As a person who does not always practice patience, I think I can speak with some sense of confidence that I do not like to wait on God, or anyone else for that matter. Indeed, when God inspects my own heart, I am sure God sees a great deal of impatience. And yet, I have come to recognize over time that God’s timing is typically, well, on time, the right time!
As Paul says in Galatians: “When the time was right, God sent his own son” (Galatians 4:3). God does not operate on our timetable. God operates on God’s timetable. In other words, if we try to get too far ahead of God, we find ourselves out on a limb, and we can miss what God is doing. It is why we all need to develop, during this time, what I want to call “wild patience,” and rightfully so! After all, it is the tortoise that usually wins!
Maybe this is what God laid on Nehemiah’s heart when we was inspecting the walls at night (2:12). Nehemiah was coming to grips with how long this was going to take to rebuild. He was coming to realize how he was going to need the support of the people, the priests, and the governors, on the one hand, and, above all, God, on the other! He was realizing just how big the project was going to be! He was going to need to be prepared.
Indeed, one of the things I believe we need to understand during this season of our lives, when our timetables seem out of sync with all kinds of things – is how God does not look down upon good preparation. There are things we need to be doing in any community, or any church, or in any family, that are part of the basics, that are about foundational matters.
It is why I believe that Nehemiah provides an example of how we may proceed into the future. Nehemiah has the patience to allow God to inspect his own heart and to look to God for strength and wisdom.
How may we realize what God is building in us? Our character? Our lives? Our families?
Pastor Andy Kinsey