16 Jan When God’s Timing Tests Your Trust
My cell phone rang, and when I glanced at the caller, immediately my heart began to pound. The illuminated screen showed the caller was the school district I had just interviewed with, so the news would be either very good or very bad.
Either they wanted me or they didn’t. This call would tell the tale.
I needed a job, and I needed it badly. Years before, I had taught 7th grade English full-time, but when my children were born, I left work to mother them full-time. I loved every minute of being home with them, but my impending divorce and new status as a single mother demanded a paying job. And it demanded it now.
I picked up the phone and squeaked out a “Hello” through my quivering voice. The principal I had just spent time with spoke, thanking me for my interest in their teaching position. Then he spoke the word “But,” and I knew I wasn’t their choice.
He kindly explained they had chosen a candidate with more experience, and he wished me luck in the future.
I managed to disconnect the call before I burst into tears. Then I wept uncontrollably.
The previous eight weeks had been the most excruciating of my life, filled with rejection at a level I had never experienced before. I had learned what it meant to start life completely over, and I felt the burden of rebuilding what once felt unshakeable.
And for the first time, I knew how it felt to be at a complete loss with what God was doing in my life. In my core, I knew he was in control, and I still believed he was good, but I didn’t understand how, and I couldn’t see why. Each day was a test of my faith, each moment a lesson in hope.
I had prepared for this job interview, prayed for the right answers, and proven my determination to give the job my all.
So to hear it wasn’t enough was devastating. To know time was running out was terrifying. And to have nowhere to go next was debilitating.
I was rejected, again, and my heart was completely shattered. It felt that at every turn I wasn’t someone’s choice. I didn’t just feel it – the evidence was in my face.
The despair and helplessness I felt that day sent me to my knees.
I was completely at the mercy of the God I professed to believe, and trusting that his timing would eventually bring provision was harder than I can explain.
What do we do when God’s timing seems off? What do we believe when we have a pressing need but his answer is, “Not yet?” How can we believe that provision will come even when we see no signs?
In that moment, I didn’t know. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to turn. I didn’t know that God was working in ways I couldn’t see.
And that’s usually how it works, isn’t it? We look with our human eyes at our human situations and determine the outcome the way we humans would design it. We look at human calendars and feel the pressure of human needs and are unable to remember God doesn’t work in human ways. He is not limited by human timelines.
Trusting God’s timing means trusting God himself. Waiting for his action means believing he’s on your side.
Those weeks waiting for a job in the middle of my divorce tested everything I said I believed. Continuing to trust in God’s goodness was a choice I had to make, and believing his ways would eventually bring good demanded that I look beyond the current pain.
The easy faith of my childhood was giving way to a faith tested in the flames, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there were days I thought I’d be consumed.
But now, years removed, this is what I’ve learned, and this is what I know.
God’s goodness always comes.
He always provides.
Trust placed in him will never disappoint.
Hearing “no” from that principal was, in the moment, another rejection to my already tender spirit. It was a denial, a wound, a very crushing blow.
But weeks later, I was offered a job 20 minutes closer to home and in the district my children would be attending. Suddenly the previous “no” felt like protection and provision. Suddenly I realized my timeline hadn’t allowed for God’s perfect plan to unfold. Suddenly I was humbled to understand God had been working on my behalf all along.
Nothing tests your trust like waiting for God to move. But nothing reaffirms it like the moment when He does.
Whatever waiting period you are in right now, I know it’s painful. I know you might be like I was, on your knees with tears pouring down, begging God to give you the thing you desperately need.
He hears you.
He will provide.
But He will do it in the moment He deems best.
As his child – his follower – you are charged with trusting him until then. You are asked to believe good is coming despite the bad that you see. You are commanded to be still and know that He is God.
When we have a problem, we want it fixed immediately and with the solution we devise.
But God wants our heart.
We want an answer.
God wants our trust.
We want to know the plan.
God wants our faith.
If I have learned anything through my seasons of waiting, it is that I am amazingly impatient and God is unbelievably good. Always. His timing tests my faith, to be sure, and his ways confound my understanding, but his faithfulness takes my breath.