Have you ever planned a family vacation? After days of preparation, the suitcases are packed, the house is locked up, and snacks, luggage, pets, and children are dutifully loaded into the car. You’re breathing a huge sigh of relief as you finally pull out of the driveway when a small voice drifts from the back seat . . . “Are we there yet?”
Do you ever find yourself asking the Lord, “Are we there yet?” Sometimes we become impatient with what God is doing in our lives. Whether it’s an unanswered prayer, or a difficult situation that hasn’t eased, a need that’s not been met, we find ourselves asking, “Are we there yet, Lord? Isn’t it time for You to answer this prayer? Shouldn’t You be fixing this tough situation for me now?” But God in His sovereignty bids us wait for Him to answer and provide in His perfect timing.
A year ago the Lord began an intense waiting process in my life. My husband and I knew the Lord was directing us to leave the ministry we were in, so after much prayer and godly counsel we took a survey trip out west. We were convinced the Lord was leading us that direction but didn’t have any sureties beyond that – no house, no church, and no job.
Throughout that time of uncertainty, God’s Word was my source of comfort. The Lord used Matthew 6:25-34 to teach me about waiting without worrying. To a woman the uncertainty of no job or house or security is a terrifying thing. And, believe me, I was terrified at times! But as I memorized and meditated on these verses about God’s provision and power, He began a work in my heart.
First, God rebuked my lack of faith. As I personalized the Matthew passage, the Lord patiently showed me that worry stems from unbelief. “I tell you, Janna, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat and drink or what you’ll wear . . . If God will clothe the lilies that are beautiful today and dried up tomorrow, won’t He clothe and care for you, O Janna of little faith?” If I worried about a house, a job, a church family and the comfort and security those things bring, then I wasn’t believing that God is enough. I wasn’t trusting that He could, and would, take care of me. I wasn’t content with what He’d given me (whether little or much) for right now.
Then the Lord showed me the fruitlessness of worry. One particular verse struck me. “Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?” (6:27) Even if I foolishly thought I could provide food and clothing on my own by getting creative with random cans in the pantry or shopping second-hand stores for deals, I still couldn’t do a thing in the world about my height! No matter how much I might worry or fret or obsess about all 5’2” of me, I can never, ever add a single centimeter to my height or shrink even half an inch! Just as God took care in planning my height, He knows my current needs and will take care of them as well. No amount of worry will change that.
Finally, He revealed Himself to me – a God worthy of trusting. A God who cares about tiny creatures like birds (6:26) and insignificant plants like the lily (6:29) cares for me even more (6:32). He cares for me so much that He created me to be a unique individual before I was even born (Psalm 139:13-16) and even now knows all about me right down to how many hairs are on my head (Luke 12:7). He knows my struggles and my needs. He knows how much pressure and heartache I can withstand. And He knows what will best draw me to Himself. This almighty God loves me so much that He’s promised to be with me always (Hebrews 13:5) and to supply everything I will ever need (Philippians 4:19). And He has promised the same for each one of His children.
In His way and time, the Lord eased the waiting and began the provision – never too late, but definitely never early either. He provided a Bible-preaching church, then a house to rent, and finally, after we’d returned home to pack up for the cross-country move, a job for my husband. It takes only a few short sentences to tell about those provisions, but the waiting was at times excruciating. How easily we look back with “hindsight’s 20/20 vision,” yet in the midst of the tough times when the outcome seems far away, seeing God at work seems so much harder!
The God who provides is God during the waiting as well. He is the One who knows “we have need of all these things” and lovingly instructs us to “take no thought for the morrow.” He alone can turn our “Are we there yet?” into “I won’t worry about _______, Lord” as we rely on a trustworthy God who knows, loves, and cares for us beyond what we can even comprehend.
Written by Janna Wright. This article was published in the Fall 2010 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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