We had pizza and movie night at our house last weekend. It was all organized, arranged and executed by our resident 11-year-old pizza-and-movie expert. He found the movie he wanted on pay-per-view, dialed the number and gave me the phone so I could order Ice Age 4: Continental Drift. He preheated the oven and put the pizza in: DiGiorno’s Stuffed Crust Pepperoni. All this was precisely planned so we could start the pizza and the movie at the same time.
But you know how it goes with the best-laid plans of mice and young men … It took a little longer to order the movie than he thought. Which meant he was late getting the oven pre-heated, and the pre-heating took a little longer than expected. Before we knew it, the movie was starting and the pizza still wasn’t done.
But our party planner refused to accept any delay. Out came the pizza, in spite of the fact it still had seven minutes left to cook. He sliced it, put it on a tray and pronounced it ready to eat. On time.
There was just one teensy little problem. The dough wasn’t cooked. If our young chef had just had a little more patience, we could have eaten a delicious pizza with our movie. Instead, we had a chewy, dough-y mess.
You see, there’s a purpose for following the directions on the box. Mr. DiGiorno knows his pizza, and he knows how long it takes it to cook. When we try to eat it before it’s ready, we forfeit cheesy, Italian goodness for an unappetizing blob.
Life is kind of that way, when we don’t wait for God’s timing. We get impatient and try to rush ahead of God. We ignore His wisdom, ignore His instructions, all because we want what we want and we want it now.
But like Mr. DiGiorno, God knows His business. He knows how long something will take before it’s truly ready to be enjoyed. When we try to rush ahead of God and forget to wait on His timing, we end up with a mess, and we forfeit the beautiful blessings that might have been ours.
Take the Israelites, for example. When God led them out of Egypt and into the Promised Land, they wandered around the desert for 40 years! Then, when they were sooooo, so close to their goal, God told them they’d have to wait a little bit longer.
You see, the Promised Land was occupied by the Hivites, the Canaanites and the Hittites. And although God promised to drive those people out, He didn’t do it all at once. He told Moses there were too many wild animals in the area, and if all the other people left at once, the Israelites would be overrun by wildlife and they wouldn’t survive. So God drove the opposing nations out a few people at a time, while the Israelites grew in number and strength.
If they had gotten impatient and tried to occupy their land right away, the results would have been devastating. The Israelites were patient. They waited on God’s timing, and eventually they won their Promised Land.
In that case, God saw fit to tell them why they couldn’t have what they wanted right away. But He doesn’t always feel the need to share the details of His plans with us. And we get impatient, because waiting is sooooo, so hard.
Still, we can always know that God’s plans for us are good, and He knows best. Instead of rushing ahead of Him and eating raw pizza, we can relax. We can be still and know that He is God, He’s in control, and His timing is perfect.
But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land. —Exodus 23:29-30.