Does anyone else have difficulty keeping track of time? Days turn into weeks and months into a year very quickly. It’s hard to keep up. It’s even more difficult when you’re having fun and the old cliche’ rings true, “Time flies when your having fun.” However, the opposite is also true. When you’re in a season that you are ready to be out of, it seems to last F.O.R.E.V.E.R.!
When you’re waiting to hear the test results.
When you’re ready to move on from a relationship that’s ended.
When you’re carrying an emotional weight.
When you’re silently suffering through something no one could understand.
When you’re waiting for an answered prayer.
When you’re( fill in the blank for yourself.)
These moments feel never-ending. Almost like the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day. Every day is the same. Every week is the same. Every year is the same.
Below are some snapshots from one of my morning readings that I hope encourages you when every day seems more of the same. It’s a summary of the matriarch Hannah found in 1 Samuel.
Hannah’s husband had a second wife, Peninnah, who had provided him with children, while she remained barren. She struggled with self-worth and purpose as a wife and woman. It wasn’t enough that she suffered personal insecurity and doubt, but Peninnah also reminded her of her failures. She was reduced to tears. It was beginning to shape her identity. What disappointment or failure plagues you year after year? What are the responses of your enemies? What have you been reduced to as a result?
I don’t know if going to the Tabernacle was a part of Hannah’s regular routine or if this was an “I’ve had all I can take moment.” If it was a part of her regular routine, she was committed. Imagine if she hadn’t gone just this once? If this once she decided to stay and make preparations so they could go home early. After all, all of her previous prayers whispered in silence and in the tabernacle had yet to be answered. What’s one more? If she hadn’t had this “once moment” the next passage might not have happened. I know you have been praying for months or even years. Your frustration is mounting and your doubt is growing. But don’t stop. What if your “Once” is tonight? What if it is in the morning? What if it’s next Tuesday? What if it’s next summer on a quiet morning before everyone else gets out of bed? We don’t know when that one time will be. Maybe you’ve already stopped and given up. Mark Batterson quotes that we often fall just one prayer short of our miracle. Don’t miss your “just once” keep praying.
I don’t know what the ” in due time” was. It could have been as early as 9 or 10 months after her prayer in the tabernacle or it could have been more of the “year after year”. As a culture, we have a hard time waiting. From Prime Shipping, drive-throughs, instant downloads or streaming, and microwave pizzas we always find ways to get what we want… when we want it. But, God’s promises are not bound by our time frames and schedules. They are bound to His purpose and His Glory. “IN DUE TIME,” is whenever His purpose can be fulfilled and His Glory can be displayed. Not a moment sooner or later. We can’t control that. We can only wait for it. It’s as simple as that and as difficult as that.
Hannah’s “year after year” and her “once” are a part of our NOW. The result of her waiting is a story. A story we read about today that encourages our faith. She didn’t know it then. She only wanted a child. God gave her a story and her story a purpose. That’s what He’s doing right now. He’s not only working to answer your prayer in the way that fulfills His purpose and displays His glory, He’s also giving you a story that will encourage and strengthen those around you. You’ll be able to speak to the years that you prayed, trusted, and waited for the answer to come.