Pace & Power

“Patience is a virtue” is not in the Bible. But yet…

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If you’re not careful, miracle stories in the Bible will leave you jaded.

Here’s the thing: I believe a lot of us — out-the-womb believers and born-agains — have been fed this idea of always “instantaneous God”, a God who answers prayers right when you lift them up and will bless your life as soon as you ask for it. We also follow a Jesus who did a lot of on-the-spot healing for those who asked for it. Seriously. He healed a blind man with a light tap on the forehead. Right then, right there, problem solved.

So some of us as believers internalize a standard that all miracles and healings happen this way. When we ask, we receive. There’s no waiting period, no traffic jam to get to your anointing. God works faster than Amazon Prime’s two-day shipping. While miracles and blessings can fall like rain, we’ve turned ourselves into impatient brats when it seems like those prayers and calls for healing go unanswered in a timely fashion that is convenient to us.

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned so far this year is that my plan and God’s plan that plan don’t always align — and that’s always for God’s glory and ultimately a blessing to me.

This year, I’ve picked up the habit of fasting. For an extended period of time, I suspend all access to social media — Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. For me, social media takes away most of the time I should spend with God. My journal of discernment and gratitude is empty but my Facebook feed is full. This imbalance cost me a lot in my life including peace of mind. You’ll see someone living their best posted life on Instagram and, all of a sudden, you’re depressed about your own. I made the enemy’s work very easy.

More easy? The enemy’s insistence that I could not write. I grew annoyed that I couldn’t come up with anything to write about for months at a time. I grew even more annoyed when pieces I wrote didn’t gain any traction. I felt like I wrote into a void, my thoughts bouncing back to me and only me.

But as I fasted, my mind moved its focus away from all that noise — that annoyance and inconvenience — and renewed space for God to dwell and for my creativity to thrive. During my January fast, I wrote a short story, ten chapters of a fanfiction and a longform piece. During my second fast, I finished that fanfiction and wrote four longform works.

I totaled more reads and views in the first four months of this year than all of last year. And supplied enough money for me to survive until my next paycheck. Through this, I now know that writing is my ministry. I couldn’t hear God through all of that noise.

The truth of the matter is that if you look at all of those miracles we’ve been taught from the Bible, most of them came out of moments of inconvenience — and maybe even annoyance — for the people involved.

God parted the Red Sea but yet the people of Israel had to walk through Egypt with Pharaoh’s army on attack mode to get there. Sarah became pregnant with Isaac but she first lived a barren life. David withstood death threats from Saul before he could be crowned king of Israel. The woman with the issue of blood lived and walked with it before Jesus healed it. Jesus’ body rested in a tomb for three days before all the Mary’s could lay eyes on him.

Sometimes, miracles take movement but more importantly, time.

But we don’t have time. Life is moving so fast that with every day we lose, we feel as if it’s been wasted. We won’t get that time back.

This aligns with the microwave culture we live in. We want things quick, fast and in a hurry. We also live in a viral culture which creates attention at lighting fast speeds. It also appears as if it doesn’t take much go viral either. One day on Facebook, the next day on ‘Good Morning America’. But what we don’t see is the planning behind the scenes or the months and months of that same work going unnoticed until that one faithful day on social media, when it feels like the entire world can’t stop talking about it. Nothing in this world is instantaneous. Those miracle stories in the Bible weren’t either.

The people of Israel walked the desert for forty years. Jesus wallowed inside of the wilderness for forty days. The goal, gift or endgame in your name may not be handed to you as fast as you would love to receive it but best believe, it will be right on time.

But here’s the beauty in all of this: God works on Her own time. And what you need can come to you tomorrow or next Tuesday or next year. But whenever it’s received, it will be right when it’s needed.

The old adage is true, indeed.

Memoirist in spirit and in truth. Christian essayist when both the spirit and truth move me. email: crjtwrites[at]gmail.com

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