Look at this gorgeous rainbow! Last night, we had really dark skies, wind and rain moving in as we arrived home from work. By the time we sat down to dinner, there was quite a storm. A little later, as I was cleaning up, the sun began shining brightly and revealed the most incredible rainbow! It was enormous! So much so that I couldn't get it all into frame. Just beyond, there was even a second, much more subtle rainbow. Such a beautiful gift from God!
Like the colors of this rainbow, I'm reminded of a message I read recently in Streams in the Desert whose illustrations spoke vividly to me. Perhaps they will to you, as well.
He will do this (Psalm 37:5)
I once believed that after I prayed, it was my responsibility to do everything in my power to bring about the answer. Yet God taught me a better way and showed me that self-effort always hinders His work. He also revealed that when I prayed and had confident trust in Him for something, He simply wanted me to wait in an attitude of praise and do only what He told me. Sitting still, doing nothing except trusting the Lord, causes a feeling of uncertainty, and there is often a tremendous temptation to take the battle into our own hands.
We all know how difficult it is to rescue a drowning person who tries to help his rescuer, and it is equally difficult for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that God will not but that He cannot, for our interference hinders His work.
Spiritual forces cannot work while we are trusting earthy forces.
Often we fail to give God an opportunity to work, not realizing that it takes time for Him to answer prayer. It takes time for God to color a rose or grow a great oak tree. It takes time for Him to make bread from wheat fields. He takes the soil, then grinds and softens it. He enriches it and wets it with rain showers and with dew. Then He brings the warmth of life to the small blade of grass, later grows the stalk and amber grain, and finally provides bread for the hungry.
All this takes time. Therefore we sow the seed, till the ground and then wait and trust until God’s purpose has been fulfilled. We understand this principle when it comes to planting a field, and we need to learn the same lesson regarding our prayer life. It takes time for God to answer prayer.