This is the devotion I gave at PWOC yesterday. Well, it’s the version based on my notes and what I recall. I don’t remember everything I said…
God has been prodding me to speak for a while. I mentioned it to Nikita once. And then the following week, God reminded me that I needed to talk to her about it. I could have texted her, but I thought I would wait until Wednesday when I saw her. Then she stood up here and looked at everyone and called my name. She wasn’t trying to call me out. But God was!
There are times when you wonder if it’s your idea, or God’s. I just want to encourage you that if you think about something during prayer or worship, it’s probably God. Especially if it’s something that you wouldn’t normally think about (unless it’s a sin. God isn’t going to tell you to do something against His word). Or if it’s a thought or a feeling that just won’t go away. I would rather step out in faith and be wrong, than to be disobedient on purpose. Delayed obedience is still disobedience.
Do you ever feel like God is late? Or that He forgot about you? Or something that He promised you? I’m sure that if we’re honest, we would all say that we’ve felt like that at least once.
In Job 42:10, Job is talking to God and says, “I know that You can do all things; no purpose of yours can be thwarted.”
When God promises you something, He is going to deliver. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human that he should lie, not a human being that he should change his mind. Does he speak and not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?”
Sometimes we think that God has forgotten us. Or we wonder why He is taking so long to bring healing or an answer. But God is perfect. He knows exactly what we need. And He is never late.
I used to have this poster in my room from a magazine as a teenager. It had butterflies on it. And I just liked looking at it. I taped it to my dresser mirror so I could see it everyday. It was Habakkuk 2:3 from the Living Bible. I love the way this translation puts it.
“But these things I plan won’t happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, do not despair, for these things will surely come to pass. Just be patient, they will not be overdue a single day!”
And so that reminds me that God’s timing is perfect. There have been several times in my life that in the middle of them, I thought God was late. But by the end of it, I knew that His timing was perfect.
Before I had Clarissa, I was a teacher. The second school that I taught in was really rough and my administration was not supportive at all. It got to the point that I was making myself sick on the way to school because I was didn’t want to be there. By mid-May, my husband told me that I needed to resign. I wasn’t super thrilled about that idea because I had wanted to be a teacher my whole life and I didn’t have anything else lined up. But He assured me that God would take care of us. Pretty much the next day, I got a phone call. The church that I grew up in was looking for a Children’s Ministry Coordinator and they asked me if I would do it. The timing was perfect. We had already planned a trip to the Bahamas for the week after school got out and would return June 25. They needed me to start June 26.
I could go on forever. But I will just give you one more example from my life.
My husband, Tim was stationed at Osan about 10 years ago when he was in the Air Force and he has been trying to get back to Korea ever since. It took 2.5 years of applying to get the job here. And so we got here, and he was miserable. It wasn’t the job he signed up for and the people he was working with treated him poorly. But, God used that situation to show Tim that he needs to go to college. So when we finish our tour in Korea in 2018, Tim will use his GI Bill to go school. I don’t know if you are aware that the GI Bill expires 15 years after you get out of the military? His expires in 2022. So if he starts in 2018, he will graduate in 2022. In addition to this, when he goes back to school, I have to go back to work. But when he goes back in the fall, Clariss will be 5. So she will start kindergarten when I go back to teaching so we won’t have to pay for childcare. So now we have a new season to look forward to. And in the meantime, they let Tim switch jobs in the fall so he isn’t quite so miserable.
I don’t tell you those examples to say, “Wow. Look how much God has blessed me!” I mean, he has. I tell you these things to encourage you, that God knows your needs. Even when it doesn’t seem like it. And He will bring your breakthrough in His perfect timing. It doesn’t mean that life will be easy in the waiting. I was miserable at Jacox before I worked at church. But if I wasn’t miserable in that position, I never would have agreed to work at the church. And I loved what I did there! And my husband (and my family) were miserable in the summer. But that’s where we had to be in order to be willing to do what God has next for us.
I just want to pray for us.
God, I thank you that your ways are perfect. That your word promises that you have a plan for each one of us. A plan to prosper us and not to harm us. A plan to give us a hope and a future. Teach us to trust you in the waiting. When it seems like, to us, you have forgotten to answer our prayers or to keep your promises. Help us to recognize what you are doing in our lives. Even in the hard things. Bring the breakthroughs in your timing. Help us to recognize each one, however large or small it is. Thank you God that we will never understand how much you love us. But help us to see the places in our lives that you are pleased with and proud of. Help us to see ourselves the way that you do God. So that in your perfect timing, we will be exactly who you created us to be.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.