It’s 12:50 PM and I have plans to meet a friend for lunch at 1 PM. Naturally, I arrive ten minutes early despite the fact that most of my friends usually arrive twenty to thirty minutes late. As the clock approaches 1 PM, I begin scanning the parking lot periodically or send them a text message to gauge when they will be arriving. As each minute passes I begin to fidget, scroll through social media, and try to suppress the signals of anxiety my body begins to send me. If I could nonchalantly show up fifteen minutes late on purpose I would, but that’s probably never going to happen.
There’s something about knowing that someone is going to be there when they say they will. Our world has slowly lowered our expectations of this trait with a million reasons why we can be excused from our commitments, but when you find someone you can truly count on to show up every time it speaks volumes.
There is only one person I know who never ceases to show up on time no matter the circumstances. You would think that this would be a dream come true, but the funny thing is I continue to question whether he will be there for me. I doubt his faithfulness. I struggle to trust that he is who he says he is.
Why is it so hard to believe that God will show up for us?
Time and time again God tells us in Scripture that he is good, faithful, trustworthy, loyal, and attentive to our needs. He knows every part of us, and cares to listen to every detail of our life. He promises to love us unconditionally, shower us with mercy, and go to battle for us in the pursuit of our heart.
However, so often I feel as if I am waiting for him and he’s running twenty minutes late. My heart begins to fidget, my eyes take a look around and wonder why he seems to be showing up for everyone else but me. I told him the time, place, and details of the plan – so where is he? I can’t be any clearer…
Telling the Creator of the heavens and the earth where, when, and how to show up is a bold move. One that I make far too often without realizing it. Unfortunately, this bold move creates the illusion that God has abandoned me and broken our trust. Instead of remaining open to God’s good and faithful intentions, I create my own and expect him to follow suit.
Believing that God will show up for us depends entirely on our willingness to let him. Psalm 119 says that God’s word is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path. A light in the midst of darkness and confusion to guide us toward truth and faithfulness. This sentence breathes life into my soul allowing me to exhale with a sense of peace and rest. He knows the way. He is the way.
Why do I continue to grab the light out of his hands and run ahead shouting over my shoulder, “Come on, hurry up and follow me!” This decision is typically followed by a prayer for direction and comfort because I don’t know where I am going or what the heck I am doing. I end up lost and confused – enter stress and anxiety.
God’s goodness and faithfulness are still unwavering. He waits patiently for us to invite him into our mess, which is usually self-inflicted, and he cleans it up (without pointing any fingers). He rescues us when we wander aimlessly, and he finds complete joy in doing so. His only desire is to reconcile himself to us because nothing is more valuable to him than our love.
I can’t even fathom how many times I have been late to God’s plan, and he embraces me as if I am on time, every time.
Thank you for waiting, Jesus. Here’s the lamp.