull of knowing I have heard His voice. Which will rise victorious? Will I let doubt and uncertainty win the day or will I rest in Him and in the knowledge that He has never let me down before and that He promises that He never will.
In the Old Testament there are many examples of the Israelite's building altars or memorials when God showed Himself strong on their behalf. When they crossed the river Jordan, Joshua had each tribe take up a stone and build a memorial. Joshua 4:20-24, "The people came up out of the Jordan on the tenth day of the first month. They set up camp at The Gilgal to the east of Jericho. Joshua erected a monument at The Gilgal, using the twelve stones that they had taken from the Jordan. And then he told the People of Israel, “In the days to come, when your children ask their fathers, ‘What are these stones doing here?’ tell your children this: ‘Israel crossed over this Jordan on dry ground.’ “Yes, God, your God, dried up the Jordan’s waters for you until you had crossed, just as God, your God, did at the Red Sea, which had dried up before us until we had crossed. This was so that everybody on earth would recognize how strong God’s rescuing hand is and so that you would hold God in solemn reverence always” (The MSG). They built these reminders so that they would always have something to look back on to show them the faithfulness of the Lord. A memento of His presence, a testament of His goodness.
We have the certain promise of the Lord. His promise to never leave us or forsake us. His promise of the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us daily. His promise that His plans for us are for our good and our benefit. And we have the promise that when we pray according to His will He hears us and answers. Even when we feel that the answer is too long in coming, He promises that He will help us with the burden. Psalm 55:22 says this, "Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you". And this beautiful reminder in Isaiah 41:13, "I, your God, have a firm grip on you and I’m not letting go. I’m telling you, ‘Don’t panic. I’m right here to help you'" (The MSG). An ever present help in time of need. A stronghold in times of trouble. An answerer of prayers, in His time and in His way. Always. So hold on, trust Him, enjoy the journey and get ready for a suddenly.