Intellectually and spiritually, I believe this statement to be true--that God can and does sometimes act swiftly, punctually and decidedly suddenly. I’d confidently tell you that God's timing is absolutely perfect, that His methods are strategic, and that He can totally orchestrate the right thing at the right time, suddenly, as if by magic. Because, after all, He is God.
Experientially, I’d also tell you I have abundant personal evidence that this is true. That I have seen a problem that seemed unsolvable, or a longing that had been unfulfilled, or a need that was unmet, or a question that wanted to be answered...suddenly and absolutely resolved, fulfilled, met, and replied to, clearly, exceedingly, and abundantly.
The "suddenly" may come after a prolonged and arduous wait, but it does come and feels sudden and miraculous when it happens.
Yet faced with a new situation--as I am now--all that experience and wisdom and faith seems to go right out the window, at least temporarily, and I find myself feeling those same antsy-pants pangs of doubt and uncertainty. Here is a great blessing of being an inspirational writer and speaker: I get to affirm what I need to hear, and thus remind myself of truths I've know but that totally slip my mind, repeatedly. So, let me revisit a few situations to encourage you and to encourage me in this moment:
Babies. I didn't long for kids until I did, and when I did (at the ripe age of 36), they didn't come on command. A year, two years, and three anxious years went by and zilch. No baby. Then suddenly, totally unexpectedly, and frankly, at what seemed like a less-than-ideal time to me, I found I was pregnant with Pierce. And again later, Isaac.
Isaac. I've shared that initially I had some (loads of) difficulty accepting my son Isaac had Down Syndrome and sought God relentlessly and intensely, imagining my angst, anger, and confusion would never go away. Then suddenly, serenity swept in with a rush of love and ease, and I embraced this new path with joy, which has proven to be a juicy gift beyond measure.
At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting--it will happen! Habakkuk 2:3 (CEV)
Florida. I'd wanted to move to Florida for a very long time but encountered hurdle after hurdle for years and years. No amount of diligence, finagling, or finesse worked. Then suddenly, in the space of weeks, everything fell into place and I found myself living in Florida, in a town that had not made my diligently researched short-list, but that has proven to the absolutely perfect place for us.
Divorce. This one is sure to be thorny for some of you, but immensely comforting for others. My marriage was difficult for me from the onset for countless reasons I will not recount here (but feel free to write me privately). I endured, therapized, pleaded, prayed, and pushed painfully. Then suddenly, I felt a rush of release and clarity and was able to end the marriage with complete peace, followed by a flow of God's gracious and affirming emotional, spiritual, and practical support.
There are so many more instances, but I'll stop here.
I want very much to tell you the magic formula that led to these miraculously "effortless" outcomes because I want to employ that formula to get relief right now, gosh-darn-it! Of course, prayer, surrender, prayer, wait, acceptance, prayer, release, wait, prayer, let go, wait. Repeat. All true. The single most important ingredient is more God. As the Apostle James said so simply, "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you" (v.4:8). There's more to that verse that is enlightening, but I'll let you look it up.
Grace & peace,
PRAYER: Papa, I know You love us, want the best for us, and have a good plan for us. Please help us entrust ourselves, our circumstances, and our times wholeheartedly to You. Help us to be attuned and responsive to Your prompts to act when appropriate and wait gracefully when that's best, confident that your timing and ways are perfect. Help us submit to Your preparation for the "suddenly" when it comes. Thank You. I love You.
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