How Long?

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Read: Psalm 13 and Revelation 22:12-21

Tonight the eyes of the sports world will be focused on game 7 of the World Series.  The Chicago Cubs have come back from 3-1 deficit to force a winner take all game 7 in Cleveland tonight against the Indians. Whoever wins will overcome one of the longest championship droughts in all of sports.  It has been 39,465 days since the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908.  For Cleveland it has been 24,820 days.  They last won it in 1948.  How long has it been for both of these teams?  A long time!

This question of how long is a common theme in scripture.  It isn’t concerned with world championships but how long until certain things will happen in our lives and in our world.  In Psalm 13 David is wondering how long he will have to wait to see God move in his situation.  While he waits he proclaims his faith that God will show up.  In verse 5 he says, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”

In the book of Revelation and other books of the New Testament we read about the second coming of Christ.  It doesn’t tell us how long or when Jesus will come back to take believers up to heaven, but it promises that someday it will happen.  As Christians we are to remain ready and in anticipation of that day at all times.  Waiting is not always easy but it makes the day of blessing all the better.

In his book “It Happens After Prayer” Pastor H. B. Charles Jr. provides the following helpful illustration of why God often makes us wait for the answer to our prayers.  “One hot afternoon, a certain woman walked to her neighbor’s produce stand to buy grapes. The line was long. And each person seemed to get special attention. But she waited patiently. When she finally made it to the front of the line, the owner asked for her order. She asked for grapes. “Please excuse me for a minute,” was the answer.

Then the owner walked away and disappeared behind a building. For some reason, this rubbed the woman the wrong way. Everyone in line before her was greeted warmly. They were given special attention. And, most importantly, they were served immediately. But she was forced to wait. And when she got to the front of the line, she was forced to wait some more. She was offended. She felt the owner took her regular business for granted. The longer she waited, the angrier she became.

Finally, the produce stand owner reappeared. And with a big smile, he presented her with the most beautiful grapes she had ever seen. He invited her to taste them. She had never tasted grapes so good. As she turned to leave with her delicious grapes, he stopped her. “Oh yeah, I’m sorry I kept you waiting,” said the farmer. “But I needed the time to get you my very best.”

Maybe you have been waiting on something to happen in your life or the life of someone else for a long time.  Keep lifting it in prayer to God and keep anticipating what God is going to do.  God doesn’t always answer our prayers exactly like we want but he does answer them within his perfect will.  In Philippians 4:9 is this promise, “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Make it Personal:  How long have you been in line waiting on God to get to your request? How long have you been waiting in line for God to meet a need, solve a problem, or open a door? Whatever you do, don’t get out of line. And don’t stop praying. Wait on God.

Have a great week,  Glen Rhodes, Arthur Mennonite Church