â€œFor my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,â€ declares the Lord. â€œAs the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.â€â€¨ Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
It is our human condition to seek instant gratification. Whether we want a job, a car, or a relationship, we usually want it NOW. We may pray to God to ask for his favor in blessing our wish, but his answer usually comes in his time, not ours, as the prophet tells us.
I recently returned from 10 days in Kampala where I completed some unfinished business. In June, I traveled to the DRC border outside Kasese with my friend, Bishop Kayeeye, his wife, my assistant Barnabas and our driver. At the border, the Congolese officials denied my entry, saying visas are no longer issued there and that I should obtain one in Kampala.
It was a shock and disappointment. None of us knew about the change in policy. I felt the trip was a waste of time and money. The bishop went on to meet the appointments he had made while I returned home.
However, events conspired against him. There were several prominent deaths requiring his presence at funerals, which led to postponement of his scheduled meetings. So my absence turned out to be something of a blessing as we would not have completed our mission as planned. The bishop said it was God showing us that this wasnâ€™t the time to be in DRC.
In Kampala, we systematically obtained permission and introductory letters from the Diocese of North Kivu in DRC. With all the paperwork in order, I applied for and received my visa.
This appears to be the time.
When I was a young man, I cooked up plans for myself and my career. Then I asked the Lord to bless them. While some progress was made they were never fulfilled. It was not Godâ€™s plan for me.
Does this sound familiar to you? Do you struggle with your need for instant gratification and Godâ€™s timing and plan? For some things we want we may have to wait. It could be a day, a week, a year, or decades.
Iâ€™m now in my sixth decade. I have learned a lot and now strive to put myself in alignment with Godâ€™s long-held plan for me. Finally, I am doing work that brings me great satisfaction and I am more fulfilled than anytime in my life.
Itâ€™s not my time. Itâ€™s Godâ€™s time.