For the past two days, this question has been pressing on my mind. . . . or shall I say pressing on my heart: is the glass half-empty or is it running over full?When the promise is delayed, this question begs to be answered.
Sometimes, it seems like my timetable and God’s timetable are like two ships sailing adjacent to one another in a huge tumultuous sea. The timetables are side by side, but they fail to intersect when I think they should. They are in sync, but they don’t seem to be crossing paths as quickly as I would like.
Am I the only one who is tempted to look at the glass as “half-empty” when I should realize the “my cup runs over” aspect of my relationship with my Father?
When demands are high and the return value seems low, we can easily become distracted and discouraged. When the good things that God has promised are delayed, there is the temptation to become despondent.
How can we guard our hearts against the natural tendency to cry, “Woe is me,” when there is lag time between the promise and the progression? When we feel like maybe our hearing is impaired? God, did You really say that, or did I make it all up in my mind and heart? Here are some tips I’ve learned to help combat my own struggles with this:
1. PRAY all the more. This is key! Our flesh would love to take time off from prayer, but I find that in times like these, it is crucial that I press in all the more. I need a greater dose of His firm assurance that His promise and the progression of it are congruent with His perfect timetable. In times like these, I also need the firm reminder that His timetable is indeed greater than my own (Isaiah 55:8-9). In prayer, I gain His strength and His grace to believe fully.
2. Verbalize how you feel to a spiritually mature, trusted source. As one who loves to write, I find it refreshing to talk to those who love God, love His Word, and are able to give wise counsel during these times. God speaks it to my heart often, but sometimes I need an audible voice to provide that genuine encouragement and to reinforce what He has already said to me.
3. Count your blessings. It seems so cliché, but honestly, it is not. As we begin to contemplate and become reacquainted with God’s provision in our lives, something marvelous happens. Our focus shifts from our own desires to His supremacy, His sovereignty, His amazing grace, and His unfailing love for us. Our mind and our mood begin to change as we settle in on the great I AM. . . . and He saturates our spirit with the radiance of His holiness.
4. Focus on the “right now.” It’s easy to get caught up in the future promise and forget the present opportunities. Many times, taking careful aim at the present opportunities will help pave the way to the promise. And present opportunities may be precursors to realizing the future promise. What is the “right now” today (this season) for you? What should you be doing right now?
5. Sow into someone else. Who else needs a kind word from you? Who else could use a tangible expression of God’s love? Relationship. Jesus was all about it! When we are preoccupied because our timetable is off (and it is off, because His never is!), we must take advantage of the waiting period by helping someone reach toward God’s purpose for his or her life. I believe that when God knows that this is our desire and we pursue it in faith, He will lovingly reassure our hearts that we are moving closer to the intersection of purpose and promise.
This has helped me tremendously these past few days. My glass is not half empty, but rather it is running over full!
Be faithful where you are right now, and watch His promise unfold before your very own eyes. Many times, it’s not a date and time to pinpoint. More often, it’s a seamless flow into fulfillment. Keep your eyes peeled for the promise, and enjoy the cup overflowing in the mean time.