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I'd Rather Do It Myself

My son has my car and he just called me to say the key won’t move at all. He can’t even remove it. The car won’t start. He turned the steering wheel first to one side and then to the other as suggested in a video he saw on his phone but to no avail. After 20 minutes he is stuck and stranded downtown. We both prayed.

I called the dealership where I bought the car. The service department said that since it has less than 100,000 km on it I could call for a tow truck under my plan. Then as we chatted further he could see in my file that the car is just over 5 years old so the plan is no longer in effect. However, just as the mechanic and I hung up, he said to ensure that the gearshift is fully in place, in “Park”. Voila! I relayed the message to my son and instantly the car engaged, problem solved and possible costly repair averted. The gear simply had to be in the correct position.

We must be in the correct position to get things done and see the best results. Often nothing will happen unless we are. We actually need to wait to be in the correct spot before God can use us the way he wants to for maximum impact, for maximum potential.

Joseph had to wait in prison until the king had need of a dream interpreter. (Genesis 41) Years before Joseph had correctly interpreted the dreams of both the chief baker and the chief cup bearer while there in jail. So when the king required his own dreams interpreted Joseph was the go to guy. He spent a number of years incarcerated yet maintained his faith. I bet at times he almost lost hope of ever being released yet the time was not right for Pharaoh to see the might and glory of God. When Joseph was able to interpret Pharaoh’s dreams, he went from a prisoner to a prince overnight. God had huge blessings ready for Joseph when he was in the right position.

Waiting, for however long it takes, holding firmly to our faith, is the obedient and courageous thing to do. It takes bold confidence believing that God is supreme, that he has a plan, the best plan. My job is to wait to be in the right position. And, yes, that can sometimes mean years. Don’t give up! God uses this waiting period to prune and refine us, preparing us for the task ahead, for the best outcome. God sees our tenacity as we persevere. He wants us to grow and mature. And consider this, the best plan, God’s plan, may involve others, not just you. They too are getting into position.

Abraham and Sarah needed to wait even into their advanced years for God to give them a child. (Genesis 21) Sarah was 90 or 91 when she had Isaac. For a time they didn’t believe she would ever conceive so Sarah gave her servant girl, Hagar, to her husband. She thought perhaps through Hagar their promised child would finally arrive. But that move resulted in nothing but trouble, trouble, trouble!

How many times when we have sought God for answers did we take over moving out of step with God believing we can do it better or quicker? This means we have no confidence in God. He certainly doesn’t need our help. I can do it better myself. Surely my bold actions will move the process along we reason but in fact this is detrimental for optimum results. We are not yet in position. Immediate self-gratification is what we seek most of all and it unfortunately takes precedence so many times. Just a wee kick start is what is needed, right? No, what God wants from me is my quiet stillness and perseverance. My enduring confidence in him. Yet as I look back on my own life, the absolute worst outcomes happened when I tried to do it myself. Clearer vision is a gift of aging.

Cultivating stillness, prayerfully waiting to be in the right position requires a surety that God is omniscient. We are older now and perhaps we have waited and prayed for a certain outcome for years. God is getting everyone in position for the maximum and best result just as he did when Jesus was born. They had waited for the Messiah to arrive generation after generation. Some gave up hope. But the world was getting into the right position to receive him. Don’t despair. He arrived at just the right time and he will return at just the right time too.

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