God is an eternal God. He was, He is, and is to come.
He is patient, slow to anger, and focused on the long-term.
In many ways—despite man being created in His image—we appear the opposite of God. We were formed, we have not always been. Our lives are fleeting and eternity only comes through God. We are often impatient, quick to anger, and focused on things happening NOW.
Many of those traits we have which appear opposite to God were not in our design, but a result of our fall in the Garden… however, while God is eternal, patient, slow to anger, and focused on the long-term, He is also the God of “suddenly.”
God of the Long-term and the Suddenly:
God is more complex than we could ever realize and yet, in many ways, He is simple for our sakes. Take Jesus teaching in parables so ALL with eyes to see and ears to hear might understand.
He often does things slowly on earth, but He is always doing things “suddenly.”
Because, for God, everything He does is without the constraints of time, for Heaven is without earthly time. Take a look at Psalm 90:4: “For a thousand years in Your sight are like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.”
Yet, for us who live on earth, we often view things as being slow or quick… and therefore, we see God moving at different speeds depending on the season.
- Abraham was 100 years old before he had his promised son, Isaac—25 years after God‘s first promise of offspring; and even his first son, Ishmael, was not born to him until he was 86.
- The children of Israel had to wander the desert for 40 years, after spending hundreds of years in slavery, before they could reach the land promised to Abraham.
- It was around 400 years between the promises made to Abraham and the giving of the Ten Commandments.
- The Israelites were captives of Babylon for 70 years before being allowed to return to their land.
- Jesus—the Son of God—was born to a virgin in the town of Bethlehem, but would not begin His ministry until the age of thirty.
Yet, God also is God of the “suddenly,” where one minute on Earth things appear dire, without change, and the next… everything drastically changes.
- Joseph was a prisoner of Egypt, yet due to God’s divine hand, in less than a day Joseph went from prisoner to Pharaoh’s second in command.
- David faced Goliath and won the battle with one stone due to the Lord.
- Jonah spent three days in the belly of a whale, but when His heart returned to a willingness to follow God’s commands, the whale quickly spit him onto the shore.
- Three men—likely princes—of Judah were thrown into a furnace by Nebuchadnezzar, and instead of immediately dying, an angel immediately protected them from harm.
- Daniel was thrown into a den full of hungry lions and yet, God sent an angel to immediately shut the mouths of those lions and none harmed Daniel.
- When Jesus gave up His Spirit, the veil between Heaven and Earth was torn in an instant, then a mere three days later He was raised from the dead.
- The nation of Israel was born in a day on May 14, 1948, just as Isaiah 66:8 prophesied, “…Shall the earth be made to give birth in one day? Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion was in labor, she gave birth to her children.”
- In 1967 the newly reestablished nation of Israel was facing four neighboring armies from multiple sides. The enemy forces were nearly double those of Israel and possessed FAR superior weapons, vehicles, and supplies along with greater quantities of them. Yet, six days later, Israel not only remained, but had won the war with unnaturally low casualties and three times the land mass they began with.
Through this handful of instances we not only see that God is a God for whom nothing is impossible, but that time is not an issue for Him.
Sometimes, because certain hopes and prophecies God has imparted within us do not come to pass when we expect, we can begin to forget that God is not only the God of long-term blessings, but sudden ones as well. We can forget that nothing is too difficult for God. That He is not subject to time. And our hope can dwindle… Yet, God can change our circumstances in an instant, and He delights in keeping His promises.
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but when the desire comes,
it is a tree of life.”—Proverbs 13:12
Sometimes, the promise comes suddenly.
Waiting for the Suddenly:
God’s timing is perfect… Yet, that can be difficult to remember when promises and prophecies spoken and believed for years have still not arrived.
However, it is IMPORTANT to remember that God can move far more quickly than we ever could, and often in ways we do not expect. And more than that. He is FAITHFUL.
“Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.”—Psalm 36:5
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.
‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul,
‘therefore I hope in Him!’”—Lamentations 3:22-24
It is time to hope in the Lord once more. It is time to remember that He IS a faithful God and He FULFILLS all of His purposes—for our good as well as the Kingdom’s.
Even so, it is important to wait upon Him. Now, this may seem opposite to what we have just explored about God not only being a God of the long-term, but the suddenly as well… yet, it is just as true to content ourselves with waiting as it is to expect a suddenly.
“But those who wait on the Lord
shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,
they shall run and not be weary,
they shall walk and not faint.”
When we wait upon the Lord, go into His Courts—perhaps make our case against any delays there—we find our strength renewed. Further, by waiting upon the Lord, we grow closer to Him; maturing in the Spirit… and sometimes, it is in the waiting that we are put into a place of listening to His voice, doing His will, and stepping through doors we could not see in the natural.
Waiting upon the Lord builds the character we need to go HIGHER. To do more.
Much of the ability for God to move in our lives—having our hearts and maturity in the proper place—is IN the waiting, not in God being wrong in His timing—for His timing is always perfect. God has to wait upon us to listen to Him, seek Him, go higher, obey, repent, and a million other things… our waiting in His presence which turns the “wait” into joy, is therefore, the least we can and should do.
So, let us wait upon the Lord—renewing our strength through time spent in His presence. Let us walk in Godly joy, expecting Him to be faithful—for He is—and remembering that though things may appear dark in the natural, God can change our circumstances in an instant.
He is the God of the SUDDENLY.