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Friday, January 06, 2006

Is God Slow?

I noticed something today. I've read the Genesis account of Abraham on many occasions, but today something new jumped out at me. Among the several promises God made to Abraham, one was the promise of a son, an heir, that would lead to Abraham's descendants becoming a great nation. What I noticed was this- Abraham was 86 when God made the promise. The very next passage (Gen. 17:1) starts, "When Abram was 99 years old..." Hold on a minute. 99? That's thirteen years since the promise of a son. Thirteen years of Abraham getting older. Thirteen years of Sarah, his wife getting older. And she wasn't young, either. Thirteen years of wondering, and wishing, and trying, but still no son.

This leads me to some questions. Why did God not fulfill his promise for thirteen years? Why not give Abraham a son at 86 or 87? Wouldn't that be just as fantastic? Why not wait until Abraham was like 98 to make him the promise? Does this mean that God is slow?

What this brings up for me is the difference between being slow, and being patient. God is not slow. The New Testament book of II Peter says, "The Lord is not slow in keeping his promises, as some understand slowness." (NIV) Slow is when you wait at a fast food restaurant for your order, while the workers casually help 14 drive-thru customers while your food sits under heat lamps. Slow is aggravating, because it implies that someone is taking a long time to do something that we know could be done faster. God was not slow in keeping his promise to Abraham. He was waiting. He was patient. God knew just the right time to bring Abraham an heir, and He knew what had to happen in Abraham's heart and life before the son could be born.

Take courage from this. When we wait upon God for an answer to prayer, or the fulfillment of a promise, we can begin to believe that He is slow, or even worse, unresponsive. God is not slow, God is patient. And so as you wait on Him, place your life squarely in His hands and allow Him to work in and through you until the answer comes.

Rest in Him today. His timing is perfect.

Journey on, friends.

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