Sometimes you pray, knowing that God will answer your prayer in his perfect timing. The answer may be yes, no or not yet. Or, God may have something better for you. While you wait for the answer, it is easy to doubt yourself. Am I not faithful enough? Have I done something wrong?
I am reminded of my limited vision. I only see a small part of the world. God sees the whole picture. God knows what he is doing. God has a plan.
I know that God is faithful. I know that God has a plan. Yet, still I wonder how the outcome will unfold.
I read a part of the book of Daniel this morning. Daniel prayed to God and interpreted the King’s dream. Daniel was thrown into a lion’s den and saved by God, completely untouched. Daniel’s friends were put in a fiery furnace for refusing to worship idols, and came out without a hair on their heads burned. Sometimes, God uses the faithful to reach others that do not believe.
Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.
—Daniel 4:37 NKJV
God can ask us to go out of our comfort zone. God may want us to do something that we don’t think that we can do or don’t want to do. The second book that I opened this morning was the book of Jonah. God asked Jonah to to preach to the people of Nineveh. He didn’t want to, so he found a boat and traveled in the opposite direction. We can’t escape God. Huge storms followed him, until the crew asked if he did anything to anger God. He admitted that yes, he didn’t listen to God, and they had to throw him in the ocean. The crew didn’t really want to throw Jonah in the ocean, so they waited, until they had no choice and threw him in the ocean. A giant fish swallowed Jonah. Finally, after sitting in the belly of a giant fish, Jonah cried out to the Lord in prayer. God heard his prayers, and the fish spit out Jonah.
Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.”
—Jonah 3:1-2 NKJV
Jonah finally did God’s will. He preached to the people of Nineveh, and they converted to faithful followers of God. Even though Jonah didn’t think these people were worth converting, God did.
So he prayed to the Lord, and said, “Ah, Lord, was not this what I said when I was still in my country? Therefore I fled previously to Tarshish; for I know that You are a gracious and merciful God, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, One who relents from doing harm.
—Jonah 4:2 NKJV
God values all people. God wants everyone to have a chance. God uses us to reach others, even if it is uncomfortable or awkward or we just don’t want to do it.
We can’t hide from God.