I couldn't help but laugh at the irony of listening to our 6.5-month-old cry while reading the story of Elizabeth and Zachariah in Luke 1. Here our son was, crying for breakfast because to him it felt he was waiting for an eternity and breakfast might never come! But I knew that I would feed him in exactly 13 more minutes. See, I was almost finished with my quiet time with God this morning (which is sporadic at best these days as we are still transitioning out of night time wake ups and my sleep is as sacred as time with the Lord, God said so...literally...if you've ever encountered me on little sleep, you'd know why...I'm the 8-9 hours of sleep a night kind of person...) but to Aaron it felt like an eternity before I would be done, if I would ever even finish (actually he had no idea what I was doing...he just knew I wasn't feeding him now)! Anyway, Aaron's feeding was going to be in just a few minutes but he might as well cry like breakfast would never come because he has no concept of what time even is...all he knows about time is that he can accidentally call daddy from mommy's watch... Anyway, Aaron's concept, or lack thereof, about time, can be like our concept of time in God's reality, let's be honest. I love the story of Elizabeth and Zachariah because to them, their reality of having children was over. They had shed their tears, cried out to God, and all but given up on their dream of having a child. But in God's reality, their time simply had not yet come. Even when the angel Gabriel told Zachariah that God had heard his prayer and was going to answer it in just a little while, Zachariah scoffed at the idea that now, God would answer his prayer, after all this time, "are you kidding me?! No way, also, not possible, we're too old," Zachariah thought.
"Every word I've spoken to you will come true on time -- God's time," Gabriel told Zachariah.
Maybe you've had the opportunity to be on the fulfilling end of someone's hopes and dreams and desires and you know that at just the right time, it'll be fulfilled, but it'll still be just a bit longer. And you wish that some way you could convince them to not lose hope in their waiting because in just a short while "fill-in-the-blank" will be more than satisfied! For us in this season, my husband and I have the opportunity every morning to try and convince Aaron that breakfast is in just a few minutes and that he doesn't need to be sad while waiting because "we promise, we will feed you (just like we do every morning) until your heart's content wee one, and actually there's more breakfast than you could hope for or imagine" (any nursing moms out there?? You know what I mean!). But try as we might, our wee bub is never convinced, he might as well be waiting until forever and forever still might not come.
If we read between the lines in Luke 1, God would say the same things to us, "My promises are true always, have I ever let you down?! My timing is more perfect than you could imagine and sometimes your hopes and prayers won't be answered until My time is just right. No need to be sad while you're waiting, I promise, I will deliver and it'll be better than you could dream, just like every other time!!! BUT, if you are sad and disappointed and angry and upset and scared and distraught, that's okay, I will do everything I can to comfort you in the meantime. I love you more than you could possibly know."
It's okay if we're not convinced of God's perfect timing, but maybe we'll occasionally allow ourselves to be comforted in the meantime.