God Isn’t Our Heavenly Vending Machine
I'm not the only one that's walked up to the high-tech vending machine, scanned the rows and columns, found the M&Ms or popcorn, memorize the code (B4), put in the money, push B 4 and watch it drop in pure amazement. If it doesn't come fast enough, or gets stuck in the process, we start pushing, kicking, and maybe screaming at the machine.
At times I wonder do we as Christ-followers see Him as our heavenly vending machine. We go to Him knowing what we want, and expect to just hit the right buttons with our prayer and Bible reading, and stand there waiting for Him to respond in a matter of seconds. Wait a minute. No, literally, what if you had to wait a minute, or even a week, or a year, or maybe a lifetime to get what you asked for from God. How many ways would we be pushing, pulling, (maybe not kicking), but definitely screaming at God because He didn't give us what we want?
We might go to Him wanting something specific, desiring something noble, hoping for something glorious and eternal. But sometimes, just sometimes, He will not move at our beckon call. He has His ways, His timing, His thoughts, His plan. As He provides the circumstances of our life, our responsibility is to provide a response. And most of the time, that response is called PATIENCE.
Patience calls for us to cooperate with God. "There’s more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we’re hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next." (Romans 5:3-4) Passionate patience! Seriously, is that possible? The issue at home, work, life, school isn't there to destroy you but to make you stronger and wiser. Get ready.
As we respond with patience we discover a greater perspective than just the here and now! God has the best point of view on our life and is in our tomorrow before we get there. If we are patient with Him today, we can join Him tomorrow.
As we respond with patience we deepen our love for God and others. God is making us stronger through the waiting period. He is stretching our mind, heart, body, and soul to stand firm on Him. The more firmly we are rooted in Him, the more patient we become because patience is part of the fruit of the Spirit we are to bear.
As we respond with patience we depend on the power and presence of Jesus. Paul writes in Colossians 1:11, "We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy," You can't avoid but be impatient in this world, society, culture. We can't wait to get rid of 3G for 4GLTE. We can't wait for the cashier in training to get our order right. We can't wait for our kids to read (Go Abi). We can't wait for our spouse to just "get us". We simply just can't wait. May I suggest we can, if we are depending on Jesus in every area of our life.
The vending machines really don't have whats best for us in the long run. The best snack or meal is waiting for us at home but we satisfy a craving because we can't wait to get back home.
We need to realize He wants the best for us. He will not hold back anything good for us. With that guarantee, I encourage you to hold on a little longer. Please cooperate with God. It's going to go against every fiber of your being to wait but let Jesus be in our fiber of our being and if He is, we can wait patiently and with joy. His timing is EVERYTHING & BEAUTIFUL. Our wait cannot be miserable and tedious but hopeful and joyful.
Enjoy The Ride,