He guards the lives of his faithful; he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. Psalm 97:10
The God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, support, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10
We recently visited our son, his wife and their four young children. There we were reminded once again of the challenges of raising a young family. Somehow we did it those many years ago, but now I remember how labor-intensive and patience-trying it was. I’m also reminded of how impatience plays a part in the emotional wellbeing of children. We’re going to go out to eat later today. We’re going to the fireworks show…later. We’re going to get frozen yogurt…later. We’re going to play a game…after dinner. And so it goes.
We did do all those things. We had a great time at the frozen yogurt place – although we paid the price of too-much-sugar later that evening! The time finally did come for the Ticket to Ride game – and I lost miserably, blocked by a one-car route! We even got to see some of the Dallas football game when we went to lunch after Church on Sunday. It all came to pass, and it was good. In due time.
These promises of God’s favor, rescue, restoration, strength and security are certain to come to us as well…in due time. This is a bit of a mystery, if not perhaps also a conundrum. How do we live in the now and not-yet of God’s promises and blessings?
On the one hand we must recognize that the promises and blessings of God are eternal in nature. God lives outside the bounds of time, though we are subject to it. His story unfolds in our daily lives one moment at a time. If we’re like impatient children we may despair of his goodness and love. We may wonder why we’re not realizing God’s miraculous intervention immediately. We can get caught up in the tyranny of the moment, rather than seeking the long-view of God’s faithfulness and the better answer of his eternal blessing. We want the pot of porridge before us now.
Still there is a promise to those who are faithful, which at least implies a more immediate provision. The blessing and favor of God is not only pie in the sky in the sweet bye-and-bye. God injects his grace and goodness into every day life. There are moments of immediate favor and great in-the-moment blessings that come to us daily. Whether it is a beautiful sunset, glorious views of mountains across the Puget Sound, or snuggle time with my granddaughter in the early morning, these are blessings of God.
In the mean time a friend of a friend continues a life-and-death struggle following a series of strokes. People are praying for him constantly, and God is answering daily. The saga has been a roller-coaster ride of hope and grave challenges. But we look for God’s deliverance in the here and now of life.
I’m not certain just how God will answer all of my prayers – some of which may require my active participation in the answer. Sometimes God’s deliverance and restoration comes in the moment. Ultimately it comes in the resurrection on the Great Last Day. In the mean time we look to God every day and wait patiently for his deliverance.