By Lisa Loraine Baker, Crosswalk.com
Gardening brings great satisfaction to all our senses. Sowing seeds when the ground is warm allows us to smell and touch the earth as we dig. And when the seeds sprout, we get to see the vibrant green of new plant life springing from the ground. If we add flowers and trees to our garden, the buzz of bees as they cross-pollinate the tree, ground, and vegetable flowers gives us pause to reflect on the One who created all of this. Add our sense of smell once again when flowers open and vegetables and herbs ripen. And then comes a gardener’s pure delight to taste the good bounty of their garden.
But with each sensation, we must wait. God our Creator planned the sowing and reaping times of each flower and vegetable we have the privilege to grow. Because He created it all, and since we have enjoyed the fruit of our (or a farmer’s) labor before, we trust God’s timing for fruit, herbs, and vegetables to ripen at their appointed time. How kind of Him to give us such pleasure from His creation, things for which He rewards our anticipation and patience as we wait.
Life is like that. We often have to wait as God enacts His perfect will in our lives.
Why Doesn't God's Timing Align with Our Plans?
When we begin with a me-centered vision, we will always experience dissatisfaction. We expect God to answer our prayers at the moment we petition Him to fulfill our need for immediate gratification. The Bible tells us in Isaiah 55:8-9 that God’s thoughts and ways are not ours; they are higher and they fit His standard, not ours. His timing is included in His ways, and it is always perfect.
When we groan because something doesn’t happen in our timing, we need to ponder a few things:
What if we get what we want as soon as we ask? What if that very thing for which we ask will do us harm? Might God be showing us His perfect mercy by keeping us from our speedy desires?
Because God is perfect, sovereign, and omniscient, He already knows what we need when we need it. Therefore, we are assured God is always on time with His perfect answer for us.
10 Bible Verses to Direct Our Prayers While We Wait for Him
“But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8:25).
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
“But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill His promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you” (2 Peter 3:8-9).
“The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
“But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31).
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).
“Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!” (Psalm 31:24).
A Prayer for Patience While Waiting
I am spent from weeping and waiting for You to resolve this situation. But I trust You and Your perfect timing. I know You will test me with seasons of trials to grow my faith in You. I am utterly dependent on You, Lord. Please increase my wisdom and dependence on You as You mold me more and more into the image of Christ, the Author and Perfecter of my faith. I know You won’t stop until You complete Your good work in me. I long for that day—that I may rejoice and proclaim Your goodness as I tell others I am so glad I waited on the Lord.
In Jesus’ name I pray,
A Prayer for When God Is Moving and You Don't Feel Ready
I can barely hold on! I so love how You are moving in my life, but I am having trouble keeping up. I know You equip us to do Your will, and I am excited about that. I’m expectant to see and experience this growth You are bringing to me. Help me, Lord, to trust Your timing and to lean in to You as You take me places I never thought I’d be able to go in Bible study, evangelism, and in this life You’ve given me to live. Expand my thoughts so I can take it all in, not as an exercise in intellect, but in empowerment for the kingdom work You have for me. I’m in awe of You. Fill me with Your Spirit that I will walk in a manner worthy of being Your ambassador.
A Prayer for Peace
You have ordained this as a time of suffering for me. But I need Your perfect peace to fill me so I don’t wander off into blame and depression. The Lord Jesus told us He has left His peace with those of us who love Him and are called by His name. Oh, how I need that peace right now, Father. My trust is in You, and I know You will bring me peace in Your blessed time. Until then, I wait with hope and I look forward to how You will restore my joy because I am focused on You.
A Prayer for Trust
My Lord and my God,
I want to trust You with everything, especially scary things that loom in my life, but sometimes it’s hard. When I read Your Word, though, I find great comfort when I remember all the wondrous things You have done. And You never slumber or sleep! You’re eternally alert and no matter how many people are praying at any given moment, You hear my prayers! That astounds me, Father. Thank You that even as I come to You lacking trust, You fill me. I praise You and thank You in the mighty name of Jesus.
A Prayer for Forgiveness
I come to You broken, for You have broken me from my sin that entangled me. I don’t deserve Your grace and mercy, but because of Jesus, I can come before You in His righteousness and ask for forgiveness. Thank you, Father! Lord, I don’t think the person I wronged has forgiven me, and I desperately need their forgiveness too. Will you continue to move in my heart as I wait? I know I need to react with love and compassion and patience, for what I did was grievous first to You and then to them. Your Word says You will create a clean heart in me. Father, please continue to work in me so I can become the person You created me to be. I can’t do that on my own. I need You to lead me and help me reflect Christ in my life. And I pray, Father, that the people I sinned against will see Jesus in me as You continue to change my life.
As we think about God’s perfect timing, ponder the vegetables you might grow. Have you ever bitten into an immature plum or a tomato stalk because you couldn’t wait for the plums or tomatoes to form and ripen? God’s timing is like that — ready when He says, not us. Therefore, look to the Lord and wait for Him, for He will hear you (Micah 7:7).
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/PeopleImages
Lisa Loraine Baker is the multiple award-winning author of Someplace to be Somebody. She writes fiction and nonfiction. In addition to writing for the Salem Web Network, Lisa serves as a Word Weavers’ mentor and is part of a critique group. She also is a member of BRRC. Lisa and her husband, Stephen, a pastor, live in a small Ohio village with their crazy cat, Lewis.