“The LORD waits for you to come to him so he can show you his love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for him to help them” (Isaiah 30:18).
In the first part of this verse, who’s the one waiting? Who is the one being patient? God is. He’s the one waiting for you to come to him. How long has he been waiting? A day? An hour? A month? A lifetime?
But why is God waiting for you to come to him? Is he waiting to pounce on your every mistake? Is he waiting to condemn you for your actions? Is he going to point out your faults and failures? Is that why he is waiting for you?
No. He is waiting for you to come to him so that he can show you his love and compassion “for the LORD is a faithful God.”
Instead of running to our heavenly refuge when things come crashing in on us, we often run away from God to a counterfeit refuge–a beer, a television show, a cigarette, a romance novel, a busy project, a tranquilizer–something to distract our minds from the storm of uninvited thoughts.
In our time of need, we should run to God with all of our heart and ask him for help. Listen carefully to the very next verse: “He will be gracious if you ask for help. He will respond instantly to the sound of your cries” (v. 19).
Instantly! Did you catch how fast this infinite, timeless God will answer your pleas for help? Instantly! “Well Russell,” you may respond, “I’ve prayed and prayed for peace but this fear still haunts me. God is not answering my cries for help instantly.” Maybe God’s definition of “instantly” lies in the next two verses:
“Though the Lord gave you adversity for food and affliction for drink, he will still be with you to teach you. You will see your teacher with your own eyes, and you will hear a voice say, ‘This is the way; turn around and walk here'” (v. 20-21).
How many of you have experienced this drink of affliction and food of adversity? I’ve feasted on these things many times. Yet, God promises that he will teach us through this affliction and adversity. He will guide us with his gentle voice, telling us which way we should walk.
Maybe God’s definition of “instantly” is this: the time it takes him to guide us through this affliction and adversity, teaching us to trust him no matter what happens. Maybe God’s “instantly” has an eternal purpose, a deeper objective rather than just freeing us from our present discomfort. Maybe the length of our “instantly” is based on our willingness to surrender our lives, our decisions, our ambitions to God so that he can teach us to completely trust in him with everything in our life.
Prayer: Father, I cry out to you right now. By faith, I know you will respond instantly with love and compassion.