Daily Devotional “The Slowness of God”

Daily Devotional
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October 05, 2022

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Methuselah, a California Bristlecone Pine tree, is coming up on its estimated 4,789th birthday. Squat, twisted, weathered, and storm-battered, it stretches its jagged fingers toward the blue skies over the White Mountains in eastern California.

It is alive and growing, although very, very s-l-o-w-l-y. It was already ancient when Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and it may very well last until he returns.

Looking at a picture of this amazing tree made me think of a passage I once read in a book by Frederick Faber, an English hymn writer and theologian who lived a couple of centuries ago. “In spiritual life,” wrote Faber, “[God] vouchsafes to try our patience first of all by his slowness…. He is slow: we are swift and precipitate.

It is because we are but for a time, and he has been from eternity. Thus grace for the most part acts slowly…. He works by little and by little, and sweetly and strongly he compasses his ends, but with a slowness which tries our faith, because it is so great a mystery…. We must wait for God, long, meekly, in the wind and wet, in the thunder and the lightning, in the cold and the dark. Wait, and he will come.”

Yes, from our perspective God’s grace sometimes moves slowly. Paul remained in a Caesarean jail for two long years before he finally arrived in Rome.

God’s people waited in Egypt four hundred years before they were ready for the next challenge.

The Israelites sometimes camped in one spot in the wilderness for a year at a time, waiting for the cloud of God’s presence to signal a resumption of their march to the Promised Land.

These thoughts comfort me as I ponder my fifty-fifth anniversary in this wheelchair. In that time, I have often had to wait for God in the wind and the wet, the heat and the dust, the cold and the dark. I’ve waited through tears, sighing, and long bouts of pain.

But do you know what? He does come. He always comes. He answers my call, meets my needs, and he is always right on time.

Does it seem to you that God’s pace for your life has slowed down to a crawl? You may be waiting for healing…waiting for relief from your pain…waiting for a job…waiting for a mate…waiting for word from a wandering child. You must remember:

“The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness.”

2 Peter 3:9 (NIV)

The important thing is to walk with him, whether that pace seems slow or suddenly speeds up, as it often does. In Galatians 5:25, the Apostle Paul had the best advice of all: “Keep in step with the Spirit.”

The best thing in all of life is simply staying close to him.

Going Deeper
Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.

Psalm 27:14 (TLB)

In the morning, Lord, you hear my voice;

in the morning I lay my requests before you

and wait expectantly.

Psalm 5:3

You and I have one matchless, incomparable advantage as we wait for the Lord to rescue us, help us, or change our situation. He waits with us! As he promised in Hebrews 13:5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

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