Why Doesn’t God Work Faster?
o you ever wonder why God doesn't do things the way you would do them (if you were God)? Do you ever wonder why God doesn't work faster in answering your prayers? Sometimes I do. I think most believers wrestle with these kinds of questions at some point in their lives.
Much of the early history of the Children of Israel involved following God through a wilderness on the way to a land that “flowed with milk and honey.” And a wilderness was not the way the Israelites wanted to start the journey. Milk and honey were fine. An endless desert was not. The Israelites spent more than a generation wandering there, where many died and were buried.
We are part of a culture that expects that we can personally shape our whole destiny within a couple of years, if we just roll up our sleeves and take action. We expect things to happen quickly and produce the results that we desire. We look for the easiest and shortest route to accomplishing our goals. Our culture values things that are fast and direct. God doesn’t.
This sometimes makes it difficult for us to understand what God is up to, because His perspective of time is often different from ours. As we look at what God did to deliver
Israel from in the Exodus, it is easy to ponder what God had in mind. After allowing Egypt Israel to remain in slavery in Egypt for more than four hundred years, we would expect that once God made a decision, it would be a quick transition toward the . If we were God, we would have led the people from the crossing of the Red Sea straight north through the land of the Philistines and into the Land of Canaan . That would be the quickest route, and it would therefore seem also to be the easiest. As I noted above, we like quick and easy fixes. land of Canaan
But interestingly, we read in Exodus 13:17 (NIV): "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them through the Philistine country, although that was shorter. For God said, ‘If they face war, they might change their minds and return to
.’” So God didn't lead them directly into the Promised Land, but rather led them through the wilderness toward Egypt Canaan.
God often does this in our lives as well. We want to immediately reach the land of “milk” (a land filled with the necessities of life) and “honey” (a land with the necessities, but also accompanied by some sweet extras in life) that God promises to give to us. We want it, and we want it now. But God in His wisdom leads us by a different route, and into encounters with events that are not quick and easy to pass through.
He often leads us into experiences that will deepen our character, challenge our faith, and develop our awareness of the power of God at work in the difficult days of our lives. If we were to encounter the “giants” of life with only our puny skills and experience, we would become fearful and quit.
needed to learn that God could provide for them, regardless of what situations in which they found themselves. We also can learn that lesson. Not everything in life is solved by quick fixes and short timeframes. Israel
Some problems take a long time to solve. Some take a lifetime. The quickest way is not always the best or easiest way, nor the way of lasting quality. God does not always guide us to take the shortest or easiest route. Some accomplishments in life take a long time.
What are you dealing with today that you are tempted to solve in the quickest way possible? What things are you dealing with that may not be satisfactorily resolved this year? Can you trust God to lead you to the best way to address the situation, even if it is not quick and easy to solve?
copied from Tuesday Morning for July 12, 2011. Guest writer for this week is Dr. Ed Jordan, senior pastor of
Gate City Baptist Church, . Pocatello, Idaho