As I drove to the grocery store yesterday, I was thinking on a particular moment in the movie, Prince Caspian. To many of the Narnians, Aslan (who is symbolic of Christ) was nothing more than a myth. The land was in turmoil, yet Aslan had not come to their rescue. While there were still a few believers, most had turned away, embracing the philosophy that if they were going to be saved, they would have to save themselves.
When the Pevensie children arrived, they hardly recognized Narnia, for so much had changed since their last visit to the magical world. When they heard of the trouble in the land and how Aslan had not made His presence known in some time, High King Peter (the oldest Pevensie) decided it was time to fight the battle themselves. His youngest sister, Lucy, who had always shared a special bond with Aslan, tried to convince him to wait for the Great Lion, but Peter, with sword in hand, responded, "I think we've waited for Aslan long enough."
Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever told yourself or someone else, "I think I've waited on God long enough"? I know I have. After all, God exists outside the bounds of time, so to him days, months and even years are insignificant. To us, however, as we wait and wait and wait, that time seems like an eternity. And many times, it simply seems too long, and so, like High King Peter, we take matters into our own hands.
What are you waiting for today? The perfect job? Mr. Right? Financial freedom? The opportunity to have more time to spend with your family? Improved health? Renewed hope? Restored joy? The salvation of a loved one? We all have dreams, goals, ambitions and even expectations, and oftentimes, the waiting seems impossible. In this day of fast food and express lane, we want the fulfillment of our dreams, and we want it right this minute!
What we fail to realize is that there is a purpose to our waiting. There is a reason why God has not allowed us to fulfill our dreams just yet. While at times it seems cruel for such a loving God to hold us in what seems to be inescapable circumstances, we can trust that God is not unkind or "out to get us." Instead, He is using this waiting time to teach us to be more like Him. Just as it is for the seed planted in the ground, the waiting time is a time of growth and nourishment. God is equipping us for the next stage in our spiritual walk, and that next stage may be the very thing for which we were waiting.
High King Peter didn't see Aslan at work, so he rushed ahead and led the Narnians into battle. As a result, many of them died at the hand of the enemy. It was a high price to pay for one man's impatience. So I ask you today, how much are you willing to pay for yours? Is it worth it to rush ahead and try to help God out, or would it be better for all involved if you merely accepted God's timing and said along with Paul, I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content (Philippians 4:11)?
I don't think anyone likes waiting, but we do often love the results of the waiting. Think about the hearty stew that simmers on the stove all day long. The longer it cooks, the better it tastes. It can't be rushed, but the results are well worth the wait (though perhaps not for the poor soul who has to smell it cooking all day).
Hang in there, friend. God has not forgotten or forsaken you. He knows your needs and your desires. He is aware of your dreams and goals. But keep in mind that He also knows what's best, and He will always act according to that knowledge. Be patient! Consider yourself on simmer, knowing that the longer you're over the fire, the better off you will be in the end.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. - Psalm 27:14