Uncertain Hope

Genesis 1:19 There was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.

This is the refrain of the creation song, the stairway landing on each new floor as the structure goes up story by story.  It paces, separates, pauses, demarcates each day’s work.  It makes the whole very deliberate and organized, controlled and … might I even say, slow.  God could have done the whole in one day.  He seems never in a hurry. 

In our own lives this can be deeply frustrating or discouraging, a true challenge to our faith in his goodness and care.  Why is he taking so long to come to our aid, to give us direction, to resolve an issue?  He left Moses in the fields tending sheep for 40 years, and when he was an old man, he finally sent him to Egypt to deliver his people.  As Moses trudged behind his flock decade after decade, did he feel that God was finished with him, had no use for him, had put him out to pasture quite literally? 

If we could see his plan for us deliberately unfolding as we do in the creation story, it would give us hope, but we are often in the dark, seeing no movement, left to wonder if we have been forgotten, if our prayers are bouncing off the doors of heaven.  We cannot see the whole as God does.  We can’t see him setting the stage, arranging the supporting structure, drawing others into position so that all is ready for us at just the right moment.  It is not his lack of care, but his overriding care that is moving him to wait.  Every birthday decoration and gift was prepared before Adam and Eve woke to their first day. His delays always flow from the infinite fountain of his love for us.

He is constantly at work in us and around us, threading us into his beautiful tapestry, but since we often cannot see the grand scheme, we must trust in his goodness.  He shows us his heart and intentions in the creation story, the exodus story, the Christmas story, and then he asks us to trust him because trust is a foundation stone for true relationship

Father, waiting for something I know is coming is hard enough, but waiting when I don’t know what is or is not coming can be so very disheartening.  “Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”  Remind me again today that not only your gifts, but your timing is set by your love.

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