When I was in school, I ate, lived and breathed wanting a guy. His name was Greg. I wanted to be able to say he was mine and I was his. Now all through high school Greg never did come around my way. (I would have settled for another guy if only there was interest. There just wasn’t any interest in the ones I was interested in. Ever been there?!)
I prayed about Greg. I even prayed for Greg! But, God seemed to have His Ipod cranked up too high when it came to those prayers of mine, because He was answering or at least He was saying what I wanted to hear. I was so caught up in wanting this guy, I completely missed all of the other great gifts God had already given me like some really incredible friends who I had some super crazy moments with! You see, I didn’t get that God’s perfect gifts are all about timing. I wanted the guy and I wanted him now! Fortunately, even though I didn’t wait patiently, I did in fact wait! In my own way, I trusted that even though I didn’t like it, He had to know what He was doing.
After high school, I went away to Bible school. About eight months in, you’ll never guess who called me…that’s right! Greg! Only this time, it still wasn’t God’s time. You see, I had committed to Him that for that school year I wasn’t going to date…at all. I was going to focus on loving Jesus with 100% of me. So I had to tell Greg, “Not now!” I thought I was going to die! Literally. I think it was the hardest thing I had ever done.
After school got out, I headed back home to visit my parents. The very first Sunday I went to church with them guess who was there? Greg. He asked me out and this time I knew that the answer was “yes”. It’s was God’s good and perfect gift at His good and perfect time. I forgot to tell you Greg’s last name. It’s Cowell. Yep…that’s my last name. As I said: perfect gift; perfect time. In fact, Sunday we are celebrating 23 years of being married.
I haven’t always been that patient. When I was a little kid, one time I couldn’t reach my jacket that was hanging on the last peg just above the cement steps that led to our basement. I called out for help, but just refused to wait. A tumble down those steps produced a black eye that stayed with me for a very long time. I didn’t trust that those who loved me would come and do what I needed when I wanted it.
Fortunately, I’ve grown a bit since I was that little kid. I have seen that when we wait on God, it is great; good and perfect every time. I’ll admit, sometimes that waiting is a drag! It even hurts at times. The key is, will we wait and wait patiently, all the while trusting that, in fact, His timing is perfect? Can we trust that He has our best in mind and will do what we need when we need it?
Sometimes we don’t and we are just like the 5 year old me. We grow impatient waiting for God’s gift. We want the gift and we want it now. So we make the mistake of trying to get the gift by ourselves. Have you ever tried to get something by yourself? Are you tempted, like me, to go and get it any way, even if there is a possibility that if it doesn’t go just right you could end up with way more than a black eye?
There are times, with all of our prayers, (if we would admit it, maybe we are a bit like the screaming and whining child) God seems to be saying “no” or at least saying “not now”. It is here, in the place where our desires intersect His will, that we have to trust. It is here that we must trust that Father knows best and that every gift comes from the Father. Every time, in His time, the gift is good and it is perfect.
I’ve written much of my story with God knowing His timing and gifts are best. It is so important that we teach our students that part of walking with the Lord involving waiting and often a lot of it! Will you be a model to them by doing the same? Trust me, the results are amazing!