There really is no such thing as a quick fix. As much as some days I would like all my troubles to just go away, that just isn't going to happen. As much as I pray for things to happen, that prayer quite often just isn't going to be answered in the next minute. There have been times in my life where I have seen a quick answer to a prayer. Not to long ago I prayed about a situation that I was in and asked God to not let it happen if He didn't want it to and low and behold I got a text within the hour that kept it from happening.
But there are other things in life that can take years to get through and it isn't because God can't fix it or change it, it is because it isn't time yet. God's timing is not our own and as I have unfortunately learned over the last 7 years sometimes His answer is no or not yet. Last fall I prayed that I could go back to an old job I had had because I hated the one I was in. Due to a lot of crazy reasons my old job could not be had again. So I stuck it out at my current job. It turned out to be a good thing for a lot of reasons, but mainly because I now have decent health insurance and I no longer hate the job. Its not my dream job, but I think God is allowing me to be there for now while He is getting me ready for where He wants me.
I can't foresee what He has in store for me right now, but I have learned that what He wants for us is always better than what we want for ourselves. I have to keep reminding myself of that sometimes when I find myself unhappy about a situation. I have always believed that God lets us go through junk so we can better appreciate the great. I also believe that He sometimes keeps us from doing something because He is protecting us from something. Think about that the next time you get caught by a train or you are in traffic gridlock. Maybe by getting where you are going later He is protecting you from being in an accident. I'm not saying to be thankful for every traffic jam, but if you look at it like that it is a little easier to not get frustrated by it.
God really does want the best for us. We can choose to be patient and wait or we can think we know better and go try to get make it happen on our own. I have had to learn the hard way that my way is not the best way. I've had to cut things out of my life that were holding me back from His best and I have had to let go of my control. That was a hard one for me. Not that I actually was ever in control, but I sure liked to think I could control things. After years of fighting God and keeping the things in my life that I wanted there because I thought that was what I wanted I had to let go and let God handle it. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done and I still find myself trying to take that control back from time to time. I cross lines, I allow things or people back into my life thinking just a little bit won't hurt, but before long I am hit with the reality that I make bad choices when left to my own devices.
A few months back I had someone in my life that was not the best for me. I rationalized it was no big deal and that I wasn't really doing anything, but the harder I tried to straddle that line, the more often I got pulled over to the wrong side. I was not the best me I could be with this person in my life, no matter how much fun I had talking to them. So I cut them off. I gave them no explanation I just cut them off. Hind sight being 20/20 I should have at least let them know I was doing it, but still I cut them off. I was doing well keeping them out of my life. I even felt like God was blessing me for it. Then slowly I began to miss them and I kept thinking about getting in touch with them again and let them know why I did what I did. I felt like a mean person for it. So one day I messaged them and told them I was sorry and kind of told them why I had cut them off. We started talking again and within a weeks time they were back to their old ways of pulling me back across that line. I tried really hard not to cross it and it came across in our conversations. This person told me I was acting weird and wanted to know why. See they expected me to be the same as before, but God had been working on me and I knew I could not go back to that again. Before long this person and I were fighting and we both said some things that hurt the other one and we have not talked since. While I do feel bad about hurting them I see that that was God's way of keeping them out of my life.
God really can and does want the best for us and He can and does want to answer our prayers. We just have to be willing to accept the answers on His time table and that His answers are not always the one we prayed for, but in the end it is what is best. I'll admit that I don't always read my Bible like I should, but there are times that I feel God nudging me to read it. The other day I felt it and so I picked it up and began reading where I had left off the last time I had read it. Now I have been reading through the old testament for a few months now and there are times where is gets boring and tedious. I like to take notes in my Bible, but there are times when I have gone many chapters without my pen ever touching my Bible because it is a story and I don't tend to make notes on a story. Anyway, I was reading in 1 Kings about the prophet Elijah calling down fire from heaven to burn a sacrifice he was making that he had drenched in water. Elijah had prayed bold and God showed up and showed off when he sent that fire. In my Bible there was a commentary about this passage. It was a reminder that God can and will answer in a big flash like that, but the last few lines said that He also can answer in a quiet whisper, but we have to be listening. It got me thinking. How many answers have I missed because I was too busy being loud and not listening? How much time have I added to my wait because I was too busy trying to do things my way?
Did God send fire down from heaven to tell me that? No, he put a little box on a page in my Bible in a book that I rarely think about reading. He was whispering to me and I had finally shut up long enough to hear it. Its sad but true, but sometimes we miss out on our blessings and answers to prayers due to our own selfish, loud, controlling ways. I don't know about you, but my iron man is long and hard enough on its own I don't need to add more miles to it.
So I decided to shut up and listen this weekend and well. I got an answer. Was it the answer I wanted? Actually no it wasn't. It is better than it was, but still not what I was hoping for. There is still the possibility that this answer is just a step in the direction of the one I was looking for so I am not going to stop praying, but I know that in the end that whatever the final answer is, it will be what God wants and we will all be the better for it. I've got time to wait and I will just have to continue to run my iron man. No sprints for me, they never seem to get me anywhere anyway.