[notice]A fortnightly column on marriage, family and relationships.[/notice]
What if the very thing that you prayed for brings destruction? What if the husband that you prayed for brings HIV into the home? He brings so much hurt and pain. You remember the days when it was calm, when there was drought in your life. You remember when there was lack in your life, when it was just you and you looked at the holes in your life. You looked at the drought, the lack, and you prayed to God for “rain”. You prayed to God for water. You prayed to Him for the blessings. But what if the very blessings bring with them so much pain? What do you do then?
What if the business that you so desperately wanted to start and see grow sinks your finances to the point where they repossess your house? What if the blessings in your life bring destruction? What do you do? What do you do when spring doesn’t bring newness of life? What do you do when the spring that you have hoped doesn’t turn out the way you had envisioned? What then? What then if spring turns out to be winter. What if your spring brings summer rain and thunder?
In Gauteng these past few weeks we have been faced with drought to the point of desperation. Reports confirmed it is the worst drought since 1982. The effects of the drought are being felt throughout other affected provinces. People cried out to God to intervene and for the rain to fall. The rain did fall and with it came destruction. In Ekurhuleni the storms have destroyed hundreds of houses. With the rain, stones fell breaking windows; strong winds blew off roofs. Some regret praying for the rain now that they have bigger problems to deal with.
What do you do Israel when the king that you prayed for and insisted on having turns out to be your biggest problem? What do you do with the Sauls in your life that you desperately cried out to God for when they turn out to be your greatest regret?
My husband said something very profound about the lack of rain and South Africans rallying around praying for the rain. He said “God will make the rain fall in His own time. Do not rush God” He was laughing when he said this and it was funny at the time. What was not funny was looking at the damage that the recent rain has caused and wondering if indeed he was right. What if we had waited? Is it wrong to wait? Doesn’t scripture tell us to ask and we shall have in Matthew 7? God says in His word “Faith without works is dead”. Isn’t it a flesh thing to want things to happen now? We ask ourselves “How long do I have to wait?”
The problem of impatience
It is difficult to wait for the timing of God sometimes. We want the answer to our prayers yesterday. In the story of the prodigal son we see how he could not wait for his inheritance and insisted that his father give him what was rightfully his. We see the very same impatience in Sarah. She wanted a child and when it looked as if the promise would not be fulfilled, Sarah thought of speeding up the process by suggesting that her husband sleep with their maidservant. That was not God’s best although He allowed a son to be born from Hagar. Sarah could not wait!
Ask the prodigal son what results were brought about through rushing? He rushed his father to give him his inheritance and look at where that got him. And Sarah? Did she really have her answer? Did she hold her baby in her arms? Hagar left with baby Ishmael! Let us learn to wait patiently on the Lord. He knows that there will be a wilderness but He sees the promised land that He has prepared for us. He knows that there will be a drought but He has made provision even in the drought. He saw in the future and brought a Joseph into the very environment where he could meet the needs of His people. God knows how to make a way even in the wilderness. He provides for us even in the drought. Our God makes plans. He makes provision to be there. Let us learn to be patient. Let us not be found to be like the prodigal son who wanted his inheritance before the time and was knocked down by life because he was not ready for the weight of the inheritance.
Let us wait. Let us wait until we get to a place where the Father says “Now it is time! By this time next year Sarah you will have a child. Now it is time for you to be promoted from a prisoner to a minister, Joseph. Now it is time Hadassar to go to the palace for I have called you for such a time as this. Now it is time to go to a place that I have prepared for you. Now you can have the rain. Now you can have the inheritance. Now it is my time for you!
Let us wait
Our God knows the times and the seasons in our lives. Let us trust Him to bring the answers in His time because if we do not we might be inviting chaos into our lives.
Some may ask what we’re we supposed to do when we are facing a desperate lack of water. I do not have all the answers but I know that our Father is not blind nor is He deaf. He knows the end from the beginning and we would do well to ask Him what we should do and as Mary said ‘Whatever He tells you to do, do it” If He says pray then we pray. If He says wait patiently then we wait patiently.
“God will make the rain fall in His own time. Do not rush God”