I love to iron, I know sounds crazy right. I always save my ironing until I have no less than 5 pieces, sometimes at least 10. I find it very therapeutic, it also satisfies that need for the instant gratification. There are wrinkles and once I apply the hot iron they are instantly gone! Sometimes I have to go over things more than once especially if they are cotton and really wrinkled, but again, each time I glide over the clothing it is flatter and I feel that sense of accomplishment. It is an instantly visible evidence of the work I am doing.
We as Christians expect that same instant gratification with our walk with the Lord and our prayers. We want him to do it now, or yesterday. We expect a microwave God, we say the prayer and poof just like that a moment later we receive our answers. Sometimes God does answer just that fast. We no more get the words out and he sends the answer our way, but most of the time it is a pray, wait, pray, wait, pray, wait, wait, wait,wait…you know exactly what I mean. And not only are we waiting, but we also cannot always see the work/answer being done. We know he hears us, his word assures us of his hearing and answering. 1 John 5:16 “And we know that he hears us whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of him.”
Jeremiah 29:12-13 “Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
We think we know exactly what we need when we need it. But God knows our hearts and our minds in ways we simply cannot. Our circumstances many times dictate our wants. But God works from the inside out. He formed our hearts and he hears and sees those deep things that we are unaware of. They do not escape his all-seeing eye. So, he works in us in the way that not only brings glory to himself first but is at the very root of what is best for us according to his will. To be honest we do not like that. We want what we want now. Just like those wrinkles disappearing under the heat and pressure, we want instant results according to what we are doing and how we feel. Scripture is clear that our hearts are deceitful and we cannot trust their wanderings. Jeremiah 17:9 “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”
God makes us wait, not because he is cruel, but because the work he is doing is completing in us the work needed to get us ready for heaven, to make us more like him. He does those things that we really need, he fulfills those longings that are pleasing to him and glorifies himself in the process. The Holy Spirit works in us convicting, changing, molding, helping, guiding etc…all those things we need to be transformed and made new. We need that Holy Spirit to work, active and moving inside of us and thankfully when we are born again the Spirit of God indwells us and does all those things.
In John 16:7 we read this: “I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.”
No, we cannot always experience that instant gratification that we so desperately think we need, but we can feel the Holy Spirit at work in us on a daily basis when we seek time with him. His love for us is too great to give us what we think we need and want, He gives us exactly what our souls long for in the time frame that he has stretched out and in the best possible way for us to grow and become like him.
Maybe just maybe if we leaned in closer and we were willing to wait with a little more patients we might see small glimpses of him working things out and actually learn to appreciate the process a little more. Maybe…if not, then go iron, you can get that feeling by watching your wrinkles disapper!