Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Domino Effect

For the past couple of days the Lord has been giving me “little lessons”. A word here and a word there, and they helped me throughout the day. Today, He has pulled all those little lessons into one big one for me. As most of you know, I am still in the waiting process. It has been a very hard place for me to be lately, because I have had to come to some really hard realities about my heart condition. But my God is so faithful to break down those walls of sin that I have surrounding my heart so that He can speak clearly.
This morning, on my desk calendar the scripture passage comes from 2 Peter 3:8-9 (NKJV). “But beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” The Message interprets this scripture like this- “With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn’t late with His promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining Himself on account of you, holding back the End because He doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” I loved reading that today.
Time is an earthly concept- not a heavenly concept. God is not bound by “our” time, for He resides in eternity. We put a “time” limit on our petitions to the Lord. We say that we don’t- but in all honesty, if we were to be open to Him, we put a deadline in our hearts. God exists outside of time; He exists in His eternal realm.  We exist in the temporal realm- where there is a deadline for an End.
When we ask for something or when the Lord gives us a promise, we have a tendency to want it right now. But we forget one very important lesson, the “one thing” that Peter was writing about- God’s timing is not our timing. I have prayed for many things in my Christian life, some answers have been no and some have been yes. But there have also been those promises, those specific promises that the Lord has planted in my heart and told me- I will, but I need you to wait. My waiting period has a shelf life of about a week. After about a week of praying and asking for the Lord to bring this promise to fruition, I begin to get a little frustrated and doubtful. Oh me of little faith!
Look at Abraham for a minute. The Lord promised him a son, but certain things had to take place before that could happen. In fact, Abraham waited longer than most of us will ever have to, to see the promise of God fulfilled in Isaac. A simple physics lesson brought this lesson home to me today. For every action, there is a reaction. When you set up a row of Domino’s what happens? One knocks over, and all the rest, one by one, fall too. When you build a home, if you try to build the roof first- the house cannot be finished. It is the same with the promises that the Lord has given us.
If God has promised you something, and it is taking a “long time” to come, it is not always about you. We do not know what God is working behind the scenes. To give us the blessing we are seeking, others have to be moved as well. 2 Peter 3:9 (The Message) “He‘s giving everyone space and time to change.” We want the promises that God has given to us that He has placed in our hearts right now. But perhaps we are not receiving them yet because someone else has to have the opportunity to grow and change first. We do not know who and what will be affected by the promises that the Lord has given to us, but for every action, there has to be a reaction. It is no different in our lives as it is in physics. For every move we make, others are affected, lives are touched. We forget that we are not alone on this earth. We forget that we are a part of a body, a body of believers that spans the whole earth. The body we belong to is the body of Christ, not just the body of believers we fellowship with every week.
We are like God’s domino’s, set up at a specific time. But we are not the only ones to be set up when a promise is made to us. We may be the recipient of that promise, but others will be affected by the fulfillment of it.
Habakkuk 2:3 says, “For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” The promise that we have been given is for “an appointed time”, a time that does not exist in our earthly minds, because it exists only with the Lord our God. When you receive the fulfillment of your promise, when the Lord’s timing is fulfilled it will be perfect, exactly what you needed and everyone else affected by it will be blessed as well.
“He doesn’t want anyone lost. He’s giving everyone space and time to change.” (2 Peter 3:9- The Message) He is also giving you the space and time you need to change. Only He knows and understands the hearts of everyone, let us not lose heart, but let us press into the “one thing” He says to us today. “My timing is perfect.” Let us not become slack in our waiting, or lazy in our waiting, but let us take this period as a chance to press in, draw close, and abide in Him. May you be blessed as you “wait upon the Lord.” In Jesus Name, Amen.