Last night, I was talking with a friend who is slowly trying to get his life back on track. He was frustrated that things were taking so long, and that it seemed like every now and again a stumbling block would appear, making it seem like everything would fall apart.
As hard as it is, we need to take a look at these situations from a different perspective. We need to prayerfully ask ourselves if God is trying to teach us something through it all.
About 3:00 am, I woke up with the answer for my friend. I think God is trying to teach him patience. Years ago, I heard a Psalm sung at church that has stuck with me. The refrain was “home from our exile, God brings us home again, we’ll think we’re dreaming, we’ll think we’re dreaming.”
For whatever reasons, sometimes God uses “exile” moments to teach us something. He allows things to happen so that we can turn back to him. Of course, Scripture tells us that God’s time is not necessarily our time, and we often have to wait awhile for things to be resolved.
The time of waiting is important, and can’t be rushed. It’s not easy to be patient while God works through our issues, but we have to trust that He’s giving us a teaching moment. Think of the protracted teaching moment God gave the Israelite people during their time of exile. How stubborn they were! How unwilling to learn their lesson! Everything was wanted in their time, not God’s.
If you’re dealing with an issue that seems to be lingering on and on, prayerfully ask the Lord what He’s trying to teach you. Assume that you can start with patience.