Thus says the Lord, “In a favorable time I have answered You…” (Isaiah 49:8a)
My daughter is going through basic training as a new cadet at West Point right now. Basic training is more commonly known as “beast,” and it is aptly named. She cannot have her cell phone, make-up or even her contacts or regular glasses. She must use the military-issued glasses during the six-week long “beast,” and must wear heavy, long-sleeved fatigues even in sweltering summer weather.
As a “West Point parent,” we are privy to communications that let us know the few times when the cadets are given phone privileges during beast. Last Sunday was the halfway point for the cadets going through beast, so they were allowed 4 hours with different sponsors at a well-loved event called the “Ice Cream Social” to celebrate their accomplishments, and to encourage them to make it through the second half. “Beast” is no day at the beach, and includes, among other things, a trip into the gas chamber. Considering that my daughter is on the young side for a recent high school graduate, it’s hard to imagine my 17-year-old facing something as terrifying as the gas chamber, in which she had to take her gas mask off and recite a handful of things, while coughing and choking, and experiencing the burn on her skin and face.
So I was really excited to talk to her on Sunday. I was informed that she would be able to call me sometime between 1 and 5 p.m. New York time, so I had my cell phone charged and ready. I carried it everywhere I went. My constant prayer was that not only would I not miss her call, but that the call would come at a “favorable time.” I had to take my younger daughter to a soccer tournament during those hours, and I didn’t want to be distracted, or unable to hear her, or driving. “Lord, please let the call come at a favorable time,” I whispered over and over that day.
And the Lord was faithful and answered my prayer. I’d dropped my younger daughter off at the tournament an hour and a half before the game, as requested by her coach. I headed over to Starbucks to get a drink, and then pulled across the street to stroll through a wonderful garden center and gift shop. My phone rang, and when I heard my daughter’s voice, I quickly darted out to the car, and sat and chatted with her in privacy and absolute bliss. It truly was the most “favorable time” possible.
Later, I thought about all those times when I’ve asked the Lord for something and wanted it right now, then wondered why it was so slow in coming. Just like the “favorable time” I requested of God for my call with my daughter, God often waits for a “favorable time” to answer other prayers of ours. Only God can know the perfect time for us to receive His answers, His gifts and His plans, and we must trust in that.
I’ve been learning that in my life lately, and it’s marvelous to be able to fall back into God’s arms, and trust in His timing. It takes a lot of stress out of your life. Here’s another example:
Believe it or not, I’m still waiting for my tax return money. I had sent my return in EARLY in late February this year. Then, a couple of weeks later, I realized I’d made a mistake and needed to amend my return. I sent in an amended return, and apparently the fact that I didn’t wait for the IRS to process the first return until I sent in the amended return has held everything up significantly.
Normally, I’d be gnashing my teeth over this. But I’ve held the belief that it will come when I need it, and God is in control. So I wait…for God’s favorable time. And I watch as He moves about the components of my life with absolute and mind-boggling precision.
What a thrill to be a child of God living securely in the palm of His marvelous hand.