Spiritually Speaking… Whose Clock are We on Anyway?

I want to talk about two concepts I’ve been thinking about; those being patience and prayer. Senior Pastor Frederick Douglass Haynes III, of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas, kind of summarized my thinking his sermon, “There is no such thing as an emergency in eternity.” An understanding of patience and prayer will allow you to reconcile the difference between God’s time and yours. And make no mistake about it, they are very different. You know we have a tendency to want what we want when we want it. That includes those things that we ask of God. At times we are in a rush to be delivered from, sent to, get paid for, get ours or get rid of that thing, that person, that condition or that situation we caused. As if God operates on our time schedule, we can actually get an attitude and question God’s judgment if He takes too long or doesn’t answer at all. We even begin to question prayer depending on how often we prayed for the same thing only to have God’s silence come through loud and clear. I hate to have to be the one to break it down to you, but God is not on call. He does not answer e-mail and you can forget texting or Facebook Live.

What I have come to realize through prayer and patience is that God, true to his nature, does answer prayer. I believe in His power and that eventually leads me to understand you will get your answer, yes, no, or perhaps, not now. It will be the right answer and it will be right on time, just maybe not yours. Think about it. How many things can you look back over your own life and thank God that you didn’t get what you so desperately pleaded for? Was it a job? A spouse? Some man or women you couldn’t live without? Now, through hindsight, it turns out that the best thing that could have happened did happen. How often can you say that had you gotten what you prayed for when you prayed for it, you would not have been ready and disaster surely would have been the result? Through prayer again, I have come to believe that one of the beautiful things about our Lord, is that he will bless you with what you need, when and only when He knows you can handle it, or should I say appreciate it?

We’ve all been told at one time or another that God will not put anything on you that you can’t handle. I’m not so sure that’s true. I’m here to tell you that there have been many days and many times that I’ve known for a fact that I just couldn’t make it another day, go another step or deal with my mess for another moment. At the point of giving up, I know that I have been sustained by the grace of God and the Holy Spirit, so much so that when the sun came up the next day, so did I. If you’re spiritually conscious and humble enough, you realize that the key to your survival, if not your salvation, is to let go and let God. Jesus did the dirty work. Now all we have to do is to remember why.

He said to them, “It is not for you to know the times or the dates the Father has sent by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…” Acts1:7-8. This power I think is evident when patience and prayer collide and reveal to you that there is a divine reason for what each and every one of us goes through in our lives. Without these issues, there can be no wisdom. And unless you submit to the will of God, there can be no salvation. Without salvation, I don’t think prayers can get answered.

So when you want God to hurry up because you are about to lose your mind up in here, that’s proof you’re not ready. My own testimony tells me that until I could and did give it all up to God, I couldn’t appreciate anything that he had or might have for me. Like Abraham, it is only when belief is demonstrated that the ram appears in the bush.

May God bless and keep you always.

James, jaws@dallasweekly.com