There is a place in life between the prayer heard and the prayer answered, between God's yes and the miracle in your hands... That is a place so close to doubt, to feeling forgotten, to wanting to hustle for yourself like Sarah and her slave woman, to saying God cannot be relied on. It is that place that can become a place of whining and nagging and complaining as impatience gets the best of us and we ask God, "how much longer Lord?"
A month or so ago God reprimanded me about my whining attitude during moments of waiting. My five-year-old had requested me for something and since I was pre-occupied with something else at the moment, I just nodded. Five seconds later she repeated the request and this went on for another five or so times until finally I snapped and said, "mama I heard you the first time and I'm on it."
Immediately I wondered just how many times I have behaved like her, vainly repeating prayers because I think by my much repetition I will be heard. Is it the lack of faith that God heard me the first time? Do I feel I need to wear him down with my requests till he's finally has had it with my nagging? Do I think God needs to be reminded over and over about my request? Do I feel like the Baal prophets derided by Elijah that maybe God is asleep to (aka sitting on) my requests?
I know God hears prayers. That's enough for me. I'm contented that he heard me. He is not the unjust judge Jesus refers to in Luke 18 who was worn down by a widow's pleas for justice. Because he hears me, and because he loves me, I can be at peace in the moments between the prayer and the answer. He's a good God who gives good gifts to his children.
I've been studying Genesis in BSF and in Genesis 8 it says God remembered Noah and he sent a wind to dry out the waters after after 40 days of rainfall and deluge.
Hallelujah God has seen Noah's trauma in the seemingly unending storm and he has answered. Yet it took another 150 days for the waters to go down enough for the ark to find a resting place on Mt Ararat and stop wobbling. Noah was not on dry ground but he was sheltered safe as God had shut him in. Yet another three months and the waters went down enough to see the mountain tops but no dry ground. Still in the dingy stinky ark with cobras, rats and mosquitoes. Do you see Noahs anticipation? God has intervened, the earth is drying but Noah is still stuck. Are you still feeling stuck even after God said he's on it, he's done it?
Then another 40 days. Noah sends out a raven. Then a dove. He's getting ready for the miracle. He's surveying the land like Joshua. He's ready. Just say yes Lord. But another seven days. He sends out another dove. Finally an olive branch! You'd think it was time for Noah to get unstuck but no. One more week goes by. Another dove. This doesn't return. It's safe outside. Lord...?
It's another year. God it's safe outside. Why are you not releasing us? Where's the promise? Where's the faithfunesss? Where's the solution? What are you up to God? The water has dried from the earth. The ground is dry. But God takes another 57 days before he could tell Noah, "Come out of the ark."
Vaughan says, "God had shut the ark, and God, Noah knows, must open it. If God has shut any Noah in, be content to wait Patiently till God shall open. It is your confidence to sit still."
Noah was in the ark 382 days waiting to be delivered from a 40-day flood. Edith Ohaja puts it this way: "Next time God assures you He has taken care of a problem but you still see yourself stuck or constrained by the circumstances created by the problem, don’t doubt Him or belly-ache. When you’re tempted to fret and complain that God is taking too long, remember the flood, remember Noah and his family in the ark."
Patiently wait own God's word.
And while you wait, worship, serve, be found faithful and watching, be found running the race.