IN DUE TIME
And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9
One of the hardest lessons to learn in our journey with Jesus is to wait on the Lord. Praying for loved ones, believing for provision or whatever our prayer request, it seems God is always too minutes till too late!
The reality of God's time table doesn't have to do with human time, it has to do with what He has to accomplish in order to answer our prayer and His will for every situation! For instance, Jesus's friend Lazarus got sick and his sisters called for Him to come and pray for him. Jesus took His own sweet time as we would say and showed up too late to save His friend but He made the funeral.
You can imagine the anguish that Lazarus's sisters felt, believing their good friend Jesus would come and save the day, but something else was happening that they didn't have any knowledge of, the glory of God was going to be displayed before the whole world and one of the most famous miracles of God's grace in all of history was about to take place before their very eyes! God had a much greater purpose for Lazarus and that was to validate the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ by raising a man who was dead and decomposing for four days in the grave.
To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1
PIG PEN THEOLOGY
"A certain man had two sons. "And the younger of them said to his father, 'Father, give me the portion of goods that falls to me.' So he divided to them his livelihood. "And not many days after, the younger son gathered all together, journeyed to a far country, and there wasted his possessions with prodigal living." Luke 15:11-13
Being a prodigal myself, I am an authority on the subject and have experienced the famous "Pig pen!" I have a PhD in "Pig pen theology" having graduated with honors on January 7th 1980, born again and delivered from a $2000.00 a week cocaine addiction among other things, many other things!
Upon inheriting a multi-million dollar business and 7-1/2 acres of prime industrial real estate at 25, it only took me eight years to squander my inheritance and land in the pig pen! Mine was a junk yard next to our manufacturing plant where I cut scrap metal in the sweltering heat of the Texas sun. I remember my friends driving by in their expensive cars as I was wasting away in this hellish place, making very little and then spending it on drugs until I hit bottom and someone began to pray!
This is how God's timing comes into play, how long does it take to break a man and bring him to the point of his salvation? It took eight years for me, but what about all the other prodigal wives, husbands, children, etc. who have gone off in rebellion? This is why we don't lose heart, because it is up to the Father. The prodigal son had to come to a point of desperation, eating the very pods the pigs were eating and beginning to long for his family in his pig pen, but the father never went after him, he stood his ground and waited for his son to be totally transformed by his circumstances!
"And he would gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate and no one gave him anything. "But when he came to his senses, he said, How many of my father's hired servants have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger. 'I will arise and go to my father and will say to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, "and I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Make me like one of your hired servants." ' Luke 15:16-19
HEDGE OF THORNS
"Therefore, behold, I will hedge up her way with thorns, and wall her in, so that she cannot find her paths. She will chase her lovers but shall not overtake them; Yes, she will seek them, but not find them. Then she will say, "I will go and return to my first husband, for then it was better for me than now." Hosea 2:6,7
There have been many times that we prayed a "Hedge of thorns" around someone's kid on drugs, a husband or wife in adultery or a lost loved one in rebellion and God brought them to their knees and delivered them just as He did with Hosea's harlot wife!
The problem is, how long oh Lord do I wait? The answer to that question is, as long as it takes! You have to understand that when we ask God to change someone's life, He has to bring them to repentance and deal with the strongest and many times, immovable will of man! God just doesn't zap people into submission, He has to change their heart through trials and tribulation, so when you ask Him to save or deliver someone, "Stay the course" until He is finished!
There is great glory awaiting those who put their trust in God and wait on Him, as in the case of Lazarus, the prodigal son and with Hosea who received back their loved ones and even their dead back to life! Wait upon the Lord!
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He might exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. I Peter 5:6,7
Your servant in Christ, Timothy Laughlin