The Process Before the Promise
I am by nature not a very patient person; back when I wasn’t walking with the Lord I had a friend who used to joke that Ryan always pushed hard to get what he wanted RIGHT NOW and usually did. This is something that God has worked on a lot since making that decision to follow him back in 2004, but it continues to be an area where I know I can continue to mature.
Waiting can be painful; I remember when I was living in San Francisco going to a Sunday morning service at the Cornerstone fellowship in the Mission district. The pastor that morning had a message from the life of Joseph, and at one point said “Sometimes God answers our prayers long after we’ve forgotten them.” My heart ached when I heard that; there was one specific request from my teen and young adult years - one that often involved sobbing on my knees, face touching the floor as I begged God to help me overcome something that seemed impossible - that had not yet been fulfilled. At one point I lost hope and walked away from God, embracing the very thing I had asked him to change, but God never gave up on me, and I can see today that he never forgot those earnest prayers from so many years ago. He put those tears in a bottle and used them to later irrigate the fertile soil of a heart changed by Jesus Christ.
Lisa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 has an amazing blog post called “The Process Before the Promise.” I think my favorite quote is when she says “Our hope can’t be tied to whether or not a circumstance or another person changes. Our hope must be tied to the unchanging promises of God.” The solid rock of Jesus Christ fills us with the hope we need as we wait upon him.